Next report!

Well, I just discovered that Semagic managed to post my last entry four times. Madness… each time it managed to tell me it hadn’t gone through properly so I resent it.

Anyway. Friday and Saturday report time!

Friday: got up later than on Thursday – hooray! My dad woke me up at 9.30am when he got back from the dentist… Went into Bangor at about 4.30pm, somehow found Peter King a birthday present (cordless screwdriver – tools seem to be a theme for his birthday this year!) and went off to his party via his sister and brother-in-law’s house. Good craic, although there were LOADS of kids. Getting to the point where Peter and Kate are about the only married couple for miles who haven’t started their family yet…

Really good though to catch up with people, most of whom I hadn’t seen for many months. Shocked Kate because I liked birthday cake – I said “Victoria sandwich – any time”.

Anyway. Taxi back to my grandma’s – same driver as took me from Fisherwick after Andy Flan, great craic. Got to bed after midnight, and set the alarm for a shocking 6.30am… eek!

This morning, I left my grandma’s (hopefully without waking her up, she didn’t show any signs of it despite her bedroom door being wide open when I was putting lights on and off elsewhere in the house) after a nice breakfast at 7.25 to get the train to Botanic, then walked round to the Church of Ireland Centre via Easons in Botanic Avenue. Left about 9am with Claire Hewitt and Sam Williamson in Doug Smith’s car for Kilmore House in Glenariff.

For those who don’t know, Kilmore House is used as a retreat house by assorted groups. It is maintained by the Christian Brothers, and is primarily used I think by Catholic schools for weekends etc. It also gets used by Christian groups who know about it from other places, and Youth Initiatives, whose TEC (Together Encounter Christ) weekends I went on for some years makes very regular use of it.

Today, though, it was for church – our Alpha Day Away. The day itself went well, just good to be hanging out, listening to the talks, discussing and worshipping.

Before lunch, we went for a walk in Glenariff Forest Park, up the waterfalls – haven’t done that for about seven years, or even longer. Shock horror! So we walked up, had a snowball fight as we went (there was lots of snow to have a fight with, having fallen on Thursday night!), and got to the top car park and waited for Lesley Pollock (assistant chaplain) to pick up the two drivers – for ages. Long enough to continue the snowball fight… then Doug went and got his car (a mile back down the trail), and met Lesley on the way – she couldn’t get in because the gates were closed.

So Lesley went back down to the bottom car park (at the Manor Lodge pub, although we didn’t go in), and Doug took us back down another trail. Claire, Karen Brown and I were chatting well behind the others, so we didn’t see them taking a right turn – fortunately, when we looked down the right-hand track, I saw someone turning the next corner, so we didn’t have to guess. Sam took Doug’s car back down while Doug conducted us, and a hungry group got back for a late lunch!

Got back to the Church of Ireland Centre about 5.30pm, and headed down the church and did a bit of jamming with two of the guys from Janus Head. Fortunately I can read basslines from a guitar player reasonably well… not perfectly, but I can read fretboards. Add in an ear, and we’re fine.

Then I went home, took my third antibiotic of the day (they run out on Monday – hooray!) and went to sleep for an hour or two. Excellent idea. Woke up and watched a program about Band Aid: the record that rocked the world, and now a programme about Rock artists (see the current music thing in this blog).

And I’m still sneezing. Back to work on Monday, and to be honest I’m not sure how much better I really am healthwise. Soon find out.