Sunday Summary 24th January – It’s Snowing!

Where we live, there is not very much snow…ever! But this weekend has seen a lot of it, our neighbours have made more snowmen and we managed to get a late night walk together in the middle of the heaviest part!

Aside from the snow, this week has been pretty good. I took a day off work on Friday to make up for some Christmas overtime. Went for a walk, played a couple of games of backgammon with wife and made significant progress on my ‘latte art’ technique!

This is the closest I’ve ever got to anything resembling a flower. Still a way to go, but making progress.

This week also saw me finish book 4 of the Wheel of Time series: The Shadow Rising. It was an incredibly good read, even if very long. I’m really enjoying watching the three main characters grow. And trying to keep track of what everyone else is doing, and whether they are good or ‘dark friends’.

I must admit…I’m using the glossary a lot!

I also managed to meet with a friend after work this week, we went for a long walk in the pouring rain. It was good to get out and see someone else for a change, even if we did get pretty soaked. One of the things we talked about was my future engagement with the Navigators UK. Something that has been put on the ‘back burner’ for me over the last year – not least of all because of COVID (I don’t think I’ve written about all the reasons, on this blog before, but I did mention it in this post: Reflections: A New Bible and a New Season

But this is something I’ll be thinking about over the coming month. Especially now that I’ve re-joined the preaching rota at my Church. Probably more detail on that later!

Any other highlights? Well, my wife has prepared her Valentines day card stock!

If you want to buy one and support a small business, you can order directly from her website, or order them through thortful.com here: https://thortful.com/profile/5f9f080bcdda5e0001499146 .

Sunday Summary 10th January – New Year!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I’m a little out of practice! I won’t try and cover everything that happened in December and Christmas.

Some of the most exciting things this week has been the return of snow, where I live in the UK snow is a rare phenomenon. We’re lucky if we get it twice a year. But one morning I woke up early, saw the snow, and decided to go for a walk. Spoke to a friend over the phone, and then enjoyed the fresh cold snowy atmosphere.

Another highlight this week was the progress I’m making with latte-art. Yes, you heard me right. When we first got married some friends of ours moved to America, and gave us their fancy coffee machine. That was 5 years ago! Recently I discovered a YouTuber – called James Hoffman – who is like this proper coffee snob/expert. And it inspired me to finally learn how to use the fancy machine for coffee. (Embarrassed to say, I’ve been using it wrong all this time!)

Although I’m still far-off from making anything resembling a heart or a flower, this latest attempt was long debated amongst my family as to whether it looked more like a lobster or a peacock!

I’ll let you know if I make any steps closer towards a professional image.

All this is well and good, but it does mean I’m making (and therefore drinking) a lot more caffeine than usual. So far, no adverse events.

What am I watching?! Well, I’m glad you asked.

Around October time my wife and I jumped into the world of the 1980s and watched the Karate Kid! We loved it, around 30 years late to the party. But we were instant fans, and watched all the old films. Not long after we discovered that Netflix/Youtube had been working on a spin-off sequel. Cobra Kai. Well if you haven’t watched them, I’d highly recommend it. This New Years day, wife and I sat down and binged the entire third season (which was released in the UK on that day!).

It is incredible! Not just exciting, with great characters and good story line, character development and awesome fight scenes. But it also manages to draw the fine line between cultural differences between the left and right, in a tasteful yet sharp way. Not only that but each episode is only 30 mins and each season only 10 episode.

Finally, I got down with my tool-kit and did some personal DIY this week, see if you can spot the difference! How long do you reckon before I forget it’s not there and roll off the back!!

Sunday Summary 8th November 2020 – I’m 26 now!

Time for another weekly round up.

My brother and I have birthdays 8 days apart, and so we managed to get in a family gathering before the UK started their second national lockdown. That means whisky round a fire pit, a lot of laughs and pulled pork burgers!

I was at work Monday and Tuesday and have been on Holiday since the 4th.

What I watched? – Wife and I don’t watch a lot of films, we prefer tv shows especially during “term time”, but whenever we’re on holiday we tend to take a film series to tackle. Last time it was Karate Kid. This week we’ve tackled the Christopher Reeve Superman films (1-4). The first three were pretty amazing, I’d watched them growing up so it was cool to re-visit them with an ‘adult’ perspective. Wife was new completely. We both loved the first three, and thought the 4th was pants. Feel like we’re developing a soft spot for 80s movies (loved Karate Kid, Rocky, and now Superman)

What I played? – Again, during term time I’m rarely in the mood for video games, even on the weekend. I like to go intense with gaming. And so five days off was a perfect opportunity to start a new game series. Gears of War. Previously had tackled the second one on co-op with my best friend. But decided I’d go for the 1st one – solo. Very proud of eventually defeating RAAM after about an hour and half of trying, completed on Hardcore difficulty and will be tackling the second game again next time.

What I read? – I’m now 100 pages into the 4th Wheel of Time book: Shadow Rising. Love these books, even if I have to use the glossary at the back to keep track of who is who.

How I spent my Birthday? Last day before UK lockdown, and wife and I went for a walk, picked up drinks at the local Costa, first thing in the morning and went for a walk round the park. Did some praying and reflecting on the year past. Re-vamped and updated my Personal Life Mandate (a vision document for my life) in the afternoon. Set some goals for my 26 year old self. Then we settled down for Superman I, with Pizza Hut takeaway.

Overall a fantastic week! Thanks to everyone who enjoyed it with me.

Sunday Summary – 20th September 2020 “DIY Desk”

Am going to post a little rapid fire this week:

DIY Desk improvements – Every now and again I do some DIY that isn’t too complex, but that gives me an immense amount of pride. This week I tackled my desk. Since lockdown began, I’ve been working from home and my desk set-up has undergone a series of transitions:

Well, I’ve now taken a saw to my desk and cut in up so it fits at a different angle in my room. It does mean I’ve got less space on my desk now to actually work (well done Paul), but it also means I’ve got more room in the office.

Fingers crossed, it can still support the weight!

LOTR Marathon – Saturday, also saw me put on my productivity hat and watch the whole of Fellowship of the Ring and the first DVD of Two Towers special extended editions. Interestingly, wife joined me in the lounge but “was not watching”. (Her first real exposure to middle earth without sleeping!)

Costa Meetings – Met with another two friends after work on Tuesday and Thursday at my new favourite local drive-thru Costa. (Again, no pictures, still trying to get in the habit of remembering). Great friends and was really encouraged after both catch ups!

AirPod Phone Calls – Yes, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it, but this apple fan boy finally fell for the scam of Apple’s overpriced headphones. I know, I know, you can get better quality headphones for half the price. I know I’m a fool. The biggest upside of these headphones are that I can take calls, for the first time in my life, without holding a handset. Probably because it’s still a novelty, I really have enjoyed, as well for the first time in my life, extended phone calls. I think these will be a game changer.

Local Lockdown – Where I live the government have instituted strict lockdown measures as of last week. This was one of the first times I’ve been truly annoyed at not being allowed to see people. My family were all together, and brother had come up from Birmingham, and I missed out! They sent me a nice photo of them round the fire, drinking whisky, without me!

Blog Decisions – For those who don’t know, on Thursday, I announced a couple of changes to the blog. (You can read about them here: Ti-Yong). In short, I made these changes so that I can have more capacity to focus my writing energies on editing my first draft!

SW – Book – Finished another Star Wars book this week: Fatal Alliance. The third in the Old Republic Series. Pretty good about biological robots that are spawning to take over the galaxy.

Running – Now that the shard of glass is out my foot, I’ve picked up running again. 5k on Tuesday, and 7.5k on Thursday. Listened to a Podcast on Not Overthinking on Tuesday, and a sermon by Rob Rufus on Thursday. I’m not going to link at the moment, it’s a bit of a faff on the tablet, if you want links let me know in the comments 🙂

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Summary. Sorry for any spelling mistakes/grammar problems. Thanks for your ongoing support! Have a good week!

Sunday Summary – 6th September “Rest Week”

Overall a pretty great week, although I haven’t done any exercise or running, so I’m feeling a little out of shape. I’m telling myself it’s important to have a “rest week”.

Getting my First Draft Back – This week I met with my friend who had agreed to read through my first draft (all 80,000 words) and give me feedback. It was so so helpful. I was asked by someone else what the most useful comments were. A) I write gender biased to men (e.g. ‘to be a man after God’s heart’ rather than ‘to be a person…’). B) There were several times when I’d said something too bluntly and needed to be a bit more sensitive/nuanced. Thankfully he’s highlighted these occasions C) Probably most significant to me was the encouragement that it wasn’t bad. In 180 pages of writing, my friend had found about 20 problematic sentences/phrases – all of which are simple enough to fix. My writing didn’t come across as judgemental or patronising, which was a huge relief.

Yes, I’ve got a long way to go, yes, there are a fair amount of corrections to make before I start cleaning up the grammar and style. But, more than anything else, I feel like I’m working on a worthwhile project again. And apparently from a “conservative charismatic” standpoint it fitted theologically as well.

Outdoor Costa with a Friend – Two days later I met with another friend for coffee at a new, nearby Costa. It was the first time we’d met since lockdown began and it was really good to meet up. He is a very clever guy, doing his PhD in mathematics at the university at which I work. We became good friends through our time at University when we read through the Bible together, and met once a week to share our three favourite things. It’s difficult fitting 6 months-worth of life in two hours, before the shop closed, but we did a pretty good job! I also learnt about a drink I’d never heard of: Frostino?

Systematic Theology – Yesterday, I finally finished Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. (I want to do a post about this book separately, it feels a significant milestone!)

The Office US//Half Life 2 – After work most days this week, I’ve been being lazy and watching The US Office and playing xbox, Half Life 2. I’ve never really watched the US Office before, only the UK one, it is incredibly funny and such easy watching. Half Life 2, is also amazing with a great story. Last night I got through Ravenholm and I’m very glad to see the back of that place!

Work – Into the office again this week. I also hosted a videoconference for the Trial I work on and had to present a report. I’ve decided I prefer doing these sort of meetings at the beginning of the day, rather than the end. Overall though, meeting was a success. Decisions made, next steps clarified. And now I’m on holiday until next Monday!!! Oooorah!

Cooked Breakfast – First morning of my 9 day holiday, and I decided I was past due a cooked breakfast. Since lockdown started I’ve not been going to the pub once a month with friends for a “men’s breakfast”….which means I’ve not had bacon and sausages for breakfast in over 6 months!!! That changed on Saturday. Beautiful, some left over to cook this morning.

Definitely need to remember to take more pictures for the blog each week!

Thanks everyone for reading and following this blog. So much support and encouragement this week. It’s all been really appreciated.