Saturday, October 28

Argh! Blogger is not letting me post.
All this contemplation was provoked by a simple quiz I found today and prompts me to ask the question: How well do you remember the openings of famous novels?

Novel Quiz: Famous Opening Lines

From which famous novel are these first lines taken?

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

a) Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
b) Angels and Insects, A. S. Byatt
c) The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
d) Kiss of the Spider Woman, Manuel Puig

To find the answer, take the quiz. Good luck! Let me know how you go.
How do you choose a book to read? Are you a first line or paragraph reader? Do you dip in somewhere in the middle and then decide if you like the book? Do you go on recommendations, or do you pick a book by its cover?

While I am sometimes tempted to choose a novel by its cover, I am predominantly a first line reader. If the beginning of a book doesn't grab me, I may not buy it. One of my most favourite books of all time has the most beautiful beginning:

There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it. The road climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one of the fairest valleys of Africa. About you there is grass and bracken and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds of the veld. Below you is the valley of the Umzimkulu, on its journey from the Drakensberg to the sea; and beyond and behind the river, great hill after great hill; and beyond and behind them, the mountains of Ingeli and East Griqualand.

The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed.

Where you stand the grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. But the rich green hills break down. They fall to the valley below, and falling, change their nature. For they grow red and bare; they cannot hold the rain and mist, and the streams are dry in the kloofs. Too many cattle feed upon the grass, and too many fires have burned it. Stand shod upon it, for it is coarse and sharp, and the stones cut under the feet. It is not kept, or guarded, or cared for, it no longer keeps men, guards men, cares for men. The titihoya does not cry here any more.

The great red hills stand desolate, and the earth has torn away like flesh. The lightning flashes over them, the clouds pour down upon them, the dead streams come to life, full of the red blood of the earth. Down in the valleys women scratch the soil that is left, and the maize hardly reaches the height of a man. They are valleys of old men and old women, of mothers and children. The men are away, the young men and the girls are away. The soil cannot keep them any more.

From Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

It is a beautiful beginning to a beautiful novel! It's a beginning I will never forget.

(You may read more about the novel here and you may read more quotes - like this one: "[W]e do what is in us, and why it is in us, that is also a secret. It is Christ in us, crying that men may be succoured and forgiven, even when He Himself is forsaken."- Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country, Chapter 15 from the novel - here)

If you haven't read Cry, the Beloved Country, you really must!

How does your favourite novel begin?

Can you find the face amongst the coffee beans?

Thursday, October 26

I submitted my cv today.
If you feel so inclined, please pray!
I feel so nervous.

Tuesday, October 24

I just handed in my last uni assignment ever!

Sunday, October 22

I am not distracted...
The Analysis Starts Here
While I am supposed to be completing my second last assignment for my degree, I have been very distracted by, oh, all sorts of important things, such as handwriting analysis quizzes. I found this on Kim's blog - which, incidently, I said I was not going back to today because it was too distracting and she posted this post on how important hard work and study are, which is true, and I felt guilty and fled committed to finishing my assessment until I felt strangely drawn back again, which is when I found this post on handwriting analysis. So, I had to take the quiz. It could possibly help my work...?

Anyway, this is what my handwriting reveals about me:

Some of my y's are out of control but this is a good thing
missmellifluous has a very unusual lower zone y loop. If the data input is correct, missmellifluous' y or g is large and opens up to the left side of the page. This is not a common trait, but the implications are very interesting. As you begin to study handwriting analysis, you will learn any loop indicates imagination. This lower loop indicates the amount of imagination missmellifluous has regarding physical things. So, her lower zone stroke is large, so her imagination is large and open.

Some of my y's make small loops but wide circles
missmellifluous has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. She lets new people into her circle of friends. She uses her imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people.

I Sigh
Something is incomplete in missmellifluous' life. She feels frustration relating to her physical needs and desires. Somewhere in her life there is some disappointment, non-fulfillment, and interruption.

My t's are pointy on the end, apparently like my tongue
missmellifluous is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.

I am obviously not completing my work because I do not have a clear vision of the end point...
missmellifluous is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. She finds joy in anticipation and planning. Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. missmellifluous basically feels good about herself. She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She feels she has the ability to achieve anything she sets her mind to. However, she sets her goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, she will not take great risks, as they relate to her goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence category, her self-perception is better than average.

My m's are pointy and curved and I am definately in the slow phase of my creative process
In reference to missmellifluous’ mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When missmellifluous slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project. She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. missmellifluous can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

- obviously my 'distractedness' is evidence of my need to get involved in multiple tasks simultaneously. This is not avoidance, this is an investigating and creative mind at work. And I just realised, I really am sarcastic!

If cornered, I may equivocate!
Regarding honesty, she is basically honest with a tendency to lie in certain circumstances. This results from a combination of secretiveness (the desire to keep things private) and self deceit (the desire to not accept something in her life at the moment). She deliberately strays from or evades the truth. She feels the truth is not what she wants people to know. This is not always bad. Have you ever known a good secretary that could not say "the Boss isn't in", when the Boss is standing next to the phone? When missmellifluous is in a position that she can't find a truthful way out, she might prevaricate.

I am loopy and this makes me sensitive but it doesn't stop me from sharing
missmellifluous is sensitive to criticism about her ideas and philosophies. She will sometimes worry what people will think if she tells them what she believes in. This doesn't mean she won't talk, or that she feels ashamed. It merely means she is sensitive to what others think, regarding her beliefs.

I am getting tired of posting about myself
missmellifluous is moderately outgoing. Her emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes. missmellifluous will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls missmellifluous an ambivert. She understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, she will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." She doesn't sway too far one way or the other. When convincing her to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to her. She puts herself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet she will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. missmellifluous is an expressive person. She outwardly shows her emotions. She may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. missmellifluous is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when she finally has to. She basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.

- I am not sure about the fence part - I'll make up my mind about it when I have to.

I am average
People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, missmellifluous doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

If you would like to analyse your own handwriting, or somebody else's - heh heh - you may take the quiz here.

In answer to Rebecca,

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests;
as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

Seamus Heaney (1939-)
- from Death of a Naturalist (1966)

Saturday, October 21

A while ago I wrote of my love for Huey. It was then that I said:

I love Huey!
You'll be happy to know, I have a new love!
He's quite tall, blonde, very strong, so beautiful, so rugged. He is quite a bit older than me. He has a very rough exterior but he has an incredibly soft heart! He always smells nice and he is a great healer...if you ever need antiseptic, he has it. He hardly ever gets sick. He loves the outdoors and the water. He really is a rare breed and I love him soooo much!

You may remember that I asked you what I should do with Huey. Huey has now come to live with me. He resides in my garden.

Huey turned out to be more gorgeous than I had anticipated.The photos of him on the net didn't do him justice. He is such a gorgeous specimen that I didn't have the heart to cut him in half and make the seat out of him like I said I would. Besides, the tree we were to build the seat around died and had to be cut down before it came crashing down - don't worry we have planted another three, smaller trees in its place - so we had to find something else for Huey. Something that would make him a feature and preserve his natural beauty. Here is what we came up with:

Huey has become a seat/sculpture in our garden...

...and I think he's just as gorgeous as ever.

Friday, October 20

Should public hospital authorities be prevented from placing Gideon Bibles by patients' bedsides?

This question is taken from an online poll conducted by Tony Abbott, the Minister for Health and Ageing - Liberal Party Australia. There seems to be a move in Australia to remove Bibles from hospitals. Here is an excerpt from an email I received earlier today:

Dear friends,

This request is endorsed by Rick Sewell, Anglican Chalpain at Cumberland Hospital, and the Anglican Western Sydney Regional leadership.

Tony Abbot has put out a survey regarding whether Bibles should continue to be allowed to be placed in hospitals.

Please take a moment to go to the site and vote NO (if you agree that Bibles should still be available in Hospitals).

The Hon Tony Abbott MP is the Minister for Health and Ageing ~ Liberal Party of Australia

Please click on the link provided and vote "No" to help allow Bibles in Australian hospitals.

Please don't let them take the Bible out of our hospitals!!! We have enough trouble sharing the Gospel in this country we need the Word of God!

Thanks and may God bless you!

Tony Abbott's online Poll:

Should public hospital authorities be prevented from placing Gideon Bibles by patients' bedsides?

Poll Link: Vote "No" here.

I am a little shocked at this. I didn't think Australia had come to the point where the placing of Bibles at bedsides has become something people want to stop. I don't know the history of this debate, I only know that I am concerned that people in government are considering preventing hospital authorities from leaving Bibles by hospital beds. It makes me wonder, what will be banned next?

Your votes and prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, October 17

U2 Yahweh - Live in Chicago

Sunday, October 15

I can't believe I haven't posted this song before - I think perhaps I posted it on my blog prior to deletion; however, it should be on this blog because I love it sooo much! It is a brilliant hymn. The lyrics are solid and I love to sing this hymn with a sense of victory because that is what I have in Christ alone. As usual, click on the title and you can hear a snippet. I hope you enjoy this hymn as much as I do!

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground;
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love! what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My comforter, my all in all;
Here in the love of Christ I stand!

In Christ alone - who took on flesh;
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness;
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
'Till on that cross as Jesus died;
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live!

There in the ground His body lay;
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious day:
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death:
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand!

From In Christ Alone: New Hymns of Prayer and Worship

Saturday, October 14

John of Dublin has such a great post on a Good Teacher he had when he was 11 years old that I really must refer you all to his site for a read. John has such a great way with story telling that I'm sure you'll enjoy his post. I found it inspiring.
Do you think 955 words over the 2000 word limit is too much?

Thursday, October 12

A Potato Joke for Rebecca's Potato Fest:

An ageing man lived alone in Ireland. His only son was in Long Kesh prison, and he didn't know anyone who would dig up his potato garden. The old man wrote to his son about it, and received this reply, "For HEAVENS SAKE, Dad, don't dig in that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!"

At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen British soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden but didn't find any guns.

Confused, the man wrote to his son telling him what happened and asking him what to do next.

His son's reply was: "Just plant your potatoes."

Wednesday, October 11

I was sitting in front of my computer lamenting about how little energy I had whe I decided to vent my frustration on Google. I do this sometimes...I don't know why, just to vent I guess. So, I typed into a google search "My computer is sapping my energy!" thinking that that would be me expressing myself and then I could get back to my work. But one of articles that came up grabbed my attention. It was this:

Pendant Power
London Sunday Times - Style Magazine, April 2nd, 2000

by Eva Gizowska

Worried that your mobile phone could be frazzling your brain, or that your computer is sapping your energy?

Yes! Yes! I am.

Apparently others are too.

Do you think this could be an answer to my sleepy question of last week? Perhaps I feel sleepy everytime I go to write an essay because the computer is indeed sapping my energy!

If there is anyone scientific out there who would like to offer an opinion on
this article and the possibility that the computer could be sapping my energy, I would like to hear from them. That is providing you have enough energy to type a response.

But I would also like to hear if it is the experience of anyone else that the computer seems to sap your energy. If U2's
Adam Clayton thinks these Qlinks help then I am inclined to consider it because Adam seems like a sensible guy - he plays bass, after all.

Tuesday, October 10

I found this picture entitled Cast Aside in the Summer Rain. It is such an intriguing image. I think there could be a story behind this picture. What do you think?
While looking for inspiration in images for a design project I am working on, I came across these most gorgeous pictures:

They have nothing at all to do with my project but they are beautiful. You can see more like them here.

time: that which my computer devours

They: Other, a group apart from us. This word disturbs me greatly especially when it is
written with a capital T. They is so exclusive. I don't like 'They'.

done: my favourite word after days, weeks, even years of research, writing and rehearsing. This word makes me feel both relief and angst: "It's done! Wahoo!" & "Gasp! What if I haven't done enough, or done it right?"
"Let it go. It's done."

attention: a right foot stamping the ground

And there we have my word meme for Kim. Now I am
to tag four people I would like to play. I tag Kim, Rebecca, Andrew, & momrn2. These are your words:





How hard to only choose four words!

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to tell us what these words mean to you.

Sunday, October 8

Candyinsierra has posted a great Spurgeon quote on her site. You must go and read it. Here is but a taste:

What blessed trust-to trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never weaken, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be overruled, and whose perfect goodness can never be impaired! You are happy, reader, if this trust is yours! So trusting, you will enjoy sweet peace now and glory later, and the foundation of your trust will never be removed.

Her post posits the question Who do you Trust? - a very important question.
Church today was great! For today I was reminded that my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. My hope is so sure. It's so amazing. You may know another version of this hymn. This is the Nicky Chiswell version we sang in church today. I love it. You may listen to a part of the song by clicking on the title. Sadly, I can't find a version of the whole song for you. This is sad because the song builds beautifully as the song progresses. The lyrics are great!

My Hope is Built

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When long appears my toilsome race
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When every earthly prop gives way
He then is still my Strength and Stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet call shall sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking
All other ground is sinking
All other ground is sinking sand

I am writing my cv at the moment. I wrote it last week, printed it out very professionally and had it bound. I then drove it to the school I am applying for had one last look over it, noticed some grammatical errors and drove away again without handing it in. How can I submit a grammatically flawed cv if I am applying for a job as an English teacher?! I couldn't. So anyway, not handing my cv in has bought me some time.

I also felt that my cv was not very dynamic. Not very innovative. Not very exciting and thus did not really reflect the kind of teacher I hope to be. It is good, but it is not fabulous. So, I am taking this opportunity to revamp it - any suggestions would be most welcome.

For inspiration I am looking at some of my favourite writers and their works. Today I took another look at
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. I love his melodromatic play, The Robbers and today I have discovered that I also love his poem To Joy: a poem Beethoven used as the foundation for his 9th symphony.

Words written by Beethoven, not Schiller, are shown in italics.

German original

O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern lasst uns angenehmere
anstimmen und freudenvollere.

Freude! Freude!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder
(Schillers Original:
Was der Mode Schwert geteilt;
Bettler werden Fürstenbrüder,)
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle
Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!
Freude trinken alle Wesen
An den Brüsten der Natur;
Alle Guten, alle Bösen
Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.
Küsse gab sie uns und Reben,
Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
Durch des Himmels prächt'gen Plan,
Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über'm Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
Such' ihn über'm Sternenzelt!
Über Sternen muss er wohnen.
Finale repeats the words:
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über'm Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
Seid umschlungen,
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Freude, schöner Götterfunken

English translation

Oh friends, not these tones!
Rather let us sing more
cheerful and more joyful ones.

Joy! Joy!
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of
We approach fire-drunk,
Heavenly One, your shrine.
Your magic reunites
What custom sternly divides;
All people become brothers
(Schiller's original:
What custom's sword separates;
Beggars become princes' brothers)
Where your gentle wing alights.
Whoever succeeds in the great attempt
To be a friend of a friend,
Whoever has won a lovely woman,
Let him add his jubilation!
Yes, whoever calls even one soul
His own on the earth's globe!
And who never has, let him steal,
Weeping, away from this group.
All creatures drink joy
At the breasts of nature;
All the good, all the evil
Follow her roses' trail.
Kisses gave she us, and wine,
A friend, proven unto death;
Pleasure was to the worm granted,
And the cherub stands before God.
Glad, as his suns fly
Through the Heavens' glorious plan,
Run, brothers, your race,
Joyful, as a hero to victory.
Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Do you bow down, you millions?
Do you sense the Creator, world?
Seek Him beyond the star-canopy!
Beyond the stars must He dwell.
Finale repeats the words:
Be embraced, ye millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Be embraced,
This kiss for the whole world!
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods .

I love the finale - except for the reference to 'the gods,' what's with that! These lines, " beyond the star-canopy /Must a loving Father dwell" are worthy of a post all of their own!

While reading Schiller again, I remembered a previous post in which I was studying the possibilities of
emulating the writing styles of the most brilliant writers. In this post I wrote about how Schiller used to write with his feet in a bucket of ice-cold water while invigorated by the smell of rotting apples. No wonder his works are so dramatic! Ice-cold water has to elicit a very intense response.

As I ponder all these things I am not sure that I am any closer to writing a dynamic cv. Perhaps I should put my feet in a bucket of ice-cold water...nah! the wind is chilly enough tonight.

I would gladly welcome any cv writing suggestions as I am not a very seasoned cv writer. I am thinking of including some quotes about teaching, reading, writing, poetry, prose and all things literary. If you have any favourite quotes about literature, I'd love to hear them. Leave me a link or a quote in the comments. If you have any inspiration or advice, leave that too.

Wish me luck. I'm sure I can prove I am an inspired and dynamic teacher somehow...

Saturday, October 7

I do love to cut a good rug. For those of you who love to dance, here are a few moves I would only try at home:

Thursday, October 5

Save the Missionaries!

Well clearly I am not as logical as Rebecca which is why I have spent way too long trying to save these missionaries to no avail! The solution is beyond me but I'm sure there's someone out there who can do it. So, here is the challenge: if you can save the missionaries let me know. There is no prize because I am prizeless; however, you will be able to say proudly that you are incredibly logical and that you have helped to save the missionaries. I thought missionaries were supposed to do the saving anyhow...

Monday, October 2

Why every time I have to write an essay do I feel incredibly sleepy?
I am so distracted from study. I have four weeks to go to complete my degree and then I am done! I have received really good results up till now and just have to keep going and get through the last four assignments maintaining my average so I can graduate with distinction. But I can't get there! I am soooo tired. I worked through my holiday to earn money and finish off jobs at my internship and now I feel like I could sleep anywhere. Up until now I have thought I would go on and study for another year after this one to obtain honours but now the thought of further study is so hard. I love study but another year?! And if I did honours and did well I would be so tempted to take up the invitation some of my professors have offered me to study PhD under their supervision. I am distracted. The sun is warm, summer is creeping in, I want to be outside and I want my degree to be over so I can prepare my CV for job applications. But then I hate the idea of saying goodbye to study. I am distracted by the many decisions I need to be making soon and can't seem to focus on the finish line ahead.
I'm sleepy.
Today's verse reminds me of a song we used to sing when I lived in community. It reminds me of this song because the song was actually written in response to this verse.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

The song went a little exactly like this:

"It's dangerous
to be concerned
with what others think of you
but if you trust
in the Lord
you are safe and that is true."
It was a good reminder to a whole heap of insecure teenagers and this is what we were. But you know, I find it encouraging now too. I worry all too often about what others think of me and forget that it really doesn't matter and can indeed be misleading to try to please people. Yet if I am concerned about how God sees me, I'll be fine.
I often worry about what people think of me and my situation. Will people think I am a bad person or bad christian for divorcing? Will people assume I was adulterous without trying to figure out the truth? Will people think I am looking to find a replacement father for my children? Will women think I am after their man just because I am a single mum? Will people think I am a bad mother for studying? Will people assume all of these things without getting to know me first. Inevitably the answer is yes. Yes they will and have assumed all of these things without trying to establish the truth. And it's sucky. But it's not important. Those who truly care stick around to find out the facts and get to know me. Those who care are direct enough to ask the questions they have about me and do so to understand, not to judge. Those who do care, care regardless of my situation and get to know my heart. It is more important that I know what God thinks of me. And I know he loves me no matter what. In this I am safe.

Sunday, October 1

I have not posted at length for a while because of a very silly reason. Yes, I have been busy but I have had moments spare in which posting would have been possible if it were not for one small detail: my fingernails.

You see, lately I have taken to having longer fingernails than usual. I like longer fingernails - especially of the French manicured variety - as they make my hand look far more feminine, tidy, clean and sophistocated. However, they are totally impractical. During the recent weeks in which I have been sporting these longer nails, I have discovered so many things I could not physically do because of my nails. Some of these are as follows:

Open cans of soft drink

Button my shirts

Rig boats


Take out my contact lenses

Find things in the bottom of my bag

Screw cameras onto tripods

Play bass

Get a strong grip on anything


SMS with ease and precision

This is not a lot of things but it is enough to make life rather tricky. I now have a dilemma: I like the look of long nails but the maintenance and the upkeep is incredible. The sporting of lovely long French manicured nails seems only possible for ladies of leisure rather than ladies who engage in real work. In fact this is exactly why in some countries long fingernails are a symbol of status and leisure. For example,

"In some Asian cultures men may also grow long fingernails, or only the nail on the little finger, to show that they do not do much manual labor, but instead work in an office setting."

Obviously these men do not type.

My question to you is this, how do you prefer your nails? If longish, how do you overcome the limitations longer nails impose? What is a comfortable length? Do you polish or go natural?