Saturday, 19 July 2008

Saturday morning: early!

We marked Rowan's birthday with a trip to London to see The Feeling, with brother and sister-in-law Dave and Shelley. It was a fantastic gig, an open-air spectacular in the courtyard of Somerset House. I'll resist the temptation to give you more lyrics-inspired wisdom but will confess that seeing the Union Jack flying high on the House behind the stage did cause a moment of emotion. I did catch myself pondering how happy I'd be losing my British/English identity. I guess I'll have to let you know on that one!

This morning we have people being shown round the house - prospective tenants. That meant no lay-in; get up early to finish yesterday's late-night cleaning and tidying. Down time is definitely at a premium at the moment, not that life has ever been particularly slow round here! But before we know it we'll be in a van driving across Europe. The next month-and-a-half pans out as a week of this, a week of that, a week of this, a week of this, a couple of weeks of that, a week of this and we're off! And with that I'll end this rambling post and grab some breakfast.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The video I didn't make!

So there are two parts to this...

Part 1: In which Matthew stays up late to wrestle with Moviemaker. Loses!

It's true it wasn't an epic late night, but neither did I get a result. I'm trying to make a short video for a Novi Most fundraiser we're doing at the Move, the youth venue at Kingdom Faith's Faith 08 event starting next weekend. The Move does a fundraiser every year, donating the money raised to project around the world. This year it will go towards a new 'combi' van for the Novi Most team in Mostar. The video will get made. It's just the camcorder is refusing to talk nicely to any of three differnt PCs I've introduced it to!

Part 2: In which Matthew fails to find the guts to ask the nurse something!

Rowan dared me to ask if I could YouTube my injections this afternoon. They were in the upper arm so it would have been decent but despite the nurse being friendly enough I didn't sieze the opportunity. I did make a video explaining this, but that's not the same I know. But we should all be pleased to know Rowan and I are now pretty much sorted when it comes to protections from poisons...or something!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

My time for letting go

As a songwriter I've always held to the rule that you should never chuck any lyric ideas away. I got very irritated with someone who once scribbled over some ideas in one of my notebooks to the point they were indecipherable. Even if lyrics are discarded from one composition they may find a home in another. And if they are completely rubbish they remain as an encouragement of how far my craft has developed!

Moving means chucking away and so it was during Saturday's populating of bin bags with trinkets of old that I discovered a scrap of paper from the note block that sits by the home phone. I can't remember writing the lines on it but they're definitely my scrawl. I could have penned them now so here they are...lyrics from a song I never wrote!

I wanna hold everything forever
Don't wanna choose what to let go
But I can't put my hands up and still hold
Everything forever
Surrender is my time for letting go

Friday, 11 July 2008

Unprecedented shopping!

As weather goes England is pretty bland, certainly in the part of south-east England we live in. Sure today is almost the middle of July and it was pouring with rain, but the temperature climbed to the modest low-twenties and life went on as normal. Having lived so long in the climatically average environment our wardrobe is a little short of clothes suited to extremes. Bosnia Herzegovina has both of them. Long, hot summers of the like we've never experienced before and winters that actually get cold, with winds that blow right through you.

So we knew we had to shop. That is no great hardship, although faced with so many gaps to be filled we could see the potential for a account-emptying day out. But we're never ones to be beaten when it comes to hunting down bargains. Thanks to a tip off from friends we started the day in a fashion outlet park, from there taking in a couple of TK Maxx's and a Decathlon.

We still spent some money, but a faction of the RRP value of what came home with us. I won, scoring over £500 worth of merchandise for just over £130! Split over 15 items, including two pairs of decent footwear, a couple of technical garments and a tracksuit, that makes and average per item of £8.89. (Rowan's average item price was a similarly impressive £11.80.) So today was a good day. All we have to do now is find new homes for our old shoes and clothes that won't be making the trip!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Two months today...

Two months today we'll be driving across Europe with all our most important possessions packed in the back of a van. It's a funny thought. There's still something slightly unreal about it. Perhaps it won't dawn on us until the morning we leave, perhaps it won't hit home until we walk into our new accommodation in Mostar. I have so little experience of moving it's really hard to predict.

I was telling a friend today that part of me would like to fast forward from now until then - skipping the whole, undoubtedly painful, process in-between. But it doesn't work like that. And nor should it. The leaving and grieving is important. So far it's not been outwardly emotional, or at least not in a sobbing kind of way. (Doubtless that'll come!) But locking the door on our church youth event on Saturday night was strange. It's been one of the centre points of almost every weekend for the last five and a half years. It's over now. That the event won't outlive us only makes it more poignant. For some people that will really leave a hole. We can't deny the holes hurt.

Still, I'll drag this back from the brink and end with this video clip just uploaded on our WeDoAdventure YouTube channel. It's short and sweet and shows me smiling - enjoy!