Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Horror Hellfire

Well in America there is Trick or Treat, a kind of very wimpy excuse for blackmail. Here in the North East we have true Halloween Horror in Tim Burton style! (courtesy of the forestry commission)
James has just returned from a Halloween walk in the Woods (in the dark by moonlight!) where hidden around the Branch Walkway were various people in costume ready to leap out at unsuspecting children. He encountered skeletons sitting on the fence, various witches, people swinging devils by the tail blocking the path, he was chased by zombies and a "man with no face" and the worst (best) was a doctor who was disembowelling someone and throwing the guts at the children "it was only bits of pumpkin Dad!"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kiwis in Normandy

So we are back in the land of autumnal cold. The Orne was having an indian summer whilst we were there, and walking in the woods in shirtsleeves spotting mushrooms was the order of the day.
We found a fabulous cider farm where James played on the old stone press and I was shown round the barn - I ended up buying 12 bottles of the demi-sec after a two hour tasting in the sun with the owners.

We went to the local market as usual and Anne chatted up the various french men including "Fred Pizza" (yes he makes the pizza!).
Highlights of the trip this time included the morning when I leant out of my dining room window to look out along the street and I was hailed by two older french women down below. I went down below to see what they were on about and it turned out that they thought I was the local Gynaecologist who`d made an appointment for them to be seen down below! It was an easy mistake to make as he has big blue double doors as well as us. Anyway I was delighted to direct them along the street to his offices and I felt as if I`d just become a local.
Scott and I cleaned out the drains fronting the house onto the street which led to another conversation with the neighbours, the other neighbour Jean Claude gave us some of his apples and Anne made a great Tarte Tatin.
We closed the week with a great meal out at the Auberge Clouet round the corner where Anne had the largest Oysters you`ve ever seen and Angus had an apple sorbet in a lake of calvados.
There is loads to do in the house still and we will need to go over as often as possible to keep up with stuff but so far it has been great fun.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Family gathering in Normandy

We met up (without Ruth) with the Kiwi cousins and David and Sarah at the french house. Islay and Faye were doing a european tour with their parents Scott the Aussie vet and Fiona (Anne`s big sis). For now here are some pics of James flanked by Faye on the left and Islay on the right, and also the three Rhodes siblings Anne, David and Fiona enjoying fizz.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Count Dracula

So here is Count Dracula going to a "Spooky party", also there was a Skeleton, several Witches and assorted vampires.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mid-life crises

Job 14:1 "Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.
A depressing text which can come to dominate the mind as I reflect on what is going on around us.
So many of our friends are currently struggling with major stresses ranging from bereavements of parents or friends, divorce, family illness and severe work pressure.
We all know we should sleep more, exercise more than once in a blue moon and eat more healthily (well I do one of the three thanks to Anne and Debbie and their salad obsession).
The solution is not the above, however hard we try!
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." Philippians 3:8.
The last few weeks have been a bit overwhelming for me and I have been forcibly reminded that if I want to cope in my own strength I am going to suffer stress related conditions. Even worse I have realised that my personal aims have been seduced away from the basic fact that ALL THINGS are but loss compared to the excellency of KNOWING the one person who is my all in all.
'nuff said!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bethany Childrens Choir

We were visited by a children`s choir from Tanzania who sang and danced, transforming our church with joyous rhythms and beaming smiles. They have a fantastic website with songs and video to download - just click on the title of this blog!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Freshers Week

An update from newcastle university! After a week of non-stop partying and no sleep, myself and my flatmates (Clare, Laura, Jess, Charlotte and Katie) took our duvets into the sitting room and had a girlie night in with pizzas and cheesy films.

Highlights of the week include the fairground rides at the beach party, judge jules, a trip to asda and the freshers finale pub crawl.

On saturday we walked into town and tried on silly hats in Accessorize. In the middle is Katie from Liverpool and on the right is Clare from Northern Ireland.

And finally, by special request, Gregg from flat a throwing up into a bucket after too much vodka, as flatmate Laura tries to look the other way.

Lectures start tomorrow!
xx Ruth

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Flood

So we survived a 450 mile round trip in two days - crossing the Yorkshire moors to Humberside via the Humber bridge and then down through Tennyson country to Norfolk and the Fens.
BUT the gorgeous weather did not hold out into the second day!! I was perturbed to see animals being led from the fields two by two as we were still 20 miles south of the Humber bridge - the skies turned black as pitch and a biblical deluge fell on us! My Arizonan cowboy boots betrayed their fancy Dan origins and filled with water, closely followed by gloves and the seat of my pants! Only 120 miles to go, soaking wet with a 70 mph wind blast pushing the water into your chest. Crossing the Humber in the rain and wind was exhilerating - how we suffered for our art. Funnily enough it was one of the best bits of the whole trip. We had to defrost in Helmsley for a pot of tea and caramel shortbread `cos we are well `ard bikers.
Whilst I was away James learnt to ride his bike properly so he joins the biking fraternity. We are celebrating with the weekend curry tonight.
Also Anne is thinking of getting a 125cc and learning to ride so she can come on these mad trips - maybe West Coast, Norway, South of France!!