August 2003 Archives »
31 August, 2003 7:01 AM
Tonight is our last night in Morrocco - we find ourselves in Tangier (as far north as you can go in Africa) and will set sail tomorrow morning back to Spain (arriving in Seville) tomorrow night. Tonight the city is alive with people as it is the end of August when 2 million Morrocans finish their summer vacation and return to France, Spain and other parts of Europe to work for the next 11 months. Most of them sail on the same ferries as we do tonight and tomorrow - its quite amazing to see so many people here in the one spot!
The last couple of days we have continued to see alot - travelling yesterday through Casablanca which was not quite as romantic as the movie!
Yesterday morning we travelled into the mountains outside of Marrakech to a little village to visit a Berber family there that our tour guide knows. They were living in real poverty. Stepping on the bus we were completely swamped by children begging for anything that we could give. I was unprepared, yet was amazed to see how happy I made one little girl by offering here a second hand blue Bic pen. (worth 30 cents back home) Her eyes lit up as if I had given her gold. Others had similar experiencing giving hair ties, soap and tooth brushes. The family that we visited served us mint tea and proudly showed us around their simple mud brick house (complete with animals living down stairs).
Then it was back in the bus and off to Casablanca where we were driven down Billionairs lane! We saw palace after palace. In the past 24 hours we have seen two palaces of the king of Saudi Arabia (he has never slept in either of them) plus countless others, many of which have been paid for with oil money. The contrast between the children of the village and these palaces is staggering. What a country of contrast we have seen this past 6 days!
My time here in Morrocco has been fascinating. Its been one surprise after the other.
28 August, 2003 10:58 PM
After a mornings sightseeing I am hot. Its apparently 43 degrees Celsius and on the rise (its still only 12.45pm) Last week it got to 52.....hmmmmm
Life continues to be incredibly stimulating here in Marrakech. Today has been filled with palaces, monuments and markets. We are both well apart from the normal belly upsets.
Apart from our honeymoon this is my first overseas trip that I have made purely for holiday. I have travelled through Thailand (twice) and Philippines on mission exposure trips over the past 10 years. I've been reflecting today on how different it is to travel this way. There are both advantages and disadvantages of both.
Travelling this way means less logistical problems, no arranging transport or accommodation etc - it also means we travel in comfort. A good bus, amazing hotels and a great guide. We also are getting an amazing insight into the history and culture of the countries we are visiting.
How ever today I have been feeling that amidst the wonder of it all that something is 'missing' that I've previously experienced when travelling.
I am not completely sure what it is or how to verbalise it but there is a small 'emptiness' in travelling purely for one's own enjoyment. On previous trips the interactions that I have had with people from the country have been rich and real.
I remember the 6 weeks that I lived in a Bangkok slum and the depth of the relationships that were formed as I lived with, served and prayed with those I met there in the AIDS hospice/drug rehab centre.
In stark contrast, here the only interactions we have with local people are with hotel staff and those trying to sell us their wares on the street.
Similarly the places that we are taken here are incredibly 'sanitised'. We only stay in the best part of the city, slums that we pass are explained away and everything about where we visit is 'sold up'. We spend more times in shops than we do anywhere else.
Whilst I understand why this is the case a small part of me is left thirsting for more. I guess I'm realising that the main difference is that in previous trips the focus was largely on 'connection'. Connecting with culture, people, God and even ourselves. In contrast to this the focus of this tour is much more upon 'consumption'. We are here to buy, eat and be served. We even have opportunity to consume the culture and its people.
Having said all that I am truly having a ball and am immersing myself in it all.... Talk to you in Casablanca!
28 August, 2003 5:08 AM
got to be quick today...... we are in down town Marrakesh this afternoon experiencing all it has to offer including an endless maze of markets, a sqare filled with snake charmers, letter writers, story tellers, herbalists, spice sellers, acrobats etc.......not your typical street scene in home town Melbourne but great fun.......
I have heaps to write about and hundreds of photos to share but no patience or time for the prehistoric internet services. I am journalling alot of my thoughts in long hand and will transcribe some when I get the chance.
Thanks for the comments previously, its nice to be back in the land of the blogging.
27 August, 2003 1:18 AM
So here I am in Fes Morrocco. Let me apologise up front for the poor spelling and formatting on this post as this keyboard has me puzzled with the keys in a rather different layout.
Before I go on, here are some of my photos from Fes.
Life is good. I am feeling very over stimulated after a morning in the local madina (old city). It was like a trip back to biblical times. Crowds of people, narrow streets, street sellers roasting chicpeas and nuts, donkeys as the only form of travel, beggars, sellers, places of worship and all kinds of characters keen to interact with our group. Wow.
Life here is so different as one would expect. I hardly know where to start.
We arrived in Spain last Thursday after a 36 hour trip without any luggage to 40 something degree heat - it was not the best start, but things got better very quickly. Our tour group is 43 people from mainly Australia and the US and mainly people in their 40s to 60s. We are almost the youngest, but are fitting in well with most. Spent a great morning at the Museo Nacional Del Prado.
Spain was beautiful, just what I expected a European country to be like. Great food, friendly people and rich history. We travelled through Toledo, Granada and Costa de Sol in the first few days.
Today is our first full day in Morrocco and for me it is the highlight so far. It reminds me alot of my various trips through Asia yet also makes me feel I am time travelling back to another time thousands of years ago.
The poverty contrasted with the classy hotel we are staying in is confronting. It is interesting to see the way different members of our group deal with it. Some are doing their best to ignore it, others seem overwhelmed and are reluctant to leave the oasis of our poor and overpriced resteraunts, sme can not stop complaining about the smell, others are taking it all in, others giving money away...... I am not sure how I am processing it.
Tomorrow we move on to Marrakesh which we have been told is amazing too. V is keen to pick up a tea set and some local hand crafts, the markets promise to be an experience and a half.
Got to run now, looking forward to sharing more soon, especially some of the photos I am taking. Will try and update soon.
27 August, 2003 12:49 AM
greetings from Fes - Morrocco. Sorry for the lack of blogging of late - before I left Australia we had server problems so I couldnt say goodbye.
Before I give you an update on our trip here is a post that I wrote back in Melbourne before I left........
Does a sense of power impact our ability to truly worship God?
I had a great conversation with some of the Forge guys today. Among the many topics covered was that of worship. Mark observed that whether we use Alt worship, contemporary worship or traditional worship that we seem to have lost some of the focus upon God in our worship.
The sense that I get when I read Scripture is that true worship is when the worshipper realises just how powerful, worthy, huge and amazing God is (none of those words even begin to describe God I know) and they react by completely humbling themselves — even to the point lying prostate before God to symbolise their unworthiness in comparison. Its about complete respect, adoration and dedication to God.
Yet so often we make worship about us. We create a space that suits us. We complain when the band is off, the worship leader chooses the same song as last week or when we're not stimulated enough to feel Gods presence.
One of the theories that I wondered out loud about today was that in the West many of us feel (or are) so powerful. I won't speak for everyone, but when I look at my life I'm not really left wanting for much. Whilst by Australian standards I'm by no means wealthy I'm able to rent a nice house, there is always food on our table, I have the ability to travel, I am free to work part time while I study and generally if I want or need something I can usually make it happen. Life does get stressful at times and sometimes it feels a little 'out of control' but I generally feel pretty satisfied with life.
Does our satisfaction, self importance, comfortableness and sense of power sometimes get in the way of being able to truly worship God?
13 August, 2003 10:05 PM
Keep up to date with season two of Australian Idol at Australian Idol Blog.
I've been watching Australian Idol with interest after the success of the American version. One of the things I've been impressed with about the 40 that made it through to the semi finals is the multicultural make up of the group. What a wonderful mix guys and girls of ethnic backgrounds — a real celebration of one of the things that makes Australia great.
Last night was the first semi final with 2 potential idols out of 8 making it through to the next round. Both were male, blond and blue eyed. I'll be interested to who makes it through the next few rounds.
13 August, 2003 5:44 PM
Sac Mission stole this great quote off Jim and now I'm stealing it off both of them.
Many people steeped in religion would rather be "right" than in relationship with anyone they think is in the wrong.
-Stephen Artburn (who I guess we all 'stole' it off)
13 August, 2003 11:56 AM
It was 3.40pm and the seminar was coming to an end. We'd been sitting listening to our speaker talk about Emerging Church all day. He'd spent a lot of time talking about post-modernism, the need to be a liquid church, the need to be listeners to our culture before deciding how to shape our church etc etc etc.
The day was coming to an end and as usually happens at such gatherings there was the obligatory question and answer time. After the usual awkward silence of such moments came the first raised hand and question.
'So you've talked a lot today about this Emerging Church thing, but you haven't given us the model yet — tell us what the model of Emerging Church looks like?'
Why is it that we get so obsessed with 'models'?
I guess we get them in other spheres of life sometimes. We have 'kit homes' (with all the bits pre made and ready to assemble), virtually everything we buy these days comes with an instruction book (not that most of us read them these days) and if you want to learn to do virtually anything these days you can get step by step instructions on the net at the click of your fingers.
The problem is that when it comes to Emerging Church, models sometimes have a way of working against the very core of what we're trying to achieve. One of the few common threads of EC that I'm able to discern at present is that they ask the question, 'What is it to be church in our local context?' The answer to this question will differ depending upon the context, the group asking the question and what they see God doing around them. There is no kit Emerging Church. The instruction book hasn't and isn't likely to be written and despite the growing amount of sites dedicated to the topic the internet will not tell you how to do it.
There are plenty of theories, biblical 'hints', creative ideas, examples of what people are trying around, but I'm not sure there will ever be a model.
The lesson that I'm learning is that instead of looking for the model that will solve all our problems that we are called to be people who listen and watch and then respond to what we see and hear. We need to be observing what God is already doing — to what he might be calling us into. We need to be observers of our context, looking for the opportunities around us to connect. And we need to be willing to respond creatively to what we see and hear.
13 August, 2003 9:06 AM
Last night I went to a Greek Dancing lesson. It wasn't pretty.
'V' is in the bridal party of a friends wedding on Saturday — it's a Greek wedding — and the lead up makes My Big Fat Greek Wedding look tame. Its going to be fun though! (if I can just extricate my left foot from my wife's right shin.)
NB:I'm still having some severe server problems (apparently our server was hacked) it takes me many many tries to get each post up (I'm not even sure this one will make it) and the comments system has not been working for anyone. Thanks to all those who have emailed to let me know about the dreaded 'Internal Server' Error. Hopefully it will be ok soon. I keep trying to post!
12 August, 2003 8:30 AM
Last week at dinner Gerard Kelly was asked what his impressions of Australia were. He replied:
'You are trying to be like America. Your roots are in Europe and you're living in Asia. You guys have no idea who you are.'
11 August, 2003 5:14 PM
Hamo has been asking What does an Emerging Minister Do?. Some of his responses to his own question are pretty much spot on the money.
Its a question I remember asking early on in this blog as we began meeting as a community. Its a question I still find myself asking on almost a daily basis.
I've been fortunate enough to receive a grant from our denomination that enables me to dedicate 3 days a week to Living Room. Sometimes it feels wierd being paid 3 days a week to lead a community with only 8 (currently) people in it. What do I do with my week?
So far it involves preparation for our Tuesday night gatherings, catching up with group members for care and team building, teaching RE in the local primary school, meeting with other local ministers for prayer and support, networking with other Melbourne emerging churches, spending a fair bit of time in our local shopping strips watching, meeting people and praying, occassional speaking at other churches and occassional meeting people interested in joining our group.
When we get back from our trip I've been lining up to meet a couple of community workers in our local area to see if there is some way we can be more involved in their projects also.
I guess I'm learning that this type of leadership role is very different from my previous involvement in more mainline churches. In those roles program preparation took up alot of my time - so far working for the Living Room has been alot more relational, observational and prayerful. But then again, maybe its just me.
11 August, 2003 4:49 PM
The last day or so there have been a few technical difficulties with this blog - sorry for that - it was server problems. I havn't been able to blog and others havn't been able to comment, hopefully we're straight again. Its quite a strange not being able to blog when its normally just at your fingertips.
I wonder what a week without blogging would be like!? I just read this article about how a recent survey has found that 'A week without e-mail is more traumatic than moving house or getting divorced' for many techies! I don't think I'm that bad - but I guess we'll see while I'm travelling next week and blogging is likely to be a little more scarce!
Update: some problems are still persisting with the blog - sorry about the lack of commenting facilities at the moment...working on it.
10 August, 2003 9:14 PM
We're back after a great weekend away. Great people (thats us on the left!), food, conversation and lots of laughing. We made some significant decisions about where we are headed as a community and got to know each other a bit better.
The more I get to know this group the more amazed I am by the way God has brought us together.
8 August, 2003 11:08 PM
We are leaving for our Living Room weekend away first thing tomorrow morning - no blogging for a day or two. But there is plenty to read in the last post's comments and in the current Hot Topic on Alt Worship. Enjoy the dialogue and have a good weekend.
7 August, 2003 11:43 PM
I'm a little confused and perplexed.
'Emerging Church' is something that an increasing amount of people are talking about here in Melbourne and around the globe. I've heard it referred to in countless seminars, a myriad of blogs, many books and in conversation after conversation. However the more I talk and listen to people around the globe on the topic the more I wonder if we're all talking about the same thing?
Over the past few months I'd communicated with people claiming to be part of ECs that are doing such diverse stuff! WARNING - the next paragraph is VERY MESSY!
There are those who focus heavily upon Alt Worship, others who sing Hillsong, some are 'house churches' of hundreds of people who meet in local schools whilst others are 'house churches' of a handful of people that meet in...well...houses. Some use liturgy, others focus upon ancient worship ritual, others explore the creative arts and/or multimedia. Some teach through group discussions and active group learning whilst others retain the traditional sermon. Some have blogs and websites where as others reject cyberspace as a valid or valuable medium. Some meet in pubs and cafes, others in parks, some operate out of guitar schools or micro businesses, some in century old church buildings. Some are formally linked to mainstream denominations, others are part of loosely networked EC movements while others remain completely independent from all other communities of faith. Some are very focused upon issues of justice and mission whilst others see prayer as their central calling. Some look very post-modern whilst others remain quite 'modern' in appearance. Some are multicultural, others remain intentionally monocultural or focus on particular subcultures. Some emerging churches have taken a multi congregational approach, others are experimenting with cell church, others are interested in planting small multiplying independent communities and then there are others who are congregations operating within larger mainline churches. Some are very small and intend to stay so while others have thousands of members.
The diversity of what happens in the Emerging Church both excites me (the more variety the better in my mind as it will open up more opportunities to connect with our world) - yet it also leaves me a little concerned and perplexed.
On one hand I'm happy to live in the above mixed up messy looking Global movement. Yet part of me sometimes wonders if there is a place to try to make some sense of it and identify the patterns.
For instance when it comes to training leaders - do we need to identify some common themes in what is emerging in order to equip those who will facilitate the movement?
What are the common threads that link us as 'Emerging Churches'?
7 August, 2003 6:12 PM
Today I spent another day in seminars and round table discussions with Gerard. I really find him refreshing in many ways. I couldn't help but compare him to other Emerging Church 'experts' who have come down under to do similar sessions and to be very grateful for Gerard's humility, diplomacy, openness and insight. Maybe its that he's speaking out of an European context and not a North American (something that maybe us Aussies can relate to differently?) or maybe its just his personality. Anyway - its good.
There is no way I can synthesize what he's talked about into an easy bite sized blog entry - but here are some of the trains of thought that have passed through my brain the last couple of days. (some are my thoughts (DR)- others are paraphrases of Gerard's (GK))
* 'Gee instant coffee is bad' (DR)....sorry...not on the topic but its been on my mind today!
* 'If you want to know how to run church, learn how to do mission. Asking 'what should church be like?' is the wrong question. Find how you engage with Gods mission and the other details will flow from it.' (GK) Preach it Gerard - top stuff!
* 'There are two jobs in vine (Jn 15) — 1. abide in Christ and 2. go and bear fruit. Therefore we need to be driven by two forces — firstly being drawn in to Christ — but secondly being pushed out by the Holy Spirit. There is some tension and paradox between these two things that we need to learn to live in and grapple with' (GK) Too often we say its one or the other - that one is more important or takes precedence as being 'the way'. They should not be divided. (DR)
*'The question is not 'is the bible the word of God?' — (20th century question) Rather the question is to ask 'is the bible a book?... Scripture was not 'a book' for the first 1500 years - perhaps we need to recapture some of how it was treated in that period today.'
(GK) I loved how he talked about how hypertext has helped us recapture some of the dialogical ways people can interact with Scripture. (DR)
* '20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.' (Mark Twain...he wasn't there in person...) I've always been inspired by this kind of talk...Tony Campolo talks about a survey of 90 year olds where they were asked what they would do differently. They responded that they wished they'd taken more risks and that they'd invested in more things that lasted beyond the grave. Profound stuff. Very few (if any) wished they'd spent more time at work, or that they'd had a bigger house or earned more money....hmmm (DR)
* 'We need to become 'people gardeners'. (GK) This reignited some of what I've been tossing around in my head of late. Part of my vision for Living Room is that it be an environment where people are nurtured to growth, to bear fruit and to be a part of this in the lives of those around them. I love the biblical imagery of plants, gardens etc. Maybe we should rename ourselves the Glass House. (DR)
Many thoughts. Going back tonight to have dinner with Gerard and a couple of other Forge bods.
7 August, 2003 5:18 PM
This weekend we're going to Barwon Heads as a group for some time away together. It will be a great time of growing relationships, sharing dreams, eating, praying and discussing who, what (etc) is the Living Room!? It will also be the first time that we've spent more than 2-3 hours together as a group which will take us into another dimension!
We are coming to the end of the Ignition course and I'm sensing that we've really been challenged as a group to think about who we are and what we are being called to missionally. The challenge now is to bring some of it together and discern the direction that we're to now head in.
We would value your prayers this weekend as continue our journey.
7 August, 2003 8:51 AM
Le Sabot Post-Moderne has moved domains unexpectedly.
6 August, 2003 5:20 PM
What a day! My head is full.
This morning I spent 3 hours listening to Gerard Kelly speaking on currents that the church is currently facing. Its interesting to hear someone from the other side of the world speak on something that we're finding right here in Australia to be true.
Whilst most of what he said was things that I've heard talked about numerous times before through my training with Forge and in my reading of books, blogs and other online resources - it was great to hear it again from a different persons lips.
Not sure I can really put into words just yet what the challenges that he's left us with. I'll attempt to do so tomorrow after spending another day with him in both a seminar and then in a small group 'round table' discussion with the Forge crew.
This afternoon I left Gerard's session early to get to my college class (The multicultural church). For the first hour of class we watched a video talking about Australia's immigration policies from 1945 to the 1970's. It left me feeling quite ashamed of my countries approach to other cultures. The lecture that followed didn't leave me feeling much better as we talked about the century or so proceeding 1945 and the time since.
I am disturbed by the foundations that my nation has been built upon since the European invasion 200 or so years ago. The way we treated this lands indigenous people - the selfish approach to who we will allow in since this time with our 'White Australia Policy' (which was only disbanded 40 years ago) and in more recent times our approach to refugees.
Yes we have become a multicultural nation in the last 30 or so years - but this afternoon I feel such a mix of emotions. Shame, anger, grief and distress just to name a few.
6 August, 2003 9:09 AM
The next couple of days I'll be Gerard Kellying it up. Looking forward to meeting the guy and hearing what he has to say. Sounds like the guys in Sydney and NZ had good times with him, hope they didn't suck all his energy out of him!
5 August, 2003 4:36 PM
Is 'Alternative Worship' the best name for..... Alternative Worship?
I was talking to a friend last week about Jonny Bakers book Alternative Worship. As soon as I mentioned the title he began to react against it. His arms crossed, his brow became furrowed and he made a grumpy 'huff' like sound.
Over the next few minutes we began to unpack his reaction and a lot of it boiled down to the term 'Alternative Worship'. 'What's it alternative to?' 'Isn't worship....worship?' These were just some of his initial questions - and ones now I think of it that I've heard many times before. When I began to unpack what 'alt worship' actually is he was more than happy to explore it - he even agreed that its something the church needs to explore more - but he kept coming back to the validity of the term.
Its left me wondering if there is a better name? Maybe its a bit of an Aussie thing but perhaps the risk is that people will react against it and throw the baby out with the bathwater purely because of the word Alternative? Not sure what would be a better word though? 'New Worship' could have a similar critique - 'Experiential Worship', 'Creative Worship'....hmmmm
Do we even need to label it? Not sure...just wondering.... thoughts?
5 August, 2003 8:55 AM
I'm meeting with a worker at the local Neighbourhood House today for lunch. I'm not really sure what might come from it but am keen to hear more of what they are doing in the local community. From what I hear they run some pretty amazing programs, including teaching English to new arrivals, homework clubs for kids in the local housing estates and other community development activities.
update: The meeting was postponed - nothing further to report.
4 August, 2003 3:31 PM
I'm really excited to announce the impending publishing of an amazing new book written by two of my workmates here in Australia. It is called 'The Shaping of Things to Come and its written as an agenda/handbook for the emerging missional church and the chapters I've read are spot on. But don't just trust me, here's what Leonard Sweet and Eddie Gibbs write on the back cover of the book.
"For the first time we in the West are living in what has been called a �post-Christendom era.� Most people throughout the western world have seen what the Church has to offer, and they have found it to be wanting. The current credibility gap has made it hard to communicate the gospel with clarity and
authenticity. Paradoxically, this is the case even though it is currently a time of almost unprecedented openness to the issues of God, faith, and meaning. This is a time when the need for, and relevance of, the gospel has seldom been greater, but the relevance of the church has seldom been less. If ever there was a time for innovative missionary effort in the West, it is now.
This raises enormous challenges for God's people in the West. The Shaping of Things to Come explores why the Church needs to recalibrate itself, rebuilding itself from the roots up. Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch build their case around real-life stories gathered from innovative missional projects from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and England. These spirited experiments of Gospel community serve to point out just how varied a genuinely incarnational approach to mission can, and indeed needs to, become. They present vital nodes of missional learning for the established Church as it seeks to orientate itself to the unique challenges of the twenty-fi rst century.
This book is a bountiful multi-course meal, each serving presented with charm and class. It will satisfy even eclectic appetites, and please the most discriminating palates. Four Stars."
� LEONARD SWEET
"It is especially helpful to have an Australian perspective on the 21st century missional church as these two authors are engaged in church planting in one of the most secularized societies in the Western world. Their contribution brings an in-depth theological refl ection as well as providing a broad scope informed by their extensive reading in theology, culture and mission as well as their on-site visits to missional churches in the USA and the United Kingdom. Furthermore Mike and Alan are not armchair-theorists but are engaged in innovative and risk-taking ventures in church planting and the mentoring of leaders to extend this strategic ministry. Their contribution to the literature is as substantial as it is engaging."
� EDDIE GIBBS
A little about the authors:
MICHAEL FROST is the founding director of the Centre for Evangelism and Global Mission at Morling Baptist Seminary in Sydney, Australia, and he is the author of several books, including Seeing God in the Ordinary: A Theology of the Everyday. He is a leading communicator and evangelist, and he speaks internationally on issues associated with spirituality and mission.
ALAN HIRSCH oversees missional leadership development for his denomination in Australia, and he is also a key mission strategist for churches in the UK andNew Zealand. He is a mission strategist, teacher, and church leader, and is known for his radical approach to mission-in-the-West. His local church, South Melbourne Restoration Community, is a model of incarnational mission and ministry in postmodern settings.
Its being published by Hendrickson and should be available in the US in August and here in Oz in September - keep your eyes open as I'm sure it will be a very worthwhile read.
3 August, 2003 4:53 PM
This afternoon I went to a 120th anniversary service of one of our local 'mother churches'. One of the prayers caught my attention - here is an excerpt:
'Like the vine dresser, your knowledge of us is deep and profound.
Our deep roots from which we gain nourishment,
Our history and culture that has been weathered and etched with this church's faith story,
Our new life and growth that is tender and fragile and yet full of promise.
Help us to remember that new fruit depends on old roots.
Help us to honour the fruit of the vintage tthat we once knew and teh fruit of the new vintage yet to be harvested.'
2 August, 2003 5:42 PM
Just saw this article about a Bishop Caldwell who is paying white people to go to church!
This month, Caldwell is going to pay white people to attend his sermons. It's five bucks for a Sunday service, 10 for a Thursday service. And the idea is already stirring up controversy.
Hmmm....bizarre....but maybe this is how I could attract a few more males to Living Room!
2 August, 2003 1:38 PM
The weekend is here at last. I'm getting to that point now when you know there is a holiday just a few weeks away, but you can't really wind down yet because there is so much to get done before you leave.
Yesterday I decided to take a day off anyway despite the growing list of things to do. I had a massage in the morning which is a first for me. It 'hit the spot' but almost knocked me out in the process. It was one of those massages that leaves you feeling like you've been for a 10km run. Feels nice though.
Last night caught up with friends for dinner. It was great just to sit and chat for hours about life with people who know you and who you are not needing to impress, lead or convince of anything. Nice.
Today the sun is out and I've been shopping for summer clothes from the trip. Bring it on!