Saturday, 26 February 2011


i love reading. i feel blessed to have grown up in a house where reading was a daily activity and books were discussed at dinner (yes, we ate at the table as a family most nights, and i think it was incredibly formative for us.)

i'm trying to read more. it seems the more i knit, the less i read. weird, i know. in my mind, reading and knitting somehow are connected - maybe it's the sitting aspect? or the portability? or the ability each gives me to lose myself in the moment. a thing i don't like, is that knitting seems to increase the amount of tv watching i do. i'm really not thrilled by that. don't get me wrong, i'm not anti-tv, i love more than my fair share of television, and there are some really fantastic programmes out there - but i do think that less tv is better. le boy and i have actually made some clear decisions regarding the role of tv in our home and our lives.

so i'm hoping to read more this coming week. to be intentional in how i'm spending my time. on the go at the moment are the following:

- a million miles in a thousand years : donald miller (my book study with american girl)
- olive kitteridge : elizabeth strout (2009 pulitzer winner)
- the mitford sisters : charlotte mosley (unfortunately it's so large it resides permanently on my bedside table)
- daily bible reading via the youversion app on my iphone

ideally i'd like to be done olive kitteridge by the end of next week - i'd also like to be done the jumper i'm working on, so we'll see how it all pans out.

:posted on the go:

Thursday, 24 February 2011


saturday night is our engagement cocktail party! i'm so so so excited - it is going to be a great opportunity for our london guests to meet each other, and for us to celebrate with some of our dearest the journey toward marriage! making it even better is a quick trip over the pond by marvellous. i cannot wait.

i'm taking the opportunity to craft my way to heaven - and cook up a storm. i LOVE entertaining, and simply cannot wait until we have our own place. le boy and i have established one of our key values to be hospitality and we are hoping to be able to open our home and our lives to others.

the engagement party is proving a great opportunity to try out some decor and theme ideas for the wedding - our colours are navy and deep pink and our theme is 'a bicycle built for two.' le boy is an enormous cycling enthusiast and so it's apropos.

we're also trying to keep our food choices authentic to the food we love and to our home nations. and so i present the 'anzac' biscuit. the story goes that these biscuits were baked by wives of WWI soldiers because the biscuits could withstand the long journey by sea to the war in europe. consequently, they are a very dense, crisp biscuit, and have no major perishable ingredients. we plan to serve them with a topping of vanilla ice cream as a 'finishing' to the evening of champagne, hor d'ouvres, and immense excitement.

(adapted from

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

time to pray.

rather than blogging about my own situation today.

i'd like to ask you to spend the time you'd normally take to read this, praying for the people affected by the earthquake in christchurch, nz*.

i believe that god is listening...

dec 2010 sunset over lyttelton harbour - location of the epicentre of the quake

4-6 'I've heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here's what I'll do:...I'll save both you and this city...I have my hand on this city.  (Isaiah 38:5, The Message)

*for those interested tvnz and the nzherald are good sources of up-to-date information.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


christchurch cathedral - dec 2010

the single hardest things about living abroad is that there is always potential to be away from your family when something of significance happens - today we learned that christchurch has again sustained an earthquake. this will make three (plus the multitude of aftershocks) in six months.

le boy's family live in christchurch. and so my family now lives in christchurch too. thank god they are ok.

the photographs of destruction - places we stood not even two months ago, reduced to rubble - are reminders of the fragility of this life. 65 people have died so far, and it is unknown how many more are injured or trapped in buildings. it is night now, and it must be terrifying.

christchurch cathedral feb 22, 2011 -
my heart is burdened today for the people of christchurch, for my family who live in the city, for those kind kiwis i met on our travels, for my fiance as he watches from away. i am driven to my knees today, and i ask that you join me.

1 I love the Lord because he hears my voice
      and my prayer for mercy.
 2 Because he bends down to listen,
      I will pray as long as I have breath!
psalm 116:1&2 (NLT)

Monday, 21 February 2011


basically, it was the weekend that wasn't. as you know it ended in pain. but the first few moments were glorious.

blue sky day. jacket open temps. snow capped mountains beckoning us to feel the wind on our cheeks.

day two. tragedy.*

shortly after the above picture was taken, i tumbled my way down the mountain. this was not exactly my plan, but the knee was injured, and the mountain rescue (i'll admit, that was pretty exciting!) completed my journey to the bottom of the slopes. a couple of tips for would be european skiers - buy the extra insurance, two euros means not having to worry about how to get down the hill...totally worth it in moments of pain.

an ambulance took me to the 'hospital' this was really more like a doctor's office, that happened to have an x-ray machine and a doctor who makes his living diagnosing common ski injuries.  and how to recoup from said ski injury? with a french lunch of potatoes and bacon of course.

 it was still a great weekend. we enjoyed being away together. eating some really awesome french food. reading and knitting and watching dvds.  these things happen if you're going to play on mountains.

the lessons to be learned from this? ski with a buddy. get a knee brace. rehab in time for next year. never stop doing what gives you joy.

*please note i realise this wasn't actually a tragedy, but i have a penchant for being dramatic. it's just who i am.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


all this sitting around does have its benefits: knitting at lunch! and serious progress on the latest jumper pour moi!

there's been a lot of sitting - in france while laid up and watching dvd box sets, (how happy was i to have had the foresight to pack the needles?), on the slow bus that i'm taking into work these days rather than the crowded (and standing mandatory) train, in dr's offices while waiting for appointments - the latter two also requiring podcasts to get me through.  hopefully my knee will heal as quickly as this bit of knitting for myself is coming together.

i'm excited to get this finished up...both the knee and the jumper!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


anyone who has taken basic first aid or ever injured themselves will know that rice isn't just a sidedish. it's a recipe for healing.


ski weekend away ground to a halt on saturday morning, in brilliant sunshine with crisp cold air - too fast down a steep part of the hill, a patch of ice and another skier in my path culminated in what will now be known as the 'fall of 2011.' i've been skiing for pretty much my entire life - and wasn't ski-rescued until this weekend - but rescued i was, and i'm now contending with an unsteady knee, as the fall of 2011 included dislocating my left knee. but these things happen when you insist on being into sports. as yet, we're not sure what's happened, maybe a torn ACL? potentially just a sprain - i'll know more after my 'ski-injury' specialist appointment tonight.

so instead of go-ing all weekend. we spent a lot of it enjoying 'rice.' something that's not easy for either of us. particularly the rest part. (for me at least!)

but resting was (is still) necessary. resting was pretty much enforced, seeing as i couldn't really do much more than hobble. but it did give us some great time to just lie about and chat. to watch box dvd sets of the crime show: white collar (so so good!). and time to rest. which maybe is what we needed anyway?

my theology of rest is shaky. i'm a do-er. i need to cultivate a spirit of be-ing. and so while this injury is sidelining me for probably the next couple of months - i'm hoping that god will use it to teach me some new things - maybe, particularly about rest. about taking time to slow down. about focussing on what god has done. and being contented with that.

 13  "Remember what Moses the servant of God commanded you: God, your God, gives you rest and he gives you this land. "  (Joshua 1:13, The Message)

Thursday, 10 February 2011


happy. happy. happy birthday my love.

looking forward to this weekend, this year, and all of the weekends and years to follow!

when i found him whom my soul loves -
  i held him, and would not let him go

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


the third reflection on marriage from an engaged girl. read the first one here. and the second one here.

recently in marriage prep we were encouraged to make time for our marriage - the leaders literally call it 'marriage time.' (we're working on another name...) but the suggestion is that you build time in daily, weekly and yearly to invest in your marriage as a couple. we had a great time thinking and dreaming of all the things we could do for marriage time - all the things we like to do together - and there are dozens.

i suppose a fear (concern?) of mine is that once we get married, we'll forget to remember to invest in the relationship. we'll be done 'dating,' and while i want to be married, i still want date, i still want to do fun things and learn more about my partner and build our relationship in way that can only happen when you set aside time to be with each other. and so i'm writing this down - to remember not to forget that making time is important. that intentionally making time - which we're very good at right now, is something at which we need to get better.

daily time:
  • eating together daily
  • praying together
  • intentionally showing affection 
  • speaking in kindness & love
  • acting thoughtfully toward one another
weekly time:
  • date night 
  • running
  • bike rides 
  • going for walks 
  • weekend brunch 
  • attending a lecture or event 
  • seeing a movie or play
  • going out for dinner 
yearly time:
  • a weekend away - by ourselves

we do so many of these things on a regular basis already, but there is the possibility to become 'used' to each other. i do not want to take my husband for granted. i want to revel in his love, and he in mine, and i want the love we share to reflect christ's love to world.

we're away this weekend - in a favourite place, doing a favourite thing - skiing! i am so excited to spend the weekend with my love, sharing something we both love. i don't for a second doubt god's purposing us for each other - there is just too much we share - and i am so looking forward to establishing a good habit of investing time with one another.

 12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
 15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.  (Colossians 3:12-17, The Message)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


the second reflection on marriage from an engaged girl. read the first one here.

we've spent time recently thinking through, talking about, and getting our heads around money. our money. for two fiercely independent souls such as ourselves - money in many ways represents one of our biggest challenges. not because we don't agree. or because we spend differently. or even because we come from diametrically opposed places...none of these things categorize our conversations about money. but because we both like having 'my money,' and having 'our money' well that just seems too intimate.

and so we are stumbling through this oh-so-big aspect of marriage, determined to talk and think and eventually act in a way that is rooted in love. that recognizes and celebrates our differences, but that also finds a common ground. money fights (to me a non-married) seem incredibly pointless - i'd really rather use the energy for something worth it. and really when you're fighting about money with your spouse - are you really fighting about money? or are you fighting about the value they are placing on something that you are not comfortable with?

at the heart of it all isn't actually the balance of the bank account, or really even our personal money independence - at the heart i think is that money most frequently points directly to what we value. where our money goes - is where our hearts live. a newly-married friend of mine once said that conversations about money are often the most vulnerable - yes, i spend this much on dry cleaning, and clothing and make up. but you, you spend that much on sports gear and lunch? it is so easy to become defensive of our way of life - of how we live - of what we value.

learning to be vulnerable is so difficult. it hits at the centre of all you think and do and believe. but in so many ways these conversations are opening up much bigger truths to us, about us, than about how we use our money. because the conversations become about how we will honour god, and how we will bless others, and how we will sacrifice and serve each other, and how we hope to build our family. the questions and conversations become centred on who we dream ourselves to be. who we believe god dreams us to be. and how we value what we have been blessed with. money is completely uncertain, while christ is completely certain. the question becomes what do we value most?

 17-19Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.  (1 Timothy 6:17, The Message)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


the british are exceptionally good at walking. particularly when the weather is good - although really one cannot depend on weather here, and so walking happens regardless of sunshine.

friday morning i felt a deep desire to spend time in the woods. to walk and think. to talk and laugh. to spend time in creation. to take a break from all the busy-ness and wedding planning and marriage preparation and just spend time with my guy. fortunately, it's rare that le boy passes up an opportunity to spend time out-of-doors, and so a plan was formulated to escape the city and enjoy the country. fuelled by a breakfast of good coffee, home-made granola and fresh toast, we took to the sunday adventure before us.

le boy catching me unawares while i reconfigure the clothing situation...

it was a perfect day. cool and crisp. evidence of frost and icy puddles. we donned hats and boots and explored the hills of surrey. leith hill and box hill.

the path was frequented by cyclists and walkers alike. families out for a stroll. and dogs excited to frolic in the leaves and mud.

it's all different colours this time of year - browns juxtaposed against evergreens. winter light streaming though branches making shadow patterns on the forest floor. the beginnings of spring are happening underfoot - but are not yet seen.

the blueness of the sky did me in that day. it's the end of january and we all know it will be months before real warmth comes and flowers show themselves in earnest. we know that there will be rain and fog and dampness. that wool coats and scarves are a must for much longer. but sunday was a glimpse at what to expect - a reminder that great things are just around the corner. indeed they are here right now.

God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. Gen 2:8

links: leith hill