Friday, 15 August 2008

arrivederci Sardinia

well, the holiday's over - I've given myself today at home to attempt to make some inroads into the inevitable hundreds of e-mail. Where do you start? Most recent, or oldest? One's which look interesting, or get the boring stiff out of the way first? Well after deleting the obvious rubbish, I couldn't face anymore for a while so I've found a few distractions. Sardinia was great - we had a marvellous holiday in two lovely apartments: one just south of Olbia and the second south of Tortoli. The weather, beaches, sea, food were all excellent  and I understand the former hasn't been exactly brilliant here. The photo is of the island of Tavolara which we could see from our first week apartment. The owners, Martin and Susan, are English as it happens and decided they wanted to do something different - they ended up here, which is not a bad place to look out onto every morning. One of the things I always hope to gain from our summer holiday is a greater sense of perspective - I wont pretend to understand everything I think I'm beginning to grasp, but do feel the holiday has done something for me in this department again this year. Reading the Starfish and the Spider has helped a bit - I have this sense that the Baptists really hit on something good all-be-it not by design, in the early years when things had to be very much grassroots, or nothing - very de-centralised. However, whilst we still have the same low structure in theory, something seems to be at work which means the outcomes are not what's required, or arguably now necessary, in terms of missionary disciples, or new Christians. Initiative at the cutting edge has evaporated rather the water in my aquarium whilst I've been away. Somehow we have to re-energise and re-equip the 'ordinary' Christian. Somehow Church needs to become a place of equipping again. I was with a Church for the evening just before I went away - we had a really good invigorating conversation after I shared a bit. What was fascinating was the best group the Church had - in terms of encouraging one another to reach others and in terms of mutual support and encouragement, was one which had grown and developed spontaneously. From my perspective, it seemed this group had far more going for it than the groups organised by the Church. So, we had a Church putting energy into arranging, supporting, resourcing X small groups, but the one with real life cost nothing in terms of energy from the centre. How do we harness the central resourcing energy into releasing life energy? I can;t really save that one for another holiday. Yesterday, our last day, we saw the first clouds for two weeks which obscured the sun - today began in Bristol with sunshine, which our parents (house sitting) said was the best for two weeks - it's now cloudy and forecast rain tomorrow - great to back in the UK! Still, Emily got her A level results and will be off to Southampton to do Photography next year - well done Em. Her website is also up and running - - which will admittedly be of more interest to female readers. At least I can now watch some decent Olympics coverage - we only got snatches of what was going on - although we had a TV the second week, the italians, quite rightly, focused on their own teams, but it meant we saw a lot of Italian fencing and shooting, but little else. Still we were delighted to see Mary King help GB to a bronze in the Eventing. Both Ben and Emily spent a week with Mary on work experience and then have helped her at a number of subsequent events when we dropped them at Gordano services for her to pick up at some obscene hour of the morning en route

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