Friday, June 24, 2011

Wimbledon 2011 and where I'll be moving in August

Yesterday I went to Wimbledon with Lois and Wayne and got to enjoy a great day of watching tennis among a couple of rain delays.  We left on the first tube available (5:36 am) and got to the queue for tickets at about 10 to 7 am.  We were just over number 2000 in the queue (they allow in about 7,000 ground passes to Wimbledon per day - last year I arrived at 8:10 and was number 7,500, but got let in around 1 pm)...this year we got in at about 10:30.  However, when we were let through they were still selling "restricted view" Court 1 tickets...I splurged and got one, so I spent much of my day watching the games on court 1, which was a real treat.  My view was actually pretty darn good, if I sat up straight there wasn't really any restriction at all.  I watched a bit of a Ladies singles match with Lois and Wayne, then watched my two matches and left court 1 after the last match was cancelled to watch some Ladies doubles.

The following pictures are from me at Centre Court (before they played they allowed people to take pictures) and mostly from court 1 where I was seated with one picture of Lois/Wayne's view from court 12 when I was with them.  I spent most of my time watching the matches instead of taking pictures...besides the Stewards would tell you to sit down if you stood during a match.

Left at 9:15 and got home at 10:25, long day, but well worth the trip and expense.  Lois queued for resale tickets and got into centre court, and Wayne enjoyed watching an assortment of matches outside of the show courts.  We all had a good day and enjoyed the experience.

An update on when/where I'll be moving later this summer.  The LMC Trustees have secured a "transition house" to rent for everyone currently living at the LMC.  It will be a 6 bedroom house (1 bedroom for each couple and me plus one "guest" room), with two kitchens, a reception room, and office room.  It'll be a tight fit, but should work.  Less than 2,000 square feet to give you an idea.  My room is basically half the size of the room I'm currently in.  It's farther north on the Northern line of the tube, about 1/4 mile from the Woodside Park tube station.  I'll have about a 3 mile commute to work, which I'll probably choose to bike, weather permitting.  The move is probably going to be on 15 August, while I'm cycling down from Scotland with my cousin, so I'll leave from the LMC and be moved into another place when I arrive.  Step one will be to set up my room upon arrival.  The following week I'll help move the Bridge Builders Office.

Lots of changes forthcoming, but it'll all work out in the end.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Plymouth, England & plans for June

So a while back I decided I wanted to go to Plymouth, England... mainly because I grew up in Plymouth, Vermont and wanted to go to the town which my hometown was named for...well at least if you go back far enough.  It's also the place where the original settlers came across the Atlantic from, so kinda neat in thinking about how long it's been a major port and such.

I also wanted to run a springtime half-marathon, so hence running the Plymouth half-marathon.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to train like I wanted, so my time left much to be desired, but it was still respectable in my opinion given how little I trained (virtually nothing compared to what a basic half-marathon training should have).  I was aiming for sub 1:45 and hit 1:41:31...not too bad, but someday I'd like to break give a comparison of where I was 8 months ago when I ran the marathon...well I hit the halfway point in that race in about yea, I got a bit out of shape.

The pictures below are from the shore in Plymouth and the historic "Hoe."  Basically the best shots I could muster given that the weather was quite poor for picture taking.  Lots of misty weather, very cloudy, and not good visibility.  I think I will go back next year though and hope for better picture taking conditions.
 The lighthouse on the Hoe

 "Welcome to Plymouth" - probably looks better when flowers are coming up...

Sir Frances Drake's Island...or something like that

Other recent news is that I decided to take a trip over the handlebars on my bike after my front wheel came off... I had thought the bike was handling funny and sure enough it was...I ended up with a bruised left shoulder (which was what took the brunt the hit to the pavement), sore left forearm, sore left wrist, cut ring finger on my ring hand (on both the top near the nail and back) and bump on my right knee...oh and a pretty nice skid mark on my helmet.  Overall, pretty lucky I didn't break anything.  Bike unfortunately needs to be repaired, busted the rear de-railer from the frame of the bike, it seems intact, but needs the part to reattach it.  I was pretty sore Saturday when it happened...about 15 miles into a planned 30 mile ride...but now I'm feeling much better.  Lots of ibuprofen..yum!

This week I'm helping with our 4 day course run primarily by Richard Blackburn of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center out of Chicago, IL.  It's held here in London, but just a short distance from the London Mennonite Centre.  It is all about family systems theory (by Murray Bowen) and how it can be applied usefully to church settings.  Interesting stuff, right up my psych alley.

Later this month we've got another course, the "Mediating Interpersonal Conflicts" course, which is our full fledged formal mediation training course.  It will be run again in London, but over 5 days.  Only two weeks after the course this week is over we will be starting it, so there's a quicker turnaround.  As well as planning for a yet-to-be-determined office move and house move (to separate places).  Lots to do and lots to think about.

Between the two courses I think I will try to go to Wimbledon again this year.  It was a neat experience last year and I think I'd like to do it again.  8 hour queue, £20 tickets, 8-10 courts to see lots of pro players (top seeds only play on expensive courts), but still well worth it if you're a tennis fan like I am.  Loved seeing Rafael Nadal win against Federer this past Sunday :-)