I ventured from the house in flip flops for only the second time in days this morning. My toes have been a mess of plasters and throbbing raw flesh for the past couple of weeks due to a bit of a disastrous walk back from the centre a while ago. What a plonker I am!
Picture this: freezing heavy rain with gale-force winds, my old umbrella blown inside-out (yeah, at this point I resemble some breed of drowned rodent and have long descended past the realms of 'drenched and pathetic' to 'vastly unattractive'), and my shoes had fallen apart just outside of Redland. I was walking back to Southmead - a distance of four miles or so - absolutely barefoot.
Mums were gesturing to me from behind the wheel in their cars. 'You see, this is what happens when you flunk GCSE's, my darling'. I was probably an example lesson for hundreds. I'd like to think I inspired kids all over Bristol to head back to school the very next day and no longer give their teachers attitude because they were so thankful for what they'd got.
HA. Who am I kidding? I probably provided entertainment for a fair few, but world impact? Let's not be too optimistic, ma mie.
The past week has been incredible, and also wildly busy. Aside from the foot drama, I'm really well! I was at Mobilise 2011 with thousands of others in Brighton last week. Speakers were incredible, music was epic, but ultimately the highlight was the fact that God turned up.
I loved it. I don't know how many hours I spent on that pebbled beach (those pesky stones get everywhere), having picnics or just chatting with friends, catching up over drinks or dinner with mates, wandering through the crooked back roads and alleyways near the seafront. I'm so excited about the next year and what God's got for me. He's my everything. It's God full stop, not God + Something. (This was something I found really challenging this year. He's stretched me and provoked me to the point where I needed to rely on Him only, and nothing else.)
I love the way my life works. Anyone like banana splits? Yeah. Me too. Bet you wouldn't be so up for it if you had to have your gob open while a teenager on a sugar high aims sugary sticky food at your face. Hours after leaving Brighton (I fell asleep in the car - it was a loooong journey), I was on my back on a tarpaulin with one of my overenthusiastic youth throwing ice cream in (or should I say at?) my mouth from atop a chair. Ice cream, chopped bananas, and fudge fell through the air like missiles, to be followed by chocolate and toffee sauce, an obscene amount of whipped cream, and a glacé cherry. So much fun!
They didn't exactly seem too concerned about actually getting it in my mouth. I had sticky sauce and whipped cream in my hair, in my ear, generally on every patch of skin on my face. I was deaf in one ear for most of the weekend because everything was blocked up with dessert accoutrements.
Everything's winding down now. I'm finishing my projects - it'll all be over by Tuesday next week. I find that I'm going to miss having youth work eat into my week. For all my grumbling about it, it's been incredible. I'm going to miss working with the kids I've met over the past few months, the families that I've grown close to, and the single mums I've made friends with. I'll miss the kids' silly faces and ridiculous but endearing comments, and the way that each one of them is so very unique.
Hark at me, getting all sentimental. Bah.
Seems to be a clue for me to stop typing. I'm aware that my post today doesn't have any order, is so confused in structure as to not possess one at all, and is possibly my most random one to date. You'll have to forgive me. It's tuesday afternoon, which is excuse enough.