Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Out of Range

I do want to say thanks to everyone who has followed our story on this blog.

I so appreciate your love, support and prayers.

I am not sure when I will next update you on the adventure...our computer has been packed away on the container for 2 months.My laptop died 4 months ago and I have no mobile...yes without an iPhone again! I do not even have access to facebook (How will I cope returning to the dark ages? Relying upon talking to people face to face!)

For now .... goodbye!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Unemployed

A week ago all 6 in our house had jobs... and now we have none!

Isaac & Lois have stopped their paper rounds.

Josh has done his last lot of junk mail.

Dan has served his time at the City Beach department store.

Nicky has handed on the baton of school secretary

I have preached my least sermon and stop being employed at the church at the end of May.

For the 1st time in my life I will be unemployed...nervous as I have bills to pay: exciting as I wait to see what happens next!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Dan The Man!

In our house the man is a legend!

Dan has lived with the family for the past 7 months.... he has been fantastic! We are going out for Pizza together tonight - the last supper - before he heads for the airport ready to fly home in the early hours tomorrow (Yes I am getting up at 2:30am to take him to Perth International).

As a family we have loved splashing in the pool with him, celebrating Christmas & birthdays, eating shapes, playing down the park and chatting over meals.

I have so appreciated time with him...(as an outward processor I would have exploded if I have been left in the house by myself all the time). It has been great chatting with him, having time to walk and pray together and see him grow in his disciplines and bringing contributions on a Sunday meeting.

I am sure that he will do great things in the future.

I know his dad will not let him go - but he is welcome to join our family any time!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Generosity

Wikipedia:
Generosity is the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering time, assets or talents to aid someone in need.

I find generous people so inspiring!

Recently Nicky & I went our for dinner with another church leader and his wife. They were great company and we had a lovely evening. It was even more incredible when they not only insisted on paying the bill but produced a goodie bag they had thoughtfully put together: it had chocolate, wine and sweets well as a lovely card expressing their warmth to us as friends!

Since people have heard of our decision to return to the UK I have been overwhelmed with peoples love, support and desire to help.

I know that we serve a generous God - it is great to see the family trait in the church!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cleaning from the outside in...

I have never rented a house before and am learning things all the time....

Although the landlord has agreed for us to break the lease we still have to pay rent for another 5 weeks as well as the release fee???

I also have been given 5 pages of how the house is to be cleaned before it is given its final inspection....dust the ceilings, change batteries more than a month old, clean the windows, get the carpets professionally cleaned...

I have always enjoyed having lists of jobs to do

Dan and I have cut the grass, weeded the flowers beds, cleaned the pool, swept the whole garden, trimmed the roses, washed the windows inside and out, generated bags of rubbish...

From the outside this house looks great... its just a mess inside as we have piles to be sold, to be taken to the charity shop, to be given away, to be packed for the flights, to be ready for the packers...

Just like life I suppose: put on a brave face, slip into screen saver mode so that when people look at us all is great...just don't go too deep!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Back to the Future!

I know that it is so important to trust God one day at a time.

I am also trying to make some plans regarding the the future:

Our removal company are coming to pack the house this Wednesday (all belongings should be loaded and driven off on Thursday)

We have our last Sunday with the church on 29th May

We leave Perth on a flight to the UK on Tuesday 31st May.

After that it looks a bit foggy... but I am trusting that things will become clear by the time we get there!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Who is to blame?

Josh, my 15 year old son, declared at the table that I should not tell him off as he cannot be held responsible - for anything.
He expounded his argument along the familiar lines: he is who he is either as a result of his environment or his genes. As has dad I am responsible for both of those. Therefore if Josh does anything wrong it is not his fault but mine!

As a society we often want to know who is to blame - whatever the question: why Arsenal did not perform better this season? Who is responsible for global warming and childhood obesity? Who should be held to account for the death of Romeo & Juliet?

The appeal of finding someone to blame is that it excuses oneself and means we expect someone else to foot the bill to put it right (or at least make amends).

I know that I could easily fall prey to the temptation to play the blame game. Moving my family to Perth has not worked out as I had planned. I therefore want to / need to publicly accept responsibility myself.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Thank Goodness for Gumtree!

The reality of leaving Perth to move back to the UK is really sinking in. I am having to sell off some of the things that we purchased to enjoy life here (going to struggle to squeeze everything back in a container)

Saying goodbye to the 2 kayaks reminded me of a great day out with Dan
Selling the table tennis table evoked pleasurable memories of night after night playing Josh when we first arrived
Selling the patio table and chairs brought back the sound of laughter around the Christmas dinner
Letting the scooter go brought flashbacks of racing along at night with Lois holding on tight screaming at the top of her lungs.

Isaac said 'At least we will take home lots of memories!'

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Change of Plans

When we moved to Perth almost a year ago we sold our house and said goodbye to England. The kids have worked hard in new schools and we have taken on many new challenges.

However for a number of reasons, in consultation with the leaders of the church here, Peter Brooks in Sydney and others from the UK, we have come to the conclusion that it is right for us to return to the UK.

We believe life to be an adventure where we seek to follow God and never quite know what is ahead.

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of a man plans his ways
but the Lord establishes his step

Friday, 6 May 2011

Ring any Bells?

We had a great time as a family with my brother and his gang visiting The Perth Bell Tower.

The 12 bells from St Martin in the Field Church London have been smuggled over here are you can go along and have a go.


Great fun and it reminded me of the adventure trail that we had done as a family before - called Go Ape!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Strike a pose...

Lois had a great time with her cousin Sarah staying for the past 2 weeks.

Great to see them enjoy each others company - chatting, face booking and having fun.

When I wanted to capture their friendship on camera this is the picture I got:



Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Quokka

Despite the last time we bounced across by boat to Rottnest (literally stood over by the staff who were handing out sick bags)...we decided to brave the waters again!

This time we had a much better crossing...even managing to keep a hold of my breakfast (TMI!)

We snorkeled from a South Beach in the morning and did the same again from a North beach in the afternoon!

We stayed on for dinner in the evening before catching the last ferry home - fantastic!

Whilst there we saw the legendary Quokka...one is pictured next to my son Isaac. Can you tell which is which?

Friday, 22 April 2011

FAMILY!

I feel so privileged that my brother Phil, his wife Mel, my nephew Harri and niece Sarah would come and visit us in Perth.


These guys have flown all the way from Liverpool England to spend 2 weeks over Easter with me and my family (he will be here for my birthday so I am hoping for a present!)




It is great showing them around
Wonderful to have time to talk together
Fantastic just to be with family!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Difference

I grew up in a home with 2 brothers. A great place to bundle and compete...its all I've known.

I have loved the challenge of having a wonderful, beautiful daughter. She is sporty and has a go at anything - I am so proud of her.

Yet when she has some spare time with her cousin visiting from England - this is what they get up to....



every fingernail a different colour.

I am so glad that we are all unique!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Last Supper

My in laws left England on their post retirement world tour last September. They have been in Perth for 4 months and are about to leave to return to England via South Africa. (I can't wait till I'm wrinkly and loaded!)

We recently went out to a hot chocolate shop to enjoy drinks and churros together before they move on.


I was shocked after looking at the photo to discover that whilst my kids have shown self restraint and are smiling for the camera that my mother in law grabs the opportunity to get ahead on the eating stakes!

Seriously we will miss them when they leave next Wednesday:(

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Seagulls

I am now in a dilemma...

I have been an Arsenal fan since aged 9.
My local team growing up was Brighton & Hove Albion. On the playground we used to sing 'he shoots, he scores it must be Peter Ward!'
Arsenal have been first choice and Brighton second.

This weekend Arsenal went into the lead by scoring a goal in the 8th minute of extra time against Liverpool, only to draw the game 1-1 by allowing Liverpool to score 12 minutes into extra time!
Meanwhile the Seagulls won Division One with 4 games still to play.

Who should now be my first team?
In our individualistic society is loyalty still a value?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bieber Fever!!

I know that this 17year old Canadian born singer is making quite a stir....

Isaac and Lois went to see the film 'Never say never' on Friday.

I was informed that Lois would dream about marrying the guy.

She loved the film so much she invited her friends to go and watch the film with her on Saturday...she actually saw the movie twice in less than 24 hours.

She watches him on tube.

She has consumed magazine articles regarding him.

She now dresses like Justin Bieber!

Who knows where this passion will end??????

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Disc Golf

I do own a set of Golf clubs - all pastors should! (Let's be honest I have not used them since I got there - but my father-in-law has!)

I have often found it hard to justify the hours a round - especially the 19th hole - takes. It would cost me too much to buy the equipment and get the whole family into the swing. Part of the attraction of golf is the quiet and time to think; so if the 5 of us were to play I believe it would be a very different game.

I have discovered a solution....Disc Golf On a recent day out we had our first ever game of disc golf.

We played 9 holes. Teed off and after either walking the fairway or searching the woods made it to the greens. It was great that all ages could play.

The other thing I really liked about the game - I won!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Western Force

Another day, more sport!

Yesterday it was great to take my 2 sons in the morning to meet the coaches for their new soccer teams as the season here is just about to kick off.

In the evening the 3 of us went to watch the local Rugby boys... Western Force!

Sadly it felt like boys against men as our team was hammered 31-3 by the Waratahs.

I was too small to play rugby at school (and too chicken!) I still struggle to understand the joy of being flattened by a charging rhino - but great to have time with Josh & Isaac!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Chocolate Lovers!

It has been absolutely wonderful to have some friends come and visit us from the UK.

Every effort has been made to show them a good time in Perth as we catch up and enjoy each moment spent together.

Sam & Anna have visited Mandurah & Rockingham. They have caught a boat to Rottnest Island and had a sausage sizzle in Kings Park. They have stroked a Koala and seen wild kangaroos. They have been to City Beach and wandered round Freo. We visited a winery in Swan Valley and they have splashed in the pool in the garden.

But look at the smile on their faces when we took them to the chocolate factory!



Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lead by Example

The school Isaac attends have selected 5 students that they see as potential leaders: I am proud that Isaac is one of them!

Recently they have sent him on 2 one day leadership courses (I wish someone would have done that for me when I was 11!)

One day was run by World Vision and Issac now wears a badge on his school uniform 'I am a Global Leader.'

The other day presented him with a badge he also proudly attaches on his chest - 'Lead by example'

2 thoughts struck me in this:

People rise to encouragement and responsibility.

What kind of example are you?

Monday, 4 April 2011

Happy Mothers Day

'Drat, drat and double drat' as they used to say on the Wacky Races TV show. Often there was good plan, success was round the corner until something unexpected happened and it all went wrong.
Now -please listen to my excuse about Mothers Day...

I am sure that many of us genuinely appreciate all that our mothers did and still do for us. The idea of one day to express thanks is welcome - even if if help us get over the guilt of not saying thank you more often.

I was not aware until this week that Mothers day is not the same date all around the world. According to Wikipedia there are at least 30 different Internationally celebrated Mothers Days.

Australia has settled for the day similar to most other countries - second Sunday in May. England has not.

Last week I realised this but it was too late to send a card. Never mind I had emailed and agreed to chat with my other on the phone. (she calls me as it is free from here end!)

I was surprised when I did not get the call and assumed she was at my brothers being pampered over lunch.

Bit of a blow this morning to get an email from her asking why I never picked up the phone and that it kept going to answer phone...the whole hour she tried to get through. ( I have since discovered the phone was bust and it should now be fixed)

I think my mother may be the only one who reads this blog - so it's a long worded way of saying sorry and HAPPY MOTHERS DAY.

I even included a picture of flowers cause I know you like them.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Fremantle Dockers

Despite being a West Coast Eagles fan, on Saturday I took my friend visiting from England, to see the Fremantle Dockers play.

Sam likes American football and wanted to see an Aussie Rules game.

We filed into the stadium along with the other 37,000 folk and made ourselves comfortable, eager to watch those on the field battle it out on the name of sport.

The game is fast and fun - I enjoyed it - though I still do not understand all the rules.

What I do know is that the Dockers cannot miss that many chances in front of goal and expect to win (they lost the game to Geelong 78-89).

Afterwards I reflected that life can feel like a fast game of Aussie Rules: it feels like a team of tanks stand nearby wanting to hinder your progress. Teamwork is essential. Get up quickly from the knocks. You must take opportunities when they present themselves. Time is ticking.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Better second time round!

I have always thought that life is short enough without wanting to repeat the same things. My kids love watching DVD's and I along with most other parents of toddlers allowed them to watch Postman Pat again and again. Even now as teenagers, my kids will re-watch a DVD many times. I can honestly say that I struggle to think of any film that I have watched twice: when I know how it finishes why bother sitting there again?

Having said all that I am now reading a book for the second time.I often read a book and will underline bits that I find interesting and might want to refer to again in the future. I lent someone a favourite book of mine and did not get it back (lets pretend I gave it to them). I decided to buy another copy; which now I am reading so that I can underline it again!

I am finding Randy Alcorn's Book 'Money Possessions & Eternity' just as challenging the second time round and would thoroughly recommend it - even though it probably does need a health warning on it: this could seriously change your life!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Foundations For farming

We were so privileged to have the humble, godly man called Brian Oldreive share at our church on Sunday, about the ministry called 'Foundations for Farming.' So inspirational to hear his personal story - managing a farm in Zimbabwe that was near bankruptcy and then how things have so marvellous turned round. We then heard about the success of his God given methods for farming and the growing demand for others to learn; leading to many international doors opening for Brian to share. (Amazing that a farmer from Zim was invited here to talk to the WA farmers!)

If you enjoyed the film 'Faith like Potatoes' you will want to find out more about how God has not just blessed one crop but is revealing to Farmers a better way to farm and gain bumper harvests year after year!

Well worth checking out the website Foundations for Farming!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Kangeroos in Perth

Today we met up with a 'mob' or two in Perth (the official name for a group of kangaroos). Great to see these 'boomers, flyers and joeys' in the wild.

Amazing creatures and understandable how they have found their way onto the Australian coat of arms and to become a much loved symbol of the nation.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Ray-Bans

Sunnies are essentials for living in Perth: I think the £5 I spent on mine at Tescos is the best investment I have ever made.

I do now feel out classed by my son who has purchased his first pair of ray-bans.




I am hoping that when they are dated (by next season) that he might replace them and give me this old pair.

What do you think of my chances?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Together we stand!

One of my earliest memories was marching around the school playground with my arms linked around the shoulders of may mates chanting 'who wants to play our game....?' Often we never got to start the game because it was the end of break but we had fun building our army.

The older I got the more I enjoyed playing soccer: being part of a team. Training together. Playing together. Celebrating our goals and comiserating with each other when we lost.

The best team I ever joined was when my wife agreed to marry me: Saturday 25th July 1992 will always be a highlight in my life. Like being joined together with your best mate for the 3 legged race - the longer we have run together the more in step with each other we are.

The enormous blessing of 3 great kids has expanded my 'home team' to 5: we are in it together - take one you take us all. We love and trust one another.

As a church leaders I have soooooo benefited and appreciated being part of the newfrontiers family. I am so thankful that I am not doing my own thing in some isolated city but joined together with others making a radical impact for Jesus.

We now have a web site sharing about some of what is happening in the Pacific Rim team - take a look and get involved!



Friday, 18 March 2011

Scars for life!

Today I took Josh for the last visit to hospital regarding his broken elbow. (For the caring type he has been discharged and although cannot completely straighten his arm they are pleased how well he has recovered.)

The only real visible evidence resulting from this story is the 9cm scar that Josh has on his arm.

This led to a healthy family competition to see who has the most scars and the biggest.

Josh does win the prize for the longest scar in our family
Lois has the most scars
I have the most hospital inflicted scars (I had to concoct a prize to show me as manly)

I guess we all go through life and pick up scars - whether on the outside or inside. None of us live trouble free ...we all get scars from life.

Often the challenge is how do we respond to the hardships we face?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A new set of wheels!

Ever since I have entered the world of work (no laughter please!) I have travelled on 2 wheels.

As a primary school teacher I brought a basic bike to get me to and from school...often to be left outside for the day in the rain.

When working for the church in Camberley I upgraded (I was living in the smart area known as Surrey) so to the brand 'Specialised' bike.

One of my first purchases in Australia was a new bike but I have discovered that the distances are a lot further than I was covering before and the weather is a lot warmer!

Maybe I am just getting old and lazy....this week I have purchased a scooter.

My idea being that Nicky will be able to commute to whichever school offers her relief teaching and I can also get out and about to see people.

The only downside to my plan is that Josh has informed me that in less than 6 months he will be old enough to use it; and IF I allow him to it will save me having to drop him off and pick him up!

So I better get on an enjoy it for the next 6 months whilst it is still mine!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Number Plates

Number plates on cars are generally meant to provide a quick means of tracing the owner (the one to fine) when the vehicle is caught speeding or parked in the wrong place.

However in Perth the sense of individuality and the opportunity to send a message to others is a chance not to be passed up:

Western Australian plates used to all say - the 'state of excitement'.

This has now stopped but you are able to convey a message using up to 9 letters on the front and rear of your machine.

Today I passed one that claimed: 'paradise'

Lois had seen a car with the number plate: 'Big Mac'

What word would you have placarded on your vehicle to describe you and how you find life?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bill Johnson In Perth


I have really really benefited from attending the Encounter God conference hosted by Perth CLC with Bill & Beni Johnson as the speakers.
I had previously read 3 of his books: 'When Heaven invades earth', 'Face to face with God' and 'Dreaming with God'. I have now purchased 4 more of Bill Johnson's books: 'Strengthen yourself in the Lord', 'Release the power of Jesus', 'The supernatural power of a transformed mind' and 'Centre of the universe'.

The teaching was provocative and thoughtful

The worship was energetic and enthusiastic

The healings were mind blowing and impacting

I had better get on with some more reading and hope that I am able to apply the lessons that I learn!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Perth Drag Racing



I went to the Perth Motorplex with Josh and Isaac and witnessed our first ever drag racing.

The noise!

The cars came screeching out, reviving up their engines and spinning their wheels to warm up the tyres. The tree of lights in the centre of the tracks lit up and when the last bulb went green the cars flew off the start line.

The one aim is to cover the 1/4 mile the quickest possible- whether on 2 wheels or 4!

We observed one car complete the distance in 5.82 seconds and some were touching 400km/h at the finish line.
As Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear would say - POWER!

Amazing how much time, technology and money is invested in something that passes so quickly....I guess that is a bit like life!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Heroes...

In my limited experience to plant a church is demanding and relentless.

This last week I have met up with 3 guys who are planting churches as well as being husbands and dads as well as holding down a full time job!

My utmost respect to:
Tom in Japan
Craig in Brisbane
Dave in Melbourne

You guys are heroes!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Perth is hot - official!

I know the saying that it is only mad dogs and Englishmen that go out in the midday sun.

I have not been out getting burnt - but I do love the weather here in Perth.

Day after day I get this view out of my window...look no clouds!
I understand that this year has been hot even for Perth:

We have had 23 consecutive days 30+ degrees and still going (breaking record set in 1988)

We have had 60 days this summer of 30+ beating the record of 56 days set last year.

We have had 15 nights in a row where the temperature has not dropped below 20 degrees.

I can't understand why people go home because they miss the rain...after running in 34 degrees I have created my own shower!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Turning Green

A lady commented to me on Friday that I looked as if I was 'turning green'.
I am committed to turning off the lights around the house and walk places where possible rather than take the car. (Maybe I'm just tight)

I try not to turn on the A/C but worry this is actually costing me more in electricity to keep on washing the shirts I soak with sweat and need changing after one hour!

I was hoping that the title would fool you following the pile of literature I dumped in peoples letter box earlier this week....but it was made by a nurse:

I took Josh to hospital to have his cast removed. Underneath the cast was still the dressing following the operation (which had been left there for 4 weeks). The nurse peeled this off and wiped away the crusty blood stains. She cut off the long thread that was still protruding from my sons arm where they had stitched him up.

Josh felt faint and the nurse had to put his feet up, put a wet cloth on his forehead and get him a drink. (Apparently 3 other boys suffered the same treatment that morning)


I tried to stand and be brave.

I have to confess that I moved across the room toward a sink I spotted and I thought I was about to see my breakfast for the second time. I pretended I was looking round the room in a relaxed way but was really trying to find the nearest door that I could bolt out of.

My legs started to wobble and I thought I would have to lie down and rest my feet up on a trolley.

I will spare you the rest of the details...I am glad now that I never took up nursing as I had considered when I was younger.

How do I stop myself reacting in this way?

When was the last time you felt on the edge?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Talking Rubbish


Josh has now had the cast removed from where he broke his right elbow....but he has been told he must wear a sling for a further 2 weeks and he is not allowed to play sport or ride his bike.

In 4 weeks time we must return to the hospital to hopefully be discharged. (For the caring types his albow is stiff but he is gradually getting some of the movement back in it.)

This means that I am still doing his junk mail round twice a week. Maybe I am looking for some sympathy..I thought I would give you an insight into the job.

At home I need to bundle the leaflets, magazines, brouchures and flyers together before cycling round the houses posting them.
  • This week I have 10 pieces of literaure per hosue.

  • I will pick up and sort over 2500 pieces of junk mail

  • When I stacked all the piles to to be delivered on top of ecah other - it was as almost as tall as me.

  • I weighed the junk mail this week and it came to 77kgs (that is more than I weigh!)

Sad to confess that I am a man who likes the facts and figures....I am sure some of you like me find that 'the game' makes more sense when you know the score!

When I have done it all, I wonder if anyone will actually read it?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Victory in Perth - for the Wildcats

Today along with 5 others (in my group, not in total!) I braved a visit to 'The Jungle' :nick name for the home stadium where the Perth Wildcats play. (For those of you, who with your children have watched High School Musical - I did not believe there really was team called Wild Cats either)

In my attempt to discover Perth through the eyes of the local man this is the 5 sporting event I have attended - fully entered into with shouting, clapping, standing and cheering - since I arrived 8 months ago.

Today there was one difference - this battle we won!

Despite being the national basketball champions for the previous season, Perth Wildcats have been defeated by the Adelaide 36ers twice so far this season but today we stuffed them 82-62!!!!

It is great at least to taste and smell victory in Perth

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Its curtains!

The weather can be consistently hot here and so houses are designed with this in mind. We have blinds in every room of the house and I am instructed by locals that when it is really hot you shut the windows and doors, close the blinds and put the A/C on.

In addition to the blinds many of the windows have 'dress curtains' ...fabric hung either side to make the place look nice but the curtains don't actually work!

At night Nicky likes fresh air when we sleep and so always has the windows open. This can lead to a pleasant breeze or full on gale which has blown the blinds around letting in the light and making a noise like a flock of crows are in the room all night!

This week, after 7 months we discovered the curtains actually work in the bedroom. We now can have the window open and it be quiet and dark! We have had the best nights sleep since we got here! How did it take us so long to work that one out?!?

What have you discovered recently that you should have been aware of for some time?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I just want to get off the bus!


Isaac is doing much, much better at school and I was invited in to his assembly today to see him presented with a certificate.

Rather than drive him to school I decided to join him on his daily bus journey (not that I am a great bus fan!)
It was nice to chat with my boy - but the bus was behind schedule - and we were late for school!

When there it gave me huge respect for how well Isaac has done: everything is so unfamiliar:
I asked the receptionist where to go for the Assembly - and she looked at me as if to say - 'the hall stupid'
When I got to the hall there was no-one else there - I stood on my own.

I clapped like a seal and beamed as Isaac was awarded his certificate.

I spoke to another parent whose child had also been rewarded - and she wished me a nice day as she got into her car to go home whilst I headed back to the bus stop for my return journey.

I brought a ticket - then felt a twit as I realised my last ticket was still valid (apparently tickets last 2 hours so you can ride again within that time - rather than just pay for a single journey)
When nearing the house I pressed the bell for the bus to stop only for the driver to shout out...(in front of all the other passengers) - 'this is a limited stop service', as he kept on driving (I think he picked up speed -but I may be imagining that bit!).

I got home gagging for a cup of tea and realising that things here are still very new to me.

My son Isaac is my hero!
By the way his certificates reads:
'This certificate is awarded to Isaac Cornford for setting an exceptionally high standard in all his work so far this year and for having the attitude to match.'

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Listening to my wife...

Since arriving in Perth just over 7 months ago my wife Nicky has been trying to be approved to teach in a primary school as she has done for years in the UK.

The paperwork has dragged on but she has been able to secure a job as a school receptionist for one term only. This has been great - she is bringing in money, she is not spending, she is busy and being stretched!

The staff at Winthrop Baptist College are friendly and supportive and appreciate Nicky and what she brings to the team.

In the first week on the job they had a new phone system installed and asked Nicky to record the answerphone message..in her best Queens English.

I have to admit that I have phoned the school out of hours just to listen to my wife's voice (I dare you to have a listen 08 9314 7722)

I guess she would appreciate me listening more when she is around!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

How much do you weigh? What are you worth?

I recently took my children to visit Perth Mint: built to accommodate the gold rush in Western Australia. (Just to bore you the 26 largest recorded gold nuggets have all been found in the Australian out back!)

Whilst there I stood on an adapted set of scales that provided your weight in value according to the price of gold...I was around the $2.5million mark (the guy in front was more valuable tipping in at just under $4million!)

I guess as we approach Valentines Day it is easy to feel valued according to the cards we receive, the flowers we are given or the meals we are taken out for.
At times like this I love the story of Jesus getting baptised. He had not yet done any ministry for God but His Father could not help but yell out from heaven :'This is my son in whom I am well pleased'.

I delight in knowing that I am loved by God not for what I do but because of what Jesus did for me on the cross!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Perth Burns

There have been some devastatingand shocking images in the news about the bush fires that have destroyed over 60 homes on the outskirts of Perth this weekend.

People have been evacuated to safety but at the same time have lost everything: homes, possessions, cars as well as the irreplaceable photos and family heirlooms.

This on the back of floods and a cyclone in the East of Australia, can make you realise how fragile life is and though we make plans for the future no-one knows for certain what will happen.

The Bible teaches that for Christians when we die and stand before God our life's work will be tested by God's fire and that which survives will be rewarded by God.

I so want to live everyday getting ready for that day!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Who do you listen to?

Yesterday I (well truthfully Lois) discovered another beach near Perth - C. Y O'Conner Beach: fascinating because it has a statue built in the sea.



Charles Yelverton O'Conner was an eccentric but brilliant man who years ago was Engineer in Chief of Western Australia. His clear vision and dedicated hard work resulted in projects like Fremantle Harbour being built and the Goldfields water scheme which carried water over 330 miles to where the gold rush was happening.

Yet he was mocked and teased by his generation to the extent that he rode his horse into the sea where he took his own life (leaving a wife and 7 children)

Have you ever been tempted to give up because of what others say?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Healing takes longer

Today I had another hospital visit with Josh following his broken arm (technically elbow) at Newday.

With the hottest month ahead (it was 38 degrees today and our A/C has been broken a week) we had previously been told that the caste would come off today and so we planned a family trip to the the beach tomorrow.
Following another 3 x-rays it has been decided that the cast needs to stay on for another 2 weeks: the only compensation is that we managed to get a bright blue cover for it.

I will be taking Josh back to hospital in another 2 weeks - the same morning I am taking Lois to the orthodontist!

Amazing that the break which happened in a split second during a football game will take weeks to recover.
I guess it often takes longer to heal than it does to hurt.
I know as a parent and husband the importance of words because the damage done by these can last a very long time.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The upside down life

Whilst out running round Bibra Lake yesterday I spotted my first tortoise since arriving in Australia.

Tragically it was a fairly young animal that had been trying to cross the road and had been flipped onto its back after being clipped by a passing car. I have never seen the legs of a tortoise frantically move so fast and yet the animal was going nowhere. The situation got worse as I saw 5 or 6 large black crows surround and approach the stranded creature from every side and start to peck at and eat him alive.

To my shame I did not intervene, (in my defence neither did anyone else).

However I have been thinking lots about the scenario since.

Sometimes it feels that circumstances in life come along and knock everything upside down. Whilst desperately using all your energy kicking out trying to improve things you are attacked from every side.

I do not know happened to the tortoise (I will look tomorrow when out running) and though I do not like to admit it must recognise that not everything in life has a happy ending.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Going to another level

I know that I recently wrote about the great entertainment available in Perth in the local Park...generally this is free!

Well yesterday I went to Jazz in the Park at South Beach and they went one better...
A great quartet performed for 2 hours.
One side of the stage was a free drinks station: just wander up and they rustled up a refreshment of your choice...tea / coffee, hot chocolate
The other side of the stage was an ice cream van - free unlimited ice creams!

I love it when people think bigger and raise the bar higher.

I think the church should be known for their generosity.

In what ways are you stirred to go to another level?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Perth seems to enjoy living life in the park:
We BBQ there,
We have enjoyed Jazz there
We are booked to see Shakespeare there

Last night we went to the cinema in the Park!
Take along your food, hire a bean bag or sit on the floor. When it gets dark the film starts ...we saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

An amazing feeling to be caught up in the great film at 10pm at night under the stars...all made possible because it was still 30 degrees.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Australia Day Perth



A day off with the family to celebrate the invasion by the English many years ago!

We went to Kings Park and saw the 21 gun salute at lunch time and then had a picnic and waited for the fireworks in the evening.

I tried to be patriotic and whilst preparing for the trip along with the food and drink had grabbed a large 6foot flag to wave.

It was only later when out with others, having enthusiastically unfurled my flag, that someone pointed out I had picked up the New Zealand one by mistake.....OOPS!

The fireworks were great!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Are we sitting comfortably?

During my life as a primary school teacher this was a stock phrase, just before reading the class a story to end the afternoon.

I really enjoy reading and so value a good chair.

Therefore I should not be surprised - though still am - following the rearrangement of furniture in our house. Suzanne has moved out and took her belongings with her. A friend of Josh's was throwing out 2 perfectly good sofas and with our recently acquired space we decided to give them a home.

There are now 6 of us living in our house and I counted that we have 6 sofas! (This includes the one in the garden!)

I am glad that our house increasingly feels like home.

I am sad that we could commit so much time to sitting.

I do not believe that as Christians we are to sit and count our days but we are to make our days count!

What are you planning to do this day / week / month / year?

Friday, 21 January 2011

Are we 'breaking' records?

Whilst playing football (soccer) at Newday 3 days ago my oldest son Josh fell over making a tackle.

Josh has never been one to make a fuss and put some ice on the elbow and took some ibuprofen. He did accept the first aider making him wear a sling but did so under his jumper so that no-one would notice.

He didn't sleep too well for the next couple of nights but survived the 4 1/2 flight home on films and food.

Yesterday we took him to the hospital so they could x-ray it. It was broken! As a result they kept him in and though hoping to put it right in a 30 minute operation he was kept in theatre for 2 1/2 hours.

He is now home and will have a scar on his arm...a bigger one than any that I have (not fair) and we are working on a story about him being bitten by a shark!

Seriously Newday has been running 4 years here and I wonder if we have set the record for the 1st broken bone? I would like to hear from any that have attended over the past 3 years.

What a boy!!!




Thursday, 20 January 2011

Kings Church Wellington

Whilst at Newday just outside Sydney I was so impressed by the young people from Kings Church Wellington!

I know that Pete Henare has been working hard for some years serving God there - I am sure he would agree that there is lots to thank God for!

If ever you are ever in that city you MUST visit the church!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Retirement

I hate the sound of the word and so think I might change my mind and re-name it a sabbatical.

Since coming to Perth I have been playing 5-a-side football on a Monday night with a bunch of guys on a team called 'Just some blokes.'
I scored 2 goals this week (with a lot of help from the team who wanted to see me off in style) and I am pleased to say I have averaged more than a goal a game... but that is where the glory stops!

I love being married to Nicky and for the last 18 years we have had Monday night together - a date night. Recently we have done something in the day to allow me time to play football during the evening.

However we need Nicky to work, and she has managed to get a full time job answering the phone in a school (they still won't approve her as a teacher in WA!) From now on Mondays will mean food shopping and cleaning the house in the day - which I hope will score me some points with my wife.

Missing football is not problem - it will be great having time with Nicky!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sunnies


Some things have to become part of life: an everyday routine.

Here in Perth wearing sunnies is one of them. It is funny looking back in the UK because I guess they were mainly fashion accessories, another chance to show your image, that you had purchased the right label.

Whereas in Perth I do not leave the house - even in winter, without taking the shades. I have a spare pair in the car. I wear them running. I even wear them in the swimming pool. If you are chatting to someone they do not accuse you of posing or trying to hide and look cool. When at the Hopman Cup I saw some spectators wearing them indoors for the tennis - everyone wears them all the time! (That is a slight exaggeration I have not yet slept in them.)

What is the one thing you don't leave home without? Apart from trousers?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Air that I Breathe

This week I have enjoyed Louie Gigilo's book 'The Air that I breathe'.

Louie states that worship is about what you value. As human beings we are all created to value, to worship: what we worship is the question.

Worship is about more than just what we say but what we do. Worship is not a Sunday thing but is what fuels our action and becomes the driving force of all we do.

The question is not what you do but who do you do it for.

In the book he suggests that whatever you worship, you imitate; and whatever you imitate, you become.

What will you worship in 2011?
The great Ashes English cricket captain Andrew Strauss?
At the local 'Cathedral shaped' shopping centre?
Tucking into the finest food and wine affordable?
Riding the best wave the sea can throw at you?

I aim to worship Jesus Christ this year in all I say and do.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Watch or get Involved?

Do I watch or get involved? That is the question.

During the 6 months that I have lived in Perth I have watched more live sport than the rest of my life combined: I cheered on the West Coast Eagles despite them loosing in Aussie Rules; I shouted for Perth Glory despite them only managing a draw; I sat and ate whilst observing the Perth Warriors from the grassy banks of the WACA; I was captivated by the Hopman Cup tennis last night (even for all 7 hours!)

My father used to describe football as 22 tired men chasing a ball whilst thousands sat and watched who needed the exercise. I have discovered the more sport I watch does not improve my playing ability. I went for my post Christmas run today and was ashamed to realise I am not the sportsman of my imagination - infact I have got worse than last year!

Anyway enough about sport - what about life?

Are you going to spend another year watching others race around full speed or are you going to get up and make a give it a go yourself?

“The world is constantly changed by committed minorities and not by apathetic majorities...”