A week full of heaters, prayer rooms, digging and crying.

Without looking a whole week skipped past, before my very eyes!

What a lot has happened in the week though, all kinds of good things!

One of the most exciting things relates to the flat we’ve been trying to get… as you will recall this flat is currently boarded up, and needs a lot of work doing to it to make it habitable again. We were planning to put in a central heating system, as well as double glazing and a couple of other bits and pieces – as well as decorating it and making it generally habitable.

But upon doing the sums – they didnt add up. Comparable rents would be about 5000 pounds per year, but the renovations we were considering, which would be offset by a rent free year from the landlord, were looking more like 8000 pounds – which isnt much good! So we decided that this was still the place we wanted to live in, but we couldnt afford do put the heating in, and we said as much to the landlord and our friends.

A day or so later another friend rang me to say that they had a central heating system they wanted to give us for the flat!!! It had been taken out of their next door neighbour’s house, but remains in excellent working order, etc etc. Fantastic, we now have a central heating system to go in the flat (we dont have the flat yet… we’re waiting for final approval from the directors, but we’re getting closer!!

Last week was also a week of prayer here in Grimsby, I had the privelige of setting up a prayer room, which was great fun. I love that stuff!! It is such a great opportunity for injecting creativity and helping others find their own creative outlets. I am really hopeful that we’ll get to establish a number of prayer rooms here which will become houses of prayer… maybe I’m getting ahead of myself 🙂

Saturday was at last a full day on the allotment again, managed to get some more tidying done, and began to build a raised bed at the shed end. My plan is to keep beavering away through the winter, so that its in good shape when spring comes round, and we can get some proper planting going. I managed to resist the temptation to leave the plot to watch the rugby, and watched it later courtesy of the wonders of modern technology.

Oh man – the rugby! I was convinced that at last Scotland were going to break out of their box and become the team they have promised to be, but so far failed to live up to. They certainly played a spirited and exciting game against the Springboks – if only they had played like that against the All Blacks! I was really disappointed with the result, which was surely down to Chris Patterson’s early injury. Had we been on usual Patterson automaton like kicking form, we could have won that game without question. Instead we had a series of dodgy kicks from Parks and Godman (who was troubled with a facial injury himself.)

I was really pleased with the Scottish forward play though, despite my affection for Gavin Kerr and Craig Smith, I can see why they havent been selected ahead of the three props who played on Saturday. Murray played outstandingly, proving himself to be truly world class. Jacobsen too had an excellent game, including a fantastic ‘prop sidestep’ at one point, and I was really impressed by Alasdair Dickinson, who looks a little like giant bull terrier in that scrum cap, and was excellent in the loose.

But the result brought tears to my eyes – it seemed cruel!

Another thing that brought tears to my eyes this week was the film ‘the wind that shakes the barley’ which I had also recorded for evening viewing. I’ve never seen it before, and wish I had, it’s a really well made and evocative film. For me it reinforces the need for non violent alternatives to struggle – it reminded me of the question everyone asks when I talk about pacifism. ‘What would you do if you found your family being attacked, and you could only use violence to solve the problem?’ The situation portrayed in the film is Ireland pre partition, when the Black and Tans harried and hounded and caused strife across the island.

Well meaning young men see the terror and injustice wreaked on their families and their country, and feel their only means of dealing with it is to fight back. The consequences of this decision are still to be seen today. I am not saying that all of the early IRA were well meaning young men, of course that isnt the case, but certainly the early movement contained many idealists and beleivers in the just cause worth fighting for.

The truth is that violence breeds violence, resulting in the film is a heartrending outcome. In real life it is no less heartrending. It certainly brought the tears out of me, and proved a useful meditation on the terrible truth of ‘justified violence’. It confirmed in me the need to find other solutions, and not to resort to the horror of lives taken and destroyed.

I watched another film that made me cry too last week, but that is for another time…

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