Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Walking Church and visiting friends in Coventry

Walking church is something Wood Green Mennonite Church launched in the last year.  There was a "trial run" in 2011 and then formally launched in January of 2012.  Launching an event that goes outside in January is quite ambitious, especially with the possibility for inclement weather, but so far it has had reasonably nice days.  A couple have been very nice in fact!  A link about walking church can be found here:  Unfortunately, I will be missing out on the next two occasions in Richmond Park, London as I will be on holiday both times.  My last "service" with Wood Green Mennonite before I head back to the States will be a walking church Sunday at the end of June.

When I was growing up Easter usually involved some major meal with ham, whether it was at my parents, grandparents, or other friend's houses.  I can say I still love ham, and did miss it this past Easter, but instead we had a church lunch (potluck), which was almost as good.  Ham still tops it all anyways as it's probably my favourite meat.  We had a brunch as a household on Good Friday since part of the house were going off to family later that day.  Lois made a really tasty breakfast casserole, I supplied different fruit juices (and some lincolnshire sausage for the casserole), Barbara made a wonderful fruit salad, and Will brought some strong expresso with double cream.  YUM!

Late on Easter Sunday I was on the train up to Coventry to see one of Bridge Builders' associate trainer's and her husband for a few days.  My last course working with Sandra was in February, so this was just an extra chance to say those goodbyes and to spend some time with them.  We went out on a windy/drizzly day into the countryside around Coventry (Warwick area).  Did some hiking, walked through Warwick and had some cream tea, came back and had supper at their place and watched some Indiana Jones (1st one).  Overall, a really nice day, even though the weather was kind of shoddy.  Some pictures of the day are below. 

Thatched roofs, which Steve thought were authentic.

Leads to the River Avon

Warwick Castle from a distance

Cream tea!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lessons learnt from cycling... and pizza

Over the last few years I feel that I've learnt a number of important lessons from cycling, which may or may not seem applicable to the rest of life.  In no particular order:
  • When you do something long enough you're bound to be a bit of hard a$$
  • Apparently right forearms are expendable when cycling long distances.  I didn't need mine nearly as much as I thought after I was hit by a car in Glasgow
  • Being predictable is a good thing, or at least you're less likely to get hit or honked at (I'm thinking of clear signalling and not weaving in and out of the road - e.g. because of parked cars)
  • Size does matter, at least when it comes to gear sizes... the bigger they are (in the back) and smaller they are (in the front), the more your knees and quads will thank you later, but in general a wide range is good enough
  • It doesn't get any easier just because you're more "fit," the harder you're able to push the more some things will push back (I'm thinking of you air resistance)
  • Wear lights, always wear lights, ye I say unto you, lights shall show you the way, and hopefully others will then see you (esp. if you wear more than one)
  • Keep the correct amount of pressure in your tyres, it's both easier and you'll get less flats
  • Rain can be fun to cycle in for shorter distances, whole days of it aren't near as much fun
  • It's amazing where a peanut butter and nutella sandwich can take you
  • There's always a curve at the bottom of a big hill just before the next climb
  • It's a lot easier to ride behind someone than in front of them (again that air resistance thing)
  • Bike locks, while an extra burden to carry, are an unfortunate necessity
  • Getting lost or going down the wrong road isn't always a bad thing, you'll sometimes discover things you would have otherwise missed
I find myself ruminating about cycling more lately because I know my daily commute will change in the coming weeks (when I move to the area of Wood Green) and then again when I move back to the States.  I don't have a bike in Vermont, so I'll need to get one while I'm there over some of the summer months.

On a side note, I made some really yummy pizza tonight, from scratch.  Peppers and onions as topping, but it has a really good crust and is different than "normal" pizza because the sauce goes on top (also homemade) of the cheese.

Oh it was sooooo good.  Lots of crushed red pepper in the sauce as well giving it a bit of kick!  Ate almost a one of them while watching the red sox opener on's gameday.