Monday, December 29, 2008


I realised yesterday that I've been incredibly spoilt in the last three and a half years (and we're not just talking access to Daddy's credit card here...) I've often been told I landed on my feet with my friends and my church and just the general ease with which I settled in to university and living away from home.

I guess I never really realised *just* how spoilt I was until I left...the classic not knowing what you've got until its gone. For three years, I had the best friends a girl could ask for, the support and love of fantastic surrogate families and just so much happiness that I couldn't have wanted for anything (didn't stop me wanting, of course, but I didn't need for anything)

I was spoilt too with my church and the ease with which I fitted in to the Worship Development Team and the Sound Team & was accepted and valued by those already on the teams. I was spoilt with how great the teaching was and the discpleship & support was. I was spoilt with the friendships and love that I found there, and because I was spoilt, it was easy. I didn't have to work per se at becoming part of the just happened. I didn't have to work particularly hard to make new friends because that just happened. I didn't have to work overly hard at finding and meeting with God, because that just happened too.

Call me crazy (and many of you have/did for chosing to leave) but I'm kind of thinking at the moment that I'm going to challenge myself even further. My parents church is amazing...full of lovely lovely caring people who love me so much & are always so excited to see me when I come to visit and the teaching is as sound as I've ever heard. Its not my first choice where worship is concerned, which is quite a big thing for me, as I tend to be more moved by worship than anything else. But. I'm going to go to church with them for the next few months. I think my faith could do with some challenges...I think I could do with having to actively search for and walk with God. I know its safe to that at DREC because I know its sound and full of Godly amazing people.

I've had it all on a plate for most 4 years...its about time I got off my butt and started stretching myself. Which leaves the question...where are you at?? Are you comfortably settled enjoying the ease of life?? Or have you jumped out your boat trusting that there's something out there for you??

Hmm. Ponder. I'll get back to you on the levels of success...

Love, etc.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yes Folks, its that time again!!

A potted history of 2008 in the world of Laura...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Graduated, learnt to drive (sort of) rigged at the Royal Albert Hall.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for 2009? Utter fail. And as such, I doubt I'll be making any more!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not that I can think of. Its all about 2009 with the babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Dad's brother in Oz, but not other than that.

5. What countries did you visit? Apart from regular commuting between Egham & Petersfield, I went nowhere. I'm so rock'n'roll!!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A full-time job as a Sound Eng would be lovely please. Also a pink driving licence rather than my green one. Thanks.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
13th March
- rigging Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall with Hodge (THE best day of the year)
My 21st Birth(four)day(s)
were truly just the funnest 4 days of uni)
15th July - Graduation Day SWOOSH! :)
29th Nov-5th Dec - Bugsy Malone (I know The Godfather won't agree, but for me, one of the best weeks of my short little life so far)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Running tech for the first night of Mosaic

9. What was your biggest failure? Wasn't impressed with my degree result. Also with the lack of full time job.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No major dramas spring to mind.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Had a bit of a handbags thing this year. And managed to get a new dress for each and every possible occasion.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The Godfather because he's just THE best
RJ, Mr Skins & Sound Man for their undending support & encouragement during the (still ongoing) jobs debacle
My various mums & dads, particularly my second family Chez Holloway

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Apart from my own?! Lets not go there.

14. Where did most of your money go? Probably eating out and buying coffee to be honest. Or handbags.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? rigging at the Royal Albert Hall (and any other time I got to see Sound Man), Mosaic, my 21st Birth(four)day(s) but my cake in particular, swooshing in my Graduation gown was SUPER fun and Tom & Na's wedding was just perfect (seeing her dress at the final fitting, however, will remain THE most exciting moment of our lives as housemates)

16. What songs will always remind you of 2008? Parry's "Jerusalem" from Clas Spec, "Strength Will Rise" for Pete & the gang, "Feels Like Home" from Tom & Na's wedding, Kate Nash's "Foundations" & Alanis Morisette's "Thankyou" and "Head Over Feet" from all the roadtrips.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Happier I guess...get back to me on that one.
b) Thinner or fatter? Just about thinner, but starting to put it back Gymmage here I come.
c) Richer or poorer? Richer, actually. And even richer still once I've claimed my tax back WOOP.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? I actually have no regrets of this year where I look at something and wish I'd done more. Degree results and all.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? I don't know whether Mumma Gingy will agree, but I *think* I've actually stressed and panicked less this year than previously....would still like to do even less though. That would be ideal. Also maybe less wine consumption...

20. How did you spend Christmas? Again trying to ensure peace and goodwill prevailed between myself and my brother and my parents. More or less successfully.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? That would imply a change of position since the beginning of the year. Which there hasn't been. Oh dear.

22. How many one-night stands? Every year the same question; every year the same answer - NONE.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Same old same old. Apprentice and Strictly. Although The X Factor was pretty addictive this year...

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No. I'm confused about where I stand with a few people, but I don't think there's any hate there.

25. What was the best book you read? The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Absolutely awesome.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? The Capital FM Breakfast Show on my clock radio. No, really. Nothing else can get me out of bed.

27. What did you want and get? to live in Egham after I graduated & to work on Bugsy Malone

28. What did you want and not get? A MacBookPro as ever. Also a full-time orchestral job. Sad times.

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Am I allowed to say Quantum of Solace?? (jokes Nick, jokes) Would HAVE to be Mumma Mia ;)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Haha. The Birth(four)day(s). Good times. I was 21, and I did a variety of things, including an old-skool poker night with the original gang, a black tie Hollywood Starlet party, getting hideously embarassed by getting sung Happy Birthday at church & just so much other fun stuff with my friends :D

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A first. Or even a 2.1. And any one of the 137 jobs I applied for!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? As perfectly co-ordinated and modelled as ever ;)

33. What kept you sane? The Godfather. Pretty much single handedly. Its been a tough year and he was there every single step of the way whether I was going forwards or backwards. Nothing's happened that he doesn't know about & he still loves me & wants to look after me. The man is a living legend.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? After a fleeting thing for Russell Brand (I kno, WHAT?!) I settled happily back on Anton du Beke & Matthew Cutler.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Income Tax. Seriously. SERIOUSLY?! THAT'S MY HARD-EARNED MONEY YOU'RE TAKING AWAY TO SUPPORT YOUR FAILING HEALTH SERVICE AND SHODDY GOVERNMENT. Pah. Emigration is appealing.

36. Who did you miss? My California Girl. Like MAD.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Bean. Without question.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008: that I'm a lot stronger and a lot more capable than I give myself credit for.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

And I will laugh until my heart it aches
And I will love until my heart it breaks
And I will love until there’s nothing more to live for

So there we go. That was 2008. I'm not going to tag anyone, but I *am* going to encourage you to de-lurk for 2 things...1) feel free to question away if I've been too cryptic (although I won't be revealing any of the pseudonyms) (unless the person in question wishes to reveal themself) and 2) to copy and do this on your blogs!!

Happy 2009 blessed and be sure to ENJOY IT!!!

Love, etc.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fit for Purpose

I knew when I decided to leave that it was going to be hard. I probably slightly underestimated just how upsetting saying goodbye to the kids was, and I definitely underestimated how hard it was going to be walking away from my Sound Desk for the last time.

Some of you might think it odd that I've chosen to leave when its so hard to leave somewhere I'm so clearly attached to, but as someone very wise once said to me, its very easy to fall in to a rut without even realising just because its so comfortable and safe. At St Johns, I have been pastored and mentored in my faith to a place where I can lead others & teach them; I have been welcomed and loved and included in such a way that its only natural that I bring others to join in too; I have been given such amazing Sound training that I've been given my own team to mentor and teach. People have devoted a lot of time to my development, and I am fit for my purpose at St Johns.


Being fit for purpose isn't enough. Becoming fit for purpose is good - people have spent three and a half years teaching me and building me up and loving me until I am fit for purpose, but its not enough. Its not what we're called to be. I don't have time to take up another ministry - I can't create more of myself to give out to help anymore in the church, but if I just stick to what I know and the things I already do, I'll stop learning. I'll stop growing, and that in turn will stop developing the talents and gifts that I've been given. Those of you who know me will know how much I rant about the Parable of the Talents and how unfair it is that the servant gets punished for not doing anything with his talent, but recently I've really understood that concept - its nice to be comfortable and feel safe and know that at the same time you're doing great work for your Church, but that's not what we're called to do. As my rigging hoody says, right across the back,

"I have come that you might have life and have it to the full" John 10v10

so that's what I'm going to do.

Love, etc.

p.s. Aforementioned wise person also once told me how proud he'd be of me if I actually left & I know today that he is. I wouldn't be doing this without his patience and expertise he so willingly shared - RJ, this one's for you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Dying Breed...

Gentlemen. Its a conversation I appear to be having with increasing regularity these are a dying breed. Mr Skins told me the other day that feminism is slowly killing of gentlemen, which is potentially very true. What I don't understand is why.

Why is it bad when a guy holds a door for you, or walks on the outside of you on a pavement (VERY cute when you did that the other day AND you got a smile for your troubles) or pays for you when you go out for dinner?? I don't find myself demeaned as a woman; I don't feel my authority being threatened (I mean....come ON!) and I definitely don't find that it is typical of the male-dominated society which women have fought against for so long. I think its lovely, it makes me smile, and, actually, makes me feel valued as a woman - different for all the right reasons.

...the woman came out of a man's rib...not out of his feet to be walked upon or out of his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal, under the arm to be protected and next to the heart to be loved...

Not to get all soppy on you, but there we go...not superior, not below...just equal. And different. And special. So enjoy it!!

Love, etc.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Honestly OK?

So because I'm a girl, when I was feeling a bit down tonight, I called someone who can, without fail, cheer me up. I caught them at a slightly inconvenient moment, and as a result, the conversation was a mere formality while I asked my question (a.k.a the thinly veiled excuse to call), I got an answer (which admittedly didn't really help with cheering me up) and that was that. Five minutes later, got a txt asking if I was ok. Obviously at this point I said no, I wasn't, I was unhappy about leaving & wanted to talk to someone who understood. *Ahem* Or not. Being the girl that I am, of course I txt back saying I was fine. And then got angry & even more upset when that didn't get a response.

Now, you may argue that he's a boy & wouldn't have known that fine means anything but (especially if we take it with its literal translation of Female, Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional) blah blah blah, but the worst thing about it?? I've done it to him so many times that I guess now he looks at it & takes it at face value. I've made it such hard work for him to care about me & try to look after me that I actually drive him a little further away every time I do it.

When I got home, I must've read four or five blogs all with the same message - tell people how you feel, its ok show your emotions, stop bottling it all I'm here to echo that. You can't be unhappy that people seem not to care if you won't let them care about you. The walls you've put up to try & protect you, the things you've made part of your life to try and fulfil you, even the people you gather around you mean nothing if you won't let yourself be loved.

Best of all though - the knowledge that if I hadn't been so stupidly female, he would've called me back to make me smile again. I really should start letting him.

Love, etc.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mastercard moments

Cost of producing Bugsy Malone...£17k (yes, you did just read that correctly)

Cost of a ticket to Bugsy...£10

Cost of my train tickets back and forth to Petersfield for the week...£51.90

The look on The Godfather's face when he saw me on Tuesday...priceless.

Mastercard moments...what are yours??
Love, etc.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


So, out of the blue for pretty much all of you - when I leave Egham in December, I won't be coming back. The last three and half years have been the best of my short little life so far, but its time to move on.

There are lots of reasons for me going (and yes, these are at least equalled by the number of reasons I could stay) but I have the trump card of it feeling like its the right thing for me to do on the side of going, and those of you who know me are probably gobsmacked that I feel its the right thing for me to do, because if you'd asked me even a couple of months ago, I'd've still been so firmly set on finding the job of dreams and making Egham happen.

This last weekend, I was at my old school helping turn the Sports Hall in to a theatre, and despite the long hours and the stress, I realised that being on a Production Crew really is the dream. And I was living it. Yes, on a voluntary basis, Yes on a small scale, but in a surprising way, it made me happier than living in Egham doing any old job does. I can compromise on my geographical location and still be happy, but after all the experiences I've had on Crew, and remembering how good they all were, I don't think I can compromise on the job for much longer and still be so happy.

The more people I talk to about this, the more I hear truth in the fact that I'm more likely to get a job here rather than London; I realise the truth in the words that people aren't going to forget I exist and stop being my friend just because I don't live in the same town as them anymore and I've *finally* started to believe the truth that God doesn't only live at St Johns.

And even Dorothy had to leave Oz eventually.

Love, etc.

p.s. Sorry for making that one all about me, but if you can't do it on your own blog...