Thursday, 28 June 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere?

Well not quite, but most areas in Northern Ireland are getting very heavy rain yet again today after the flooding in Belfast yesterday.  

Some great pics have been tweeted around and the papers are full of them too, especially the one of the police jeep half submerged and where can the police go but onto the roof.




We drove from Banbridge to Londonderry yesterday afternoon via Belfast and the journey was okay until we got closer to Londonderry and the rain came down so hard I could scarcely see a few metres in front of me.  We laughed and said thank goodness we live at the top of a hill and so does my sister (our destination).


Great visit seeing our new great nephew only one week old and of course taking lots of pictures of everyone provided they got close enough to the baby because, of course, he was the star attraction.  

We were actually celebrating so many things yesterday that our nephew declared it was like a mini Christmas with all the cards and gifts being exchanged.  

There was a new baby, a birthday, an anniversary, and a new home.


Then came all the news about the flooding, the many roads that were closed, the damage done to homes and businesses and about the way people were helping others like the guy with the surf board, yes I did say surf board, and the guy in the canoe/kayak.  The RNLI were out helping with 2 boats as well and the Red Cross were distributing aid.







Travelling back this morning was relatively rain free but now as I write this the rain is pouring down in Banbridge again and probably elsewhere too.  As we came through Belfast this morning to drop off our son most of the roads that had been shut down to traffic last night were open again but loads of damage done that will not be fixed up as quickly as the roads can dry up.  

Most of the talk in the coming days and weeks will be of how the flooding should never have happened, the council were not prepared for it etc. and the city will be rife with criticism and the caring, helpful people will not be talked about in all the major discussions.  I love the way these people I have mentioned and others didn't sit back and complain but got out there and helped in there own small but generous way.  There were probably many other good samaritans around the city who I will never hear about but they all deserve praise for helping others.  

They say there could be more flooding today and maybe tomorrow but then too there will be people who will step forward to help and show that they care for others.  This is something we should all be ready to do but usually we are too concerned with what irritates us rather than thinking about who we could make a difference for.  

We don't need to wait for something like a flood to happen but there are many ways we can look out for others, we just need to notice what their needs might be.

We don't need to wait for something like a flood to happen



We should ask God each day to make us aware of people we can help or even needs we should be praying for.





Monday, 25 June 2012

We all love Free Stuff & Good Stuff

I have done a lot of children's work for churches over the years and one thing that I always found difficult was to get good resources especially pictures to illustrate the bible stories.  
A couple of years ago I found  www.eikonbibleart.com  
I was living in Belgium at the time and trying to get more resources for the Sunday School of our church there.  Finding this site was great as their powerpoint presentations could simply be downloaded instantly and their package deals were very good value.  Plus the pictures are great.

Now back in Northern Ireland I am downloading again and I'm still thrilled with the quality of the pictures and the fact that they are continuing to add more stories on a regular basis.  
If you are involved in children's work or you homeschool your kids have a look at this site.

Not only do you get the powerpoint presentations but they also have lesson notes, colouring sheets and puzzle sheets to go along with them.

Another thing which is so good is that this is a British Company and in fact it is now owned by a guy from Northern Ireland and I think that is great.  
They are also on facebook  and twitter so check them out.

This year they brought out a comic book based on the Titanic, it is great quality and very suitable to give to kids in your church, school, neighbourhood or family circle. 

And even better they also offer some free stuff so look into it soon.







Friday, 8 June 2012

Olympic Torch Run

On Monday 4th June we were delighted to return to our hometown of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to see our nephew Lee Kitson carry the Olympic Torch through part of the Waterside area. 
Lee is a good fencer, coach and referee although where he gets this from is beyond all of us as none of the immediate family are very sporty but Lee has a good talent when it comes to fencing. He also started a Fencing Club in Jordanstown, Belfast last year and it is growing steadily. 


Lee with his mum & dad
Well I was armed with the video camera and Fred (my husband) was armed with one of his cameras, while Lee's mum and dad and brother and sister and brother-in-law also had cameras and video cameras.  As soon as Lee was left off at his starting position with his torch in his hand he became a celebrity.  Later I asked Fred why he had taken quite a few photos of strangers with Lee only to be told that he didn't know if Lee knew them or not because Lee just stood and smiled and let everyone pose with him.  Friends got pictures taken, children got pictures, grown-ups got pictures and teenage girls got pictures (that bit we could understand completely as Lee is a good looking 20 year old) and even the family managed to push in and get pictures taken with him.


Lighting the Torch
Then it was his time to run and we all got very excited seeing his torch being lit and taking over in the relay from a young girl.  Getting pictures and video was relatively easy when he was standing still but much harder when he took off on the run. Now we had warned him to run slowly so we could have more time to enjoy but Lee is about 6 foot 4 ins tall with long legs and running slowly for him is fast for someone like me (being quite petite in height).  


Me keeping up with Lee but not for long

Fred (who is 6 foot tall & a bit fit) ran along one side of the road stopping and turning to snap shots of Lee and I gallantly ran off on the other side trying to keep up with lee or even get in front of him to try to take more video.  That was a laugh for everyone as I was out of puff in no time at all, even calling out to him to run slowly just got a laugh from him in return (plus laughs from the security guys running alongside him).
Needless to say Fred got some nice shots as he could easily keep up with Lee but I just have shaky, blurry video for that part.


Front Page of the Local Paper
Lee gets to keep his torch so he will have a great momento of that "Moment to Shine" as well as all the photos the family and other friends have taken.  He even got his picture on the front page of the local paper (the Sentinel) with a little write up inside and then also discovered he was on You Tube as part of the video of the Torch Run in Londonderry.
The next day he was on the go again and raised money for a local charity by allowing more pictures to be taken of him and the torch.


Lee with Fred & I
The City of Londonderry was also in the news because some people tried to disrupt the Torch Relay but I am grateful that those who ran and completed the relay around the city where not thinking of anything political but instead they were proud to represent their country (no matter what their religion) in this once in a lifetime opportunity. 


         
         The smiles on the faces of all the runners proved that.




Sunday, 3 June 2012

Praise and Old Friends

Fred (my husband) and I along with 2 old friends from university days went to the Keith & Kristyn Getty concert in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast last night. 

 The Gettys were joined by Stuart Townend who co-wrote the modern hymn "In Christ Alone" with them and also some other pieces. 

I have to say that I enjoyed the pieces Stuart was involved in most but overall it was a good night out made better by going with friends. 

The four of us had dinner first in Benedicts restaurant which Fred & I had only been to once before on the graduation of our son Daniel from Queens University (a great university but then I'm biased because both Fred & I studied there).  

We had been living in Belgium for over 6 years and had not seen these friends all during that time and also for a few years before that but when it is true friends the time gap doesn't matter.  Yes there is more to catch up on but the familiarity and the ease of conversation and the knowledge of the care and understanding on each side is still there.

True friendship lasts throughout any space of time.


 This was the third night of concerts in the Waterfront for the Gettys and it is lovely to think of so many people singing God's praise there together.

Do you keep in touch with old friends?

I'm grateful for old friends, are you?




Friday, 1 June 2012

First Twitter, Now a Blog!

Last week I joined Twitter  
@thearkpage



so this week I've decided to start a blog.


As of yet I'm not sure if I will write with a certain theme or perhaps I'll just write what I feel like at the time.


Anyone who knows me well or has visited my home will know that I am mad about Noah's Ark.  



I collect pictures of arks, ark ornaments, ark material, ark picture frames etc.  

   
My email address even has ark in it.  



   Hence the name of this blog.