electrical storm

Friday, April 13, 2007

a small hello.

Well, it's nearly two months since i blogged, so it seems about time for an update. Today is a beautiful day in Glasgow, and it's made even more beautiful because its a friday and the radio is playing happy music. My first week of final term of first year (what a mouthful) is over, and the weekend is here. It has been a particularly hectic week because ive been trying to complete a Russian project to hand in. I finally managed that yesterday, and since then the world has seemed so much more of a friendly place once again.

By the way, just a note while i'm here, but how annoying is this new blogger stuff, its really messed me around! grrr!

So much has happened during this last term that it would seem pointless to try and recall it all. Although it seemed to take ages to go by at the time, when looking back it feels like it lasted only moments. Spending time with friends, writing essays, visiting people around the UK, and involvement in CU (which seems to be taking over my life!) all made it go by very quickly. Of course among all this there is wedding planning, as it is now only a little over three months until the big day. This takes over life in a way inexplicable to anyone who hasnt done it themselves. I would never have thought it could be so absorbing.....if i ever do it again (only kidding alan) i think i'll elope. But im so grateful that we have our families around us, supporting us in everything. I miss alan right now, we're back in Glasgow so seeing each other less than we were when we were at home over easter, and its an unwelcome adjustment to have to make again.

well, i hope you are all doing well, and that life is good. till next time. x

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

if you can't work...blog!

Hi. I'm sitting at my desk in Glasgow, in a bit of a panic it has to be said. I've just realised there is only one month of this term left, and i have so much work to do. Three major deadlines, and no time to meet them in. And besides, even if i DID have the time, i don't have a clue where to start. Oh its going to get ugly. See, if i can't do something, i try and put it off as long as possible, until the last minute preferably, at which point i totally lose my head and end up in bed eating chocolate ice cream with sad music on.

Aside from work paranoia, im doing well. We've started a Christianity Explored course in my halls, and currently have 8 people coming along. Im also still involved in CU, which takes up a lot of time. And me and alan are looking for a flat for the summer, it's all getting real now!

well, im going to go and try to do some russian. Wish me luck. Why on earth did i think it was a good idea to take a language, hmmm? michael and daniel, you have something to answer to!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

3 days...

...till i go back to Newcastle for Christmas. I cant quite believe that the term is over, and i'm going to leave this place for a whole month. The idea of living in a house with only three people where i dont have to remove the hair of random strangers from the plug and lose an outer layer of skin everytime i shower seems, well, odd. I'm also loath to not spend christmas at Hope Church, where me and alan have settled in this last two months. I'm so glad we have found a church that we like and has welcomed us in, big answer to prayer.

But i am really excited about having Christmas in my house, i havent since 2003; 2004 was spent in Kosova, and 2005 in Hull with my grandma. So i am very "jazzed" , to coin a phrase, about decorating the tree, eating lots of good food [mum can do the cooking!],and watching Christmas films. Im also excited to be seeing friends from home, and anna & mike, and even, yes, alan; contrary to popular rumour, we dont get to see all that much of each other up here. But its an improvement on last year, and the year before - 2004-5 was spent thousands of miles apart, 2005-6 only hundreds, and this year, just a couple. Next year, thank goodness, none.

Good things yet to happen before i leave Glasgow on saturday are; a carol service organised by all the christian unions in the city on wednesday night, a christmas dinner with about 14 of the girls on the corridor on thursday night, and a big night out on friday. Just hope the weather calms down before the drive home on saturday, because its like a gale out there at the moment. I seem to be spending the majority of my days drying wet clothes or myself. Anyway, until the next time, hopefully before the 25th, merry christmas! oh no, sorry.... happy "winter holiday"......

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Glasgow, consider yourself embraced"

Today is friday, and the end of a very productive week, or so i say so myself. Not in terms of work (for which i have to admit ive done the bare minimum), but with regard to all things otherwise important, yes. This season of super-intense-activity began a week ago, when i decided to get the train home for an impromptu visit to Newcastle; totally unplanned, this was the consequence of my hall's seemingly emptying for this particular 48 hour stretch, and also the realisation that i might as well take advantage of the freedom i currently have to drop everything and go to see my family as and when i please while i have it. Time at home was very relaxing, i spent it with my parents mostly, but also got to meet up with friends who are sorely missed in Glasgow.

I embarked on my return to good old Scotland in the early hours of monday morning, and since then have been embroiled in a manic combination of lectures, christian union stuff, catching up with people, getting the car M.O.T'd with alan's amazing help (it passed, by the way!) and generally managing to feed myself and survive daily doses of Glasgow drenching. The Glasgow weather is truly amazing, and i am learning to love it in all its variety - despite the fact that it has recently cost me a very beloved umbrella which had withstood the worst Newcastle had to offer with regard to mini-hurricanes and gale-force winds quite nicely for many a year. It will be replaced tomorrow, and the battle will re-commence ("Sarah vs the Elements", that is).

But overall, I am feeling very contented. This mainly because thanks to a weekend away I've come back feeling like i can take on life with renewed energy....... although i'll admit that i dont ALWAYS feel this positive, especially when i'm only halfway through my day and am contemplating all the gymnastical feats of being in several places at once that are yet to be performed before bed can welcome me home. This, i am learning, is the life of a student; and as much as i complain, its exciting! i keep being told that it is likely i will never again meet such a range of people, and that i should embrace this ooportunity with all i have. Glasgow, consider yourself embraced.

I am also happy because i think my budget is going to stretch to the end of term, always a good feeling. Hurrah! now ive just got to work out how im going to survive christmas. A hand-to-mouth affair, i do believe. I was reading ecclesiastes the other day, and this struck me; "Don't fight the ways of God.....enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God".

Something wholly unconnected, but that is in my mind at present. I am studying or "reading", as the older generation might say, "Sociology and Anthropology" at University, along with Russian and Eastern Europe. However, it is the first of those subjects that is causing me much thought at the moment. The current module is being taught by the head of our department, and is "Gender and Sexuality". These lectures have covered a wide range of issues enfolded by this heading, from feminism and patriarchy to sexual discrimination, and from there on to heterosexuality, homosexuality, bi-sexuality, transsexualism and transgenderism. Although we encounter at least some of those issues on a daily basis, and are regularly exposed to others via the media, i have found these lectures quite challenging, as much of what is taught squarely conflicts my personal beliefs.

For example. I was in a tutorial the other day (which is basically where the 300 strong class breaks into groups of ten to discuss the content of the lectures in more depth) and the lady leading my group was an absolute feminist. This was to such an extent that she appeared to be condemning any woman who would ever want to get married and have a family, saying that such a person was weak and enabling male domination to continue. Hmmmm, definitely creating an atmosphere where the Christian twenty year old who is getting married in eight months will feel like her opinion will be valued! to be blunt, i found her comments quite insulting. I believe myself to be independent in many things; i have opinions, dreams and a voice of my own. And I definitely have no desire to become a baby-machine, contrary to popular belief - although i do want to have children sometime in the future. But i DO believe that while women (and men, lets be fair now!) should not be discriminated against for their sex (and defining what actually counts as discrimination is a a whole other rats nest), God did create us differently, and with different roles to fulfil, and to fight that is to fight our creator. Which lets face it, is one battle we arent likely to win. In short, I have been repeatedly struck throughout this series of lectures by what a contrast exists between the stance modern society says i should take on issues of gender and sexuality, and what i believe the bible tells me.

For example (again!); my lecture yesterday was on hetero vs homosexuality. In this lecture, i was encouraged to seriously consider the concept that being heterosexual, as the majority of the world's population still owns to be, is not in fact the result of an inherent characteristic - ie, it may not be how we naturally are. My lecturer proposed the idea that the prevailing existence of heterosexuality as the "main choice" of sexuality is nothing to do with how we innately are, and everything to do with how society wants us to be; ie, that the majority of people who are heterosexual are so because that is the sexual orientation proscribed through law, gender ideology, and most importantly, religion. This would suggest that, actually, there is no right or wrong sexual orientation, only more accepted and therefore dominant and less accepted and therefore less dominant sexual norms within society.

However, the bible tells me that God said, "it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him", and shortly after, "man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one" (Genesis 2), and clearly says that God created us to be in relationship male and female, in marriage. This tells me that God created us as innately heterosexual.

But still I find myself in turmoil, as even though i am sure of the beliefs i hold, i am increasingly seen as condemnatory of people who profess a different view of sexuality to myself. I do not like this. The thought that people look at me and think i hate people for their sexuality or consider myself superior is not something i am comfortable with - because i do not hate people, and i don't think i am superior in anyway. But i cannot compromise on my beliefs, because I believe in God, and that means that i ultimately believe in His word, which instructs us on how to live - though it also offers grace, thank God. I guess i just have to keep praying that I will know what to do and say in these situations i am finding myself in. So many people feel that because of the attitude of many christians, God hates people who are homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, whatever; but the plain fact is, God loves people, thats why Jesus died for us. I wish this could be known.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

This weekend has been maybe the most surreal of the term so far. Suz and alan left me on friday to travel to their separate destinations, which has never happened before, and anna was here in Glasgow - which has also never happened before. Unlike weekends past, which have whipped by at break-neck pace, the last few days have felt like a lazy eternity of lie-ins and luxury. I've also spent a lot of money, enjoying doing nice things with anna like going to pizza hut and shopping, both infrequent since i became a student seven weeks ago. But i find myself feeling quite morose as i sit in room, listening to the fire works. I hate goodbyes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


i'm better! hurrah. It is amazing to feel like myself again. Just wanted to say :D

Monday, October 23, 2006

allergy day three. I didn't go into uni today because i was so irritated and sore. It sucks! ive been to the pharmacist, but they sent me to the doctors. Ive got a prescription and been told to stay away from witch hazel, which is what caused it. This means that for the rest of my life i can write down something on the health section of forms that ive always had to leave blank before! here is me, feeling sad with cream on my face.