Saturday, June 22, 2013


Where did the last 4 months go?

Now I've finished my uni semester, been accepted as a candidate for ordained ministry in my church, finished the school term (yes!), nearly got the work done for one of Dad's clients as he's away on a break, and am facing the mega-housework marathon that results from numerous deadlines over a six month period.

The next two weeks shall include some de-cluttering for sure, some spring cleaning, some sleep-ins, some exercise, some visiting friends and some Greek review.  Things that shall make my heart happy and keep me going through the next 6 months of craziness.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Whereabouts of Jen

I thank those who've noticed my status as "Missing in Action".  It's been busy.

I went to the women's retreat mentioned in my last post, and didn't finish my project.  So it's not yet worth photographing.  It is still unfinished because... well, you'll see...

It was the end of semester and I needed to finish an assignment

Then it was the Spring Fair at church, and although I'm not very involved it ate an otherwise free Saturday.

Then I was working extra time and days to help get the Yr 12 references out at work.

Then I spent the first week of the school holidays making a special project for our youngest niece's second birthday.  We made a Noah's Ark and it was beautiful but I just haven't had time to download the photos.

Then we dashed off on holidays for 2.5 weeks over Christmas/New Year.  We were still painting the ark, but it was a time to stop. Which was great.

Then I had about a week back at home before school started.  I culled about 4 lineal metres of books off the bookshelf and did some cleaning up around the house because it needed it.  I also prepared and delivered a church service.

Then I've been back at school and the beginning of the year has been a bit of a nightmare.  The week before last I managed to work 17.5 additional hours that will be paid, as well as still accruing some hours for Accrued Days Off over the next lot of school holidays.  Now at the end of week three, I could almost have my Easter holiday break and not go into the negative on my accrued hours. So much for a part time job. (which I am very grateful to have, but...)

I'm currently trying to get a service prepared for tomorrow, having done the emergency washing (it looks like rain) and mowed the front grass.  I also need to get groceries.

Then I start studying again at the beginning of March.

I miss you all, but really, how much have I felt like posting?

Friday, September 14, 2012


We have a women's relaxation retreat for church this weekend.

Okay, so the majority of women think they are going to a QUILTING and relaxation retreat.

I'm not.

I do have, however, a project to do and have got all the bits and pieces together.  Including the fact that my red and black inks arrived from Pencraft in Adelaide this week in plenty of time for the weekend.  They are wonderful and have great service - even suggesting a substitution for what I wanted when my first choice was not in stock and might not have made it in time.

I'm planning on taking some photos, but I won't necessarily have internet connection.

Watch this space...

And the chance that any of the quilters are likely to want to work next to me and my red and black ink?

... Good thing too!  I'd hate my ink to get all spoiled by contact with fabric.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I made a deal with myself that I couldn't get a new camera until I had a job.

The number of words I need to explain this post?

(Mental note: Clear the table before taking photos)

Pictured: Nikon Coolpix P510.  In red.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Freaky Friday


I've been looking for work now that I'm back in Australia after the trip of a lifetime and only studying part time.  I had sent off a few applications for jobs around the place as I saw advertisements, but hadn't really focussed on the job hunt as yet.  Last week I had two to submit: one by noon Wednesday and a second that closed Friday.

I can't now remember if it was Wednesday night or Thursday that I received a phone call to come in for an interview for the first, but the interview was scheduled for 2pm Friday afternoon.  So I handed in one application on the way down for the interview for the other.

It's a bit freaky when your job interview is in the Deputy Principal's office.  Not just any Deputy Principal's office, but the very office that the Deputy Principal of your own High School years worked in.

Anyway, did the interview, went home and about 1.5 hours later was offered the job.  That in itself was freaky enough, and I had to request some "breathing space" before giving them a final "yes" because it was just too quick for my brain to compute and because God had basically had to yell pretty loudly to get me to even consider applying for the other job that I'd just applied for that afternoon.

Anyway, they were keen for me to start ASAP as the lady currently doing the job is leaving Wednesday and it's such a procedure intensive position that a couple of days of handover is a really good idea.

So I started 8.30 this morning.  When taken up to the office I work from I recognised the old Maths staffroom from my days.  My debating teacher used to work from here (there were about 6 teachers in a space that now holds 2 people).  The old Graphics block that was pretty much the end of the universe before you hit the top oval is now quite central with all the buildings that have sprung up on the aforementioned oval.  I get to use the staff toilets, which were always off limits as a student (and don't have any graffiti).

I'm working in a role to organise work experience placements and school based traineeships and apprenticeships.  A role to use my brain, but is only 4 days a week to leave me some study time.  I also get school holidays.  Bonus.

The chance that this will feel normal any time soon?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jerusalem - Ginosar

SUNDAY 17 June

We had to pack up to move, then take our bags downstairs. The staff took our bags down to the bus, which met us after church.

We attended an arabic service at the Anglican Cathedral.  We walked up from the convent in good time (particularly given that we thought the service started 30 minutes earlier than it actually did)

An easier day in that we spent much time on the bus.  Sitting down in air-conditioning is good!  As we went down to Jericho we were once again going through the Judean wilderness.  It is very dry and stony.  We also played once more with crossing the sea level line.  We had lunch at Jericho, and there was the inevitable gift shop. This was the first time I saw Phoenician glass, which is hand blown and has very interesting patterns on it.

We stopped again at Bet Shean when we were nearly at Ginosar. This is a first century Roman town, and much of it is still visible.  It is one of the cities refered to as the ‘Decapolis’ (Ten Towns). You can see where the Cardo is, the Roman baths, the theatre.  We only had a short time to look, as it was the hottest time of the day.  We then had a ride in a tractor train around the hills and up to the bus park, which was through some shops and in the modern town.

Arrival at Ginosar was well organized. We said goodbye to Ammin the bus driver, then settled in to our rooms.  The accommodation here is really lovely, although there's heaps of walking to get anywhere.  I'm sleeping on a trundle, and two single beds have been pushed together as a double for Mum and Dad.  It is pretty roomy, and the kitchenette has plenty of room for clothes washing.  The bathroom is pretty tight.  All are nicely finished and air conditioned.

Dinner was at a buffet.  Looks like the food will be good here. We chose to have a reasonably early night.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Masada & Qumran


This was probably the hardest day for me.  There was a lot more sitting on the bus due to the distances we covered, but it was also a really hot day.  

We got on the bus and headed for Masada first. This was the fortress palace that the Jewish rebels against Rome made their last stand.  It did not end well for them, but is celebrated in Israeli folklore as a group of people who chose death as free people under God, rather than living as slaves to a foreign power.

Nedal (our guide) had joked that the cable car was broken, but it wouldn't have been very funny had it been true!  There is a snaking walking trail up the side of the mountain, but it wouldn't have been an easy climb.   It was hot.  We really only did the palace end, where there were Roman baths and storage for food.  We could look over the edge at the lower levels of the palace.  There was a bronze model that showed how the water was collected into the cisterns.  

We also went to see where the Romans had their Hebrew slaves build the ramp for the siege tower, and where the breach in the wall happened.  From the top you can see the remnants of the Roman wall around the whole hill, including watch towers and garrison camps.  It would have been scary to see them and know that they were going to get you.  Josephus might have been recording what they did at Gamla, with casting of the lots to see who had to kill himself at the end (after killing the remaining leaders, who in turn had killed their families).  But they have found ostraka with names on them (including one of the leaders of the revolt).

It was hot, did I mention that?

We then headed up to Qumran.  This is where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was an ascetic community in the desert.  The was a section in air-conditioning, where there was the inevitable gift shop and a restaurant.  I'd be more prepared for the restaurant now, but it was very confusing with multiple lines and the menu at the front that didn't relate to which line you needed for the food of your choice.  It seems to be the way they can process bus loads of people coming continuously.

We had a wonder through the gifts shop, too.  Dead Sea Mud, and some books and things.

We then went into the audio-visual section, and Nedal talked to us about some of the findings in the dead sea scrolls.  It was so cold - I think I was running a temperature and it was uncomfortably cold almost to the point of teeth chattering.  Standing around was also taking its toll on me.  It was a relief to get back outside into the heat, although it took me a while to thaw out.  There are remnants of the Qumran community here, communal buildings for scribes and dining rooms, etc. they haven't found cells/bedrooms, but in this era they often slept on the roof, which haven't survived.

We came back via Jericho and Mt Temptation.  We were shown a sycamore tree in Jericho and Nedal talked about Zachaeus while we all went snap-happy, until Nedal pointed out that sycamore trees don't live for more than 400 years, so it was likely not the one Zacheaus climbed into.

The slab traditionally believed to be where they prepared Jesus' body for burial.
When we got back to Jerusalem we had a short break (on the bed with feet up) and then went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  There is a place where you can touch the stone that was like a skull.  It was limestone that was flawed and couldn't be used for building, so was left in situ.  It was also the town dump.  Although the church is very orthodoxy and over-decorated, there is an atmosphere of prayerfulness.  Or at least there is until the orthodox and catholic liturgies start to try and drown each other out! (The Catholics have an organ.  There’s no way the Orthodox are going to win.)

I didn't go into the sepulchre itself (there was a huge queue).  Greg who is familiar with the building looked like he was heading in another direction, so we went into an unadorned cave with a central preparation area and small niches off it where bodies were buried.  

I was struck by the number of young men in the orthodox community.  I would have expected declining numbers and older men.  Apparently monks are celibate, but priests are expected to have families and live in their villages.  Bishops are drawn from the monasteries, therefore are celibate.  Just so you know.