Wednesday, 25 March 2009

returning

coconut yoghurt: check
panini's from opposite mercantil: check
breakdancing attempts in the church: check
spanish breakfast - pan catalana with jamon: check
a walk to the old city walls of Badajoz: check
flan: check

hmm see how important food is to me?! haha!

Last weekend in Badajoz was really great, i felt immediately at home and it was great to catch up with friends and like i said before, feel like i've never been away. I've been to a lot of places over the years but there is something very... satisfying/relaxed about returning to a place. Exploring new places is fun, but not having to stress about how to get somewhere/where to stay/walk without a map etc is nice for a change!

The last few days staying with Holly and Darby in small towns outside Sevilla and then a couple of nights on Helen's sofa (a sofa i know very well!), and drinks in the Alameda and by the river (in the sun!!!) with both old and new friends has been a continuation of chilled, comfortable catching up and enjoying each other's company. I am so blessed to have these friends here!

I think there's something of a relief about feeling that i've already done the hard work of settling into a place, i've gone through the akward, getting lost, lonely times and now i can be here and enjoy some of the fruits of that as it were. Also there's less pressure to like certain things or fit in because it's not my home anymore. Maybe it's for this reason that i feel more comfortable speaking spanish than i did when i lived here, even though i haven't really spoken it for about 10 months... because i'm putting less pressure and expectation on myself. hooray!

And then there was the wedding, last night, which was the primary reason for this trip. But that's for another post when i've uploaded photos. Suffice to say it'll be hard to beat!!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Volver


Two trains a bus and a plane and I'm back in Spain
Two buses and I'm on a familiar street in Sevilla
Another bus and a coach and I'm in Badajoz.
All in 24 hours.

The air off the plane smelt warm, and tinged with spring.
I've had my first Spanish coffee in many months, sitting in the sun. Happy!
Bought a "bonobus"
Eaten my favourite crisps and some briosh

and very soon i'll be back with the 'jovenes' in the church celebrating some birthdays like old times. I can't believe it's been over 9 months since i was here.

Everything so far has been so familiar that it just felt completely normal to be here. I feel a little more foreign, as i'm no longer residing here, and my hair is blonde again ;-) and my spanish is a little rusty. But i have taken these routes and seen these sights countless times that it feels like i've never been away. Except that some people have left since i was here last, and it is no longer 'home' so i know it will be a different experience. But a good one i am sure. Sevilla still feels to me like a bit of a lonely place and i was much more excited to see the browns and oranges of the blocks of flats in Badajoz than i was the river and the palm trees of Sevilla. But i am looking forwards to catching up with friends and a WEDDING when i go back there next week. woo hoo! :-D

Thursday, 19 March 2009

"Faithful" - Brooke Fraser

There's distance in the air
and I cannot make it leave
i wave my arms' round about me
and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close,
though I know you're always here
But the comfort of you near is what i long for
When I can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear everyword I pray
And i want you more than i want to live another day
And as I wait for you maybe I'm made more faithful
All the folly of the past, though I know it is undone
i still feel the guilty one, still trying to make it right
So i whisper soft your name, let it roll around my tounge,
knowing you're the only one who knows me
You know me
Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as loss to me
You are all I want
You are all I want

Sunday, 15 March 2009

sunday funday

I don't usually study on Sundays. It's good to take a day to rest, to BE with people without feeling guilty that you're not in front of a book, and to just remind you to ENJOY all the good things God has given us.

Today was such a day. cup of tea with friends + Cheese&mushroom crepe from the pier + wonder along the seafront with Cecily + taking photos of breakdancers + sunshine + sit on the beach + lasagne cooked by friend's neighbour + hanging out with said friend plus daughters = very happy Katrina indeed.
The day was greatly enhanced by the sunshine. Brighton in the sun is a wonderful place.

Some friends were breaking down on the seafront. If you're interested in breaking or street classes in Brighton check out JP's website (the guy in the air in the photo!). Well worth going!



Thursday, 12 March 2009

labels

I am NOT a photographer. I know you're just trying to be nice but your words are like ice, freezing me to the spot, giving me no space to move... to be someone else.

I just have a big camera, OK? It looked smaller online. I'm not trying to be pretentious, to draw attention to myself, I just wanted a big zoom to catch the ray of sun, the dimpled cheek, but now I'm the one caught in your gaze a you focus only on the parts of me that you deem attractive, leaving the rest to blurry ambiguity.

Please let's drop these limiting labels. Don't tie me down to just walking on one single rope. If you just took the time to look beyond the frame you've captured me in, you'd see there was a lot more to this picture. But here I go again trying to justify myself - that i am more than what you say. This i already know, there is nothing to prove. Just please think about the way you introduce me...

(above is from my journal and a bit of an frustrated moment the other week)

i thought about this again today in Spanish when we talked about the author Juan Luis Borges, and how people always tried to define him and his style, and he'd always go and surprise them by doing something completely different. [a bit like Jesus did! His answers and responses were never predictable...] It's safe to stick with something that has brought us success in the past, or that we already know we can do well in, but it can also trap us. In the same way i think we feel safer and more in control when we can label people and things - put them into boxes. But that just mean we are missing out on a whole lot...

Monday, 9 March 2009

breaking

so enthusiastic was i at breaking training tonight, that... my trousers BROKE themselves. a ripping sound was heard as i attempted yet another move that my body does not seem to want to do. sure enough, a big split appeared in the region of my left butt-cheek. thank good ness i've got good pants on today and a long t-shirt. ;-)

eek.

ONLY YOU

"Rather, believers believe SOLELY IN GOD, who creates and does the impossible, who creates LIFE out of death, who has called the dying church to life against and in spite of us and through us. But God does it alone."
(Bonhoeffer again!)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

DJs

Recently i've been to several nights in clubs where I've been struck by, and I must admit rather frustrated by, the behaviour of the DJs. I understand that they are "into" their music, and I am all for a DJ getting into the groove and having a good time. But this is the thing, although i'm sure it's very serious business and requires concentration, not once do you see them smile. And on top of that, what really gets to me is that they never look up at the people that fill the dancefloor, the "public" who have paid to come and enjoy the music and dance. yes, DANCE! and if they happened to glance upwards maybe they'd see that not varying the beat for ten minutes is just the recipe for clearing the dance floor and inducing bored looking expressions. If they just wanted to play their own music exactly to their own taste then sorry but you could have stayed in your room. I'm not saying that a DJ can't be a techno/electro/whatevero geek, andI'm not saying they should sell out on what they love in order to become mere crowd-pleasers BUT there is also a necessary element of public interaction, of creating some sort of atmosphere, of perhaps being a bit flexible when the beats are clearly not provoking any movement whatsoever save the wasted guy who would be jumping around to Mozart given half the chance.

ok. rant over. goodnight. :-)

"audacity of expression"

so it's done. my poem went OK, at least, I got all my words out and apparently didn't look too nervous! I'm really glad i did it. The night was good, although not as professional as previous years I have to say, but an enjoyable event nonetheless. The photo is of the salsa, the final act of the show. Other highlights were 2 guys beat-boxing and my friend Tinaye singing. videos may follow if I can be bothered!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Culture Fest 09

"Culture fest" is an annual event put on by the African, Caribbean and Asian Society of the University of Sussex. This year it's taking place at the Brighton Dome (on this coming Saturday). On the two occassions that I've been it's been a really great night, with a wide selection of acts including poetry, dance (Street, breaking, traditional, salsa, bollywood and more), fashion shows, comedy, singing and live music. I always wished I was a part of it so this year I got my act together and auditioned... and have found myself being the opening act with a poem i wrote for it, following the night's theme: AUDACIOUS EXPRESSION.

It'll be the first time I've performed (on my own) at such a big event. I'm looking forwards to it, just hoping I remember all the words! :-)

The words of Mr P.

Just wanted to big up my friend Matt's blog.
His writing is great, and so is he.
Nuff Said.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

wild brighton

walking back from Woodingdean...

strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord


Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no-one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31