Topless bars and mountains
st_martin_a


This is where I was at the weekend.
About 20 people from my church went on a challenge a few days earlier where they climbed the three biggest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales. I drove up for the final one (in Wales) with my two Venezuelan friends Antonio and Sergio.
It was funny - the three of us stopped at a seaside town on the way because Sergio wanted to watch the Madrid/Juventus soccer match. We could only find only 3 pubs in the town to try and watch it - one was a really seedy looking bar with "topless barmaids", another one looked a bit rough and the third looked quite classy. So we went to the classy one and it didn't have a tele... We asked them where they recommended and they said that there were only 4 pubs in the whole town - one of them they recommended we should stay away from, and there wasn't much difference between the other two (the topless one and another one)?! What the?
We decided to drive onto another town and found a half-respectable one where we had a decent view of the tv screen.
We met the others from church later at the youth hostel that we stayed at and the next day we climbed Crib Goch. Crib Goch leads onto Mount Snowdon and is great climb. It has some vertical rock faces and one of the guys with us was an experienced climber who liked taking us on routes with "a bit of spice" (as he put it). It was an awesome day. Stunning scenery.

One from the archives
st_martin_a
I've been lost in this book 'In Order To Live' by Yeonmi Park. She goes from one kind of hell to another in her journey from N. Korea, to China, to Mongolia, to South Korea and it's made me appreciate what refugees have to go through a little bit more.
I read on Twitter that her story is "lies", but when I looked into this, apparently she'd just made a few minor inconsistencies (such as what films she'd seen illegally in N. Korea) which resulted in someone claiming her whole story was therefore unreliable. ?! Seems like an unfair claim. To me she is a true hero and I have nothing but admiration for her.

Today I managed to get outside with two of my sons on the bikes. It was an enjoyable ride. We had a game of tennis in the park and then cycled back. Beautiful day. Warm. Calm. : )

Found this old photo from the archives today. This is the band I played in in the '90's, but which one is me?
10 points for correct answers.



(no subject)
st_martin_a
This came to mind today.
I saw this film when I was about 14 and it's always stayed with me somehow.
King Creole.
This is the opening scene:
https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=XrC5Aybim-Y
(Type into youtube: "Elvis crawfish" if it doesn't work).
You got it eviltracey
There's something about the tone of Elvis's voice and I could identify with his character in this film probably more than any other when I was that age. He was an underdog, a dreamer, an outsider, a bit pretentious... pretty much summed me up. Probably still does. : )

(no subject)
st_martin_a


I nearly had a very special moment today.
I found my old record player. I set it up, found my old Prince records, put Purple Rain on the turntable, pressed play, waited for that crackle as the arm moved into place, waited, and the needle didn't drop onto the record...
My record player doesn't work.
What a shame.
There's something really special about record players.
Apparently, because the sound from them is analogue and not digital, the sound quality is better. People claim the sound is warmer/touches them more.

Even the covers of my records bring back so many feelings. I thinks it because they were from my teenage years.

Lol. I remember I cut one of my T-shirts to be like Prince's in the Kiss picture.


There's a time to work, there's a time to be lazy
st_martin_a
I've had a great start to my holiday.
Chilled.
The weather has been beautiful.
I've had the doors into my garden open for hours on end.
Sitting on my decking eating outside.
Watching the kids playing soccer with each other.
Playing soccer with the kids.
Chilled.
I've still been working out. That keeps my mind positive. And my body. I'm also reading this fascinating book by a girl who lived in North Korea. Her way of life out there is totally fascinating. People aren't allowed to question the authorities at all in North Korea and can be arrested for even the slightest hint of it. Reading about it from personal testimony is really interesting. It's made me value dw/lj as a source of shared experience from a range of cultures.

Saturday night in Sutton
st_martin_a
It's 3:00 in the morning and I'm just back from street pastoring. There were 6 of us on tonight - Michael, a doctor; Mark, a partially blind guy; another guy called Mark, who's got two daughters that are in the same year as one of my sons at school; Gillian, a woman in her 60's; and Antonio, my Venezuelan friend.
It started fairly quiet but quickly became the usual night of drunk people, homeless people, club promoters, policemen, drunken fights nearby, drunk aggressive guys approaching us. One of them was making no sense as he spoke to us. I just about picked up that he had been involved in some violent behaviour in his past. Then he pointed at me and said: "He scares me"... Antonio is a big guy and I knew that if anyone got violent he would step in but I still hate unnecessary confrontation. I laughed it off and fortunately the drunk guy did too. Phew...
We had to call two ambulances tonight. One was for a guy who'd been jumped and was unconscious; the other was for another guy who'd passed out after complaining of chest pains.
As we were leaving at the end of the night, we passed a few of the homeless guys. One of them had a guitar and was playing and singing. He had a good voice and it was a cool scene to leave behind at the end of the night.

(no subject)
st_martin_a
The cycle ride into work yesterday morning was beautiful. It was sunny, there was a clear blue sky and I was able to appreciate the ride without getting lost in my own mind too much.
The day itself was full on and I don't think I ate enough for lunch. I didn't feel very energetic on the cycle ride home. I felt exhausted when I got in and fell asleep in front of the tele at 8:30.
This morning I had a meeting with the Head teacher about the need to get book marking up to scratch. I know he's on the case with every department in the school and that we're probably one of the better ones but I've got one member of staff who is employed through an agency who doesn't mark her books well and doesn't care. She's leaving in August. She could potentially cause problems for me next half term.
Trying to keep things in perspective...
A week off now.
Trying to think positive.

(no subject)
st_martin_a
Just been watching the footage on the Ariana Grande bombing in Manchester. Hearing the testimony of this couple who were looking for their daughter and helped this other young girl who had been badly hurt by the explosion.
I think it's the genuine care that they gave to this girl that they didn't know, while still wondering whether their own daughter was dead...absolutely heartbreaking.
....still reflecting on it all...
X

(no subject)
st_martin_a
School was busy today but the day went fast. I was going to do a workout at the end of the day in the school gym but after one rep I realized that I was still recovering from Saturday so I left it.
It was a beautiful warm evening for a change in England so I played footie with my 7 year old in the garden for a bit. It's supposed to be warm all week so I'll probably cycle in tomorrow. I love being out in the sun.
I've also been overdosing on American tv recently. After Preacher and American Gods I found another one called Hap & Leonard. It wasn't quite as good as the other 2 but then I realized the only reason I was watching it was because I had a crush on the character Trudy played by Christina Hendricks...
I can't get Twin Peaks yet.
Hopefully soon.

Childhood
st_martin_a
I heard this song the other day. Reminds me of my childhood. My Dad was a Glaswegian. He moved to London when he was 19, met my mum, she got pregnant, they married and then I was born. We lived in a council flat in London for two years. Then my Dad got a job in a town called Bedford 50 miles away. Everything we owned fitted into a car so when we moved house my Dad put everything into his mini and drove up. My Mum had to make her way there with me on the train. It was the first time we'd been to Bedford. We didn't have hardly any furniture but we had a record player and Dad always used to play this:
https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=WOHPuY88Ry4
It reminds me of being a kid more than any other song.

Edit: if the youtube doesn't work properly, type in 'johnny cash boy named sue'.

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