Sunday, March 02, 2008

The prodigal returns....

Ok, so I know its been a very long time since I last blogged, not quite a year but very close!

But I was recently encouraged by someone very close to me at the moment(you know who you are) to maybe start blogging again. So here I am.

Life for Joely has been as busy as ever, lots of Uni work keeping me busy and then all my other jobs that bring in the pennies and keep me out of mischief. Did the usual Panto thing over Christmas, and then had a load of coursework deadlines right after Christmas which was a pain, but I managed to get it all done in time.

Been trying to take it a bit easy work load wise since then, which has been nice, but things are starting to pick up again now.

Also, for those of you who don't know, there has recently been a young lady in my life.

Her name is Kirsty and you will hopefully hear more about her in later blogs:)

Anyway, thats all for now, be prepared for more blogging soon...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Living it up in Le Biot!

So as my first year of Uni came to an end, so started my 2 week break from work. I'm usually really bad at taking time off work, a lot of the time I just end up taking a random few days here and there. However, I decided it would be a good idea this year to have a decent stretch of time off, so I booked it off nice and early and coincided it with the end of term at Uni.

Its not easy booking holiday when you do a lot of freelance/casual work as its always difficult turning working down, especially when a good gig comes up. But I've managed to stick to my guns, and I started my holiday by flying out for a few days in France with some guys from my Life Group at church.

We were staying in a lovely villa in a little village called Le Biot which is just on the edge of the alps. I cant even begin to describe some of the amazing landscape and views you get there. The pictures don't really do it justice, but they give you the general idea.

So yeah, nice views, cool weather, good company. What more could one ask for??? We didn't do a lot while we were out there, went on a few nice walks, including a river gorge walk which was really cool(see a pic below), played lots of Scrabble, Yatzee, Ludo, did some reading, watched some DVD's(including a channel 5 sitcom called House which I think I got a bit addicted to), and just generally relaxed.

It was just what I needed as the last year since starting Uni has been non stop busy-ness, so some chill out time was definitely welcomed!

I have now returned back to wonderful Luton for a few days, today I popped into Uni to drop off some library books and then stopped off to visit my grandparents for a few hours, which was nice as I hadn't seen them properly for a while. Monday I continue my travels by going up to Sheffield to visit Spencer my cousin, then on Tuesday I'll go on to Leeds to visit my old buddy Adam. Thursday I come back to Luton to fly out to Northern Ireland with my good friend Gareth, to visit one of our old housemates Rob.

Monday evening I return back to Luton and that will be the end of my break and small tour of the UK. Hopefully I will be refreshed and ready to take on the busy-ness that I'm sure the summer will bring.

I'll let you know how I get on!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

University of Hertfordshire Summer Ball 2007

It is true to say that i love doing anything technical, so when the chance came to work on the crew for the Uni Summer ball, I jumped at it.

Before we go on we must define the term "Summer Ball". When you see this term you might think fancy doo where everyone dresses up in suits and ball gowns, and then maybe a band play and people have a bit of a dance. I soon learned that this is not what ther Summer Ball actually is. Basically its like a mini festival that runs over night. There's 3 stages, Main Stage - Where bands and DJ's play throughout the night, Urban Stage - Where they play mainly Hip Hop and have guest DJ's and MC's throughout the night, and the Dance Stage where they have DJ's nall night. There is also a fun fair, lots of food stalls, Champagne reception, street performers and lots of other random stuff happening. Most people still dress up in suits and gowns.

So we started Wednesday afternoon by building the stage in the rain(luckily we were under a marquee). I didn't think much of the ali-deck stage, I'd never used it before and I didn't really trust it, but it seemed ok in the end. Give me lite-deck any day!(For those of you not in the know, ali-deck and light-deck are different makes of staging)

Thursday all the gear arrived at 8.30am in an arctic lorry! This was the fun part unloading it all, and setting it up. Sometimes I enjoy this bit more than actually doing the gig! We had lots of fun toys to play with including 4 mixing desks, about 5 racks of outboard, and a shed loads of Par cans and moving lights. It was a long day, and I ended up heading back to Luton at about 11pm, as I needed to get back to Luton to pack for my holiday!

Friday came, the day of the ball, and we were just tweaking things, focussing lights and getting ready for the bands to arrive. Unfortunately Sandi Thom dropped out on the morning which was a shame as I was looking forward to hearing her and her band. Apparantly she had a sore throat but I think it was more to do with the fact that she'd done a gig in Europe the night before and she was doing another gig in Europe the next day.

The gates opened at 8pm and the event finished at 4am. I was based most of the time at the main stage, kinda hanging around, baby sitting the gear while the main engineers weren't around, doing the stage change overs and just looking generally techy like. Here's a cool pic of me at one of the big Midas XL-4 desks(probably one of the best if not the best analogue mixing consoles in the world)

I have to say that it was a step down for me as I'm used to being a bit more involved in engineering, running things a bit more but it was a good opportunity to work with a new bunch of people and some really nice equipment. My good friend Chris the lighting guy was even kind enough to let me play on the moving lights for some of the evening.

For the last 2 hours I went and did my shift on the dance stage which basically involves standing stage side with your earplugs on making sure the DJ's don't push the amps too hard.

Then when 4am came it was time to pack it all away. Luckily we had some hired crew come in to help us at about 5am as by that stage we were all really tired. We managed to get everything packed up and pretty much ready to go by 7am when the arctic lorry arrived to take all the gear back to the warehouse.

It was a long couple of days, but I really enjoyed it. I got paid for it, but the real reason I did it was for the experience, and I'm hoping it might lead to a Casual job with the Uni Ents Crew next year. Also met some new people and hopefully made a few good contacts for the future.

So I arrived back in Luton at about 9.30am on Saturday morning, to catch a flight to Geneva at about 1pm, but I'll post more about that soon!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Carnival rained off!

Well, today was supposed to be "Europes biggest one day carnival" yes you've guessed it Luton Carnival!

I was due to be stage managing the Market Hill Local Music Stage, which I was quite looking forward to because as many of you know I enjoy working on shows, concerts and events, and also stage management is a good way of learning new stuff, as you're working and liaising with everybody.

But alas, at 8am I was awakened by a call on my mobile from the Technical Mananger to say the whole event had been called off due to the rain and flooding and that I wouldn't be required to work. This was both a dissapointment and annoying, as I was going to use the money I was going to earn working(which would of been quite substancial with it being a Bank Holiday and all) to pay for my holiday.

So in response I decided to spend the day doing my washing and ironing, and watching episodes of Hustle with my brother. Great way to enjoy the bank holiday, many thanks to the great british weather!

The art of blogging...

So, it seems that there is a particular art to blogging, that I personally don't seem to have mastered yet.

My main problem is that I can't blog regularly or consistently, and I know for some people this becomes frustrating, and a burden to them(Tom I'm sorry man!).

But I have again (for about the 20 millionth time) returned to the wonderful world of blogging, and I will endeavor to be as regular a blogger as is physically possible!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Do you ever feel really annoyed about something, but it feels like there's no one you can talk to about it.

Thats how I feel today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Day 10 - A busy day

Ok, I know those of you who know me well will probably say every day of mine is a busy day, but today was particularly busy.

Tho actually reflecting on it I didn't do that much stuff, its just I was rushing around the place so much...

This morning I was down the church, and I just had so many little bits and pieces to get done. Had a few chats about different stuff with other members of staff that were in, and ended up leaving much later than I wanted to, thus making me late for my 2pm lecture, something I always try to avoid(being late for lectures not the 2pm lecture)

When I eventually got there after a long wait for a bus at the train station(no I'm not losing it by waiting for buses at train stations, the buses go from outside) I discovered that my lecture which normally consisted of 250 people, had about 20 sitting in there. It turned out our normal lecturer was away in India for some reason, and instead we were having a lecture on creating a CV. Considering we'd already had this lecture twice before, many people had decided to leave. I decided I could make better use of the time by doing some coursework in the studio, so I also left... whether this was the right thing to do or not I don't know.

Then had another lecture, which was about digital audio and was very interesting(yes really, it was), but I just missed the bus which made me late for work at the theatre. I was about half an hour late in the end, but my boss didn't seem to mind. She knows I study all the way in Hatfield and I don't have a car, so understands when I'm occasionly running late(I don't make a habit of it... well... today I did)

Show was 'Fiddler on the Roof' being put on by Kings School, a christian school in Harpenden. There was 2 of us tech'ing it and I had an easy job as all I had to do was run 1 sound effect, keep an eye on three float mics, and make sure they were safe back stage and kept all the fire exits clear.

The show was very good as well, considering it was all school kids I was very impressed.

I'm now off to bed!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day 9... I cant drive in my new trainers!

Ok everyone, it is official, my trainers are not fit for driving. Well they probably are, but its just I find it really difficult. They have quite thick soles and it makes it really difficult to feel where your feet are on the pedals. Ok, so it was also a good excuse to explain my poor driving in my lesson today, maybe passing that test is further away than I think.

My 2 main problems are that I sometimes panic and busy junctions and I don't check my mirrors enough. Simple enough things really, and hopefully I'll overcome them before my test.

In other news I'm trying to work out where and how I can record the sound of a steam train for a piece of coursework I'm doing to do with sound for radio. All the places that do steam are so far away, and without a car I don't think I will have much joy.
If anyone has any good ideas or wants to drive me to a steam railway this weekend, then let me know.

Not sure if anyone is actually reading any of these posts, I left my blog idle for so long I think people gave up.

Hopefully someone is somewhere and whoever you are, I promise I'll try to make the posts more interesting as we go along.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 8... and still tired.

Ok so had 2 proper nights sleep, and still feeling sleepy after the weekend away. Normally I can return back to normal after a day or 2 after a weekend away. But then again I did only get 6 hours sleep over the whole weekend, partly due to someones snoring... I won't mention any names...

Anyway, Tuesdays is my main Uni day so was there most of the day. Had some good lectures, learnt some cool stuff, and performed a piece of music that involved reading a magazine article... following on from the bottle hooting we performed last week.

The CU are having a week of outreach this week at the Uni, seem them about with fliers and stuff. Because I still live and work in Luton its been hard for me to get a long to the CU so far, but seeing them around and doing stuff made me thing maybe I should try and make an effort.

This evening I was leading worship at my friend Andy's prayer meeting for the charity he's trying to start. The charity is being set up to do work in Africa, where Andy went out to for a year about a year and a half ago. We watched a video from Blue Peter where one of the presenters had gone out to visit some orphans. It made me realise again how much poverty some people are in, and how less fortunate they are than us. I've seen it firsthand when I went to Bosnia, and when I went to Romania last year, but its so easy to forget and get sucked into our Western Consumer world. But part of me keeps saying I should do something more to help some of these people in some way, but I'm just not sure exactly what, when, where or how.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Day 7, has it been a week!

Well I am on day 7 do that means it has been a week since I started my crusade to blog every day for a month.

This is gonna be a short one as I'm tired, still recovering from the weekend away.

Today we had a staff day at church, which I was there for most of, which involved us watching and listening to some teaching DVD's and CD's. It was really good and although I was quite tired I got a lot from them.

It made me realise tho, that I spend so much time serving in the church that I often don't make enough time to take in and its something I should make an effort to do more often.

Did a bit of jamming through some songs with Liz my boss, and was accidently late for a shift at the theatre, sometimes I wish I could just jam all day. Shift was music club which this week was a performance by a solo pianist. My responsibilities involved fading up the lights at the beginning and then fading them down again at the end. The music was good and while listening to it I read through a sound and lighting magazine.

I finished the day by buying chicken which I ate when I got home.

What more could you ask for?

Day 4.... and 5 and 6! 11-14's Weekend away

Ok so I apologise, I didn't stick to my blogging every day thing. I have a good reason tho, as this weekend I have been in Standlake Ranch just outside of Oxford with 40 11-14 year olds, having lots of fun and talking to them about the bible and Jesus and stuff.

I was hoping there would be some form of wifi network present, but being in the middle of no where it seemed these facilities were not available.

So Friday morning, we loaded up about 9 cars and a van and headed off on our adventure. I was navigator in our car and I only managed to make one wrong turn(but considering I'd been there before and I had a map, that was a bit naff really)

Friday we went for a walk right the site, started our JAM sessions(Jesus And Me, not Jam as in Toast and Jam, and not the type done with musical instruments) and had some group time together. The group times were probably my fav part of the weekend. What we did was in the JAM times the kids had a bit from the bible they had to go and read on their own, and some questions about what they read to think about. Then we would get back into our groups to have a chat about what we'd just read and thought about.

Tom and myself had the youngest group of boys, including 2 guys who don't really have a church background at all but started coming to church through the soccer fun weeks. It was a really good dynamic in the group having these guys mixed in with guys who have pretty much grown up in church. They all had some really good things to say and questions throughout the whole weekend, and I was really impressed with their approach to it all.

Other highlights to the weekend included a walk into the village, trip to the sports centre, horse riding(for watch I got to lead one of the horses and get very muddy in the process, and Tom and me having our hair and make up done(pics to follow).

Overall I think it was a great weekend away and my hope and prayer is that the kids got a lot out of it, both in terms of relationship building and learning about growing up as a Christian.

For me it was a very tiring weekend(which they always are) but it was a good kind of tired. I really enjoyed just being there, hanging out with the other leaders and kids, and trying my best to help them with their walks with God.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Day 3 - A bit late I know...

Ok so I know this is technically Friday but hey!

The reason being is that I finished work really late.

I was showing a film, which usually means you finish about 9, 9.30 at the latest. I was asked if I'd mind taking down the film when it finished, which normally takes half an hour so I thought thats fine be done by 10 can catch the 10.20 bus home.

Firstly the film went on for ages, didn't finish till 10pm. Then, whilst I was taking the film down, the film came off the platter, when i still had 5 reels to go, and its virtually impossible to get it back on when that happens. After some improvisation with glorious gaffa, and winding the film off really slowly, I eventually finished at 11.30pm!

I go away on the church 11-14's weekend away tomorrow, and my plan was to get home pack, and get an early night.

As you can see its about qurter to one, and I'm still in the middle of packing!

Roll on the weekend...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 2 - Romance is in the air... or not!

So Valentines Day comes round again and alas I have not yet found the one.

I didn't get any Valentines cards, but as someone else rightly pointed out today, I didn't send any so why should I expect to receive any, but i can only live in hope.

So the excitement of today, the leaders at church who commissioned me to make the DVD watched the final product this morning and apparantly they really like it (I wasn't there to hear this first hand but this is what I was told by my accomplice)

I'm glad they were pleased but more glad I've finished it as it had taken up a lot of time!

Went into Uni this morning for a lecture that lasted a little more than 45 minutes, which means I spent double the amount of time I was in the lecture in travelling there and back.

Then I returned to Luton to the church to get some bits and pieces done, ended up staying there till about 7.30pm, partly cos at one stage I locked my church keys in the church office which meant I couldn't get into any other parts of the building until my good friend Ron came down with his set of keys so we could retrieve my set. Oh what fun it was!

Then just been chilling out at home, cooked me some dinner as my bro had eaten and mum and dad are out, doing some ironing, watching TV.

So a pretty ok day as they go.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Day 1 - The Saga begins

Ok, so I could go back and tell you about everything that has happened since I last blogged properly, but that would take forever. If I have nothing exciting to talk about over the next 30 days then I might reflect on it, but for now we're going with up to date stuff.

So today I was at Uni, almost missed the bus, but luckily the driver was a friendly one and didn't drive off without me(and yes this has happened to me before)

This morning was a lecture on Logic Pro, a very powerful Audio editing and midi sequencer program. I was with it all until the last half hour of the lecture where I started to get be a lost and began day dreaming.

Anyway, this was followed by a performance lesson, for which we had to each bring in a glass bottle. In the half hour between lectures I realised I had forgotten mine, so went on a hunt through the Uni campus, only to find that they are not aloud to sell glass bottles anywhere on site!(Tho one nice bar girl told me I could probably find some in the recycling bin round the back on the Student Union) I eventually ventured to a nearby petrol station where I acquired a bottle of J20 nwhich I swiftly downed.

The lecture was quite fun. It consisted of us playing a piece of music which involved us filling our bottles with water, blowing across the top to make a sound, and gradually drinking the water so the pitch changed. Quite random I know, but it beats sitting and taking notes for an hour and a half.

This afternoons lecture was cancelled, so I returned to the church as I had a DVD to finish editing. This DVD is about our Life Groups(Small groups, cell groups, care groups, whatever you call them), and has been a little project I've been working on for the past few weeks, and I just finished about an hour ago.

Its been a good experience but editing videos takes a long time. Working it out I reckon I've spent atleast 30 hours on it over the last three weeks, and considering I only work 14 hours a week(and I have other work to do as well) its quite a lot of my time taken up.

I think I could have done it in less time, but I like to get things as good as possible, and cos I'm doing it on my old faithful laptop, it sometimes takes a while to render stuff. Anyway its done now, hopefully its what they want. I think its a bit American cheesy, but thats how they wanted so I guess I fulfilled the brief.

I'm now off to bed...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Returning to the world of blogging

Okay, I admit, I am probably the worlds worst blogger, forgive me if you can (Tom man I'm doing this for you!)

But I am attempting to make a return to the world of blogging whether this is a good or bad thing we are yet to find out.

To help me with this venture, I plan to blog everyday for the next 30 days (I remember hearing somewhere that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit)

I'll be honest and say this could get a bit boring by the 3rd day, but we'll see how it goes.

Some posts might be short some might be slightly shorter.

Some might be made during lectures, others might be written in staff meetings.

This will all add to the excitement!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Can a good thing get any better...?

Some of you might know that for a long time one of my all time fav bands has been the boys from Littlehampton, Delirious? And can you believe it, its been 14 years since they started out playing at a local youth event.

Last week they released a new live DVD/CD combo and being a hard core fan I had my copy on pre-order and last Monday on return from a hard day working at Uni (ok maybe not so hard working) my copy was waiting for me. So not being put off from the fact that it was getting on for midnight me and my bro sat down to watch the DVD.

The DVD is absolutely amazing and it never ceases to amaze me how the band continue to release such good quality products. Those of you who have seen the band live will know what an awesome experience it is, and the DVD captures it so well. Recorded live at the Willow Creek Conference in Chicago, and directed by the Willow Creek team and long term Delirious video and lighting director Andy Hutch, the DVD would easily match up to anything released by a secular band, and it is a lot better than some other live DVD's I have seen.

The sound quality of both the DVD and CD is amazing, captured by Sam Gibson who recorded and co-produced the most recent Delirious album The Mission Bell. And the visual experience is on par, with some great moments being created with both lighting and video, integrated seamlessly. But what the DVD captures really well, is the worship experience that a d:conference is. Ok, so it is a concert and there's a certain amount of performing, but the band are true worshippers and they seem to be able to take the attention away from themselves and onto God, and going to their gigs is like worshipping with ur fav band playing.

So, whether you're into the band or not, I highly reccommend the DVD, and it also has some great bonus features, including the delirious story and a backstage insight into the making of the DVD.


For those of you regular blog readers (I think there's 2 of you) you may remember last week I posted about my frustration at the Uni messing my timetable about, and moving a lecture to a Wednesday lunchtime.

But to my suprise, but also to my pleasure on attending the lecture this Wednesday we were informed that the lecture would now be moved back to a Monday, hence leaving my Wednesdays free to work down at the church. Yipee!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Worship in the new hall!

So, at LCF we have recently had our church hall refurbished including the installation of a new floor, creating a whole new level.

So its now time, after all the time spent planning, building and finishing the place, to start using it to its full potential. Today we had our first worship time on the new level for the 11-18's, and having a worship time for this age group on a Sunday morning is something we've committed to doing for the long term. Our aim is to really encourage and inspire the young people to worship and to create an environment and atmosphere where they feel they can be themselves.

But this morning didn't come without its teething problems. Firstly the space is like an echo chamber, with about 5 seconds of reverb on every noise you make. Consequently we have to push all the sound levels higher to get everything heard meaning it gets quite loud, even for youth worship. Then when we turned the video projector on we realised that being closer to the sky lights in the roof makes the space a lot brighter and consequently you couldn't see the words on the screen. So if anyone has any ideas about acoustically treating the hall, and how to block sunlight both on a tight budget then let me know.

But it reminded me how much I still rely on technology sometimes. Being a techy geek I always like things to sound and look as good as they can, but at the end of theday we dont really need any of it to worship God. In fact we don't even need any instruments. All these things can help us, but they are only aids to help us worship and they shouldn't become the focus of our worship times.

I've also been thinking about engaging all the young people in worship. I know for some guys they find it really hard to worship in the standard way of singing songs altogether. Don't get me wrong I don't think we should ever stop worshipping together in that way, but I wanna be able to engage those kids who find it hard so they still part of it.

I've got a few good books about interactive worship which I might re consult, but if anyone has any ideas of stuff they've tried or maybe not tried then please let me know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


For those of you who don't know for the last 2 years I have been working part time for my church LCF, and I am hoping to keep my 14 hours a week going while I am studying, as the money will be handy and I want to keep developing the work I've been doing. So it was with great relief that when I received my timetable last week I found there was a nice free Wednesday that I could use to do most of my church work.

But alas, nothing is ever that simple and having just got in from the church(which currently has no internet access, I have picked an email informing me that one of my Monday afternoon lectures has been moved to Wednesday 11.30am to 1pm, right slap bang in the middle of the day.

I fear there is nothing I can do about it, I should be able to work my church hours around it but it is just frustrating cos it means I dont get a clear shot at the church stuff. The flip side is we get a new timetable in the 2nd semester which starts mid- Jan so chances are everything will change anyway.

It just still annoys me tho, but what can you do!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Uni Student, can you believe it?

Believe it or not I am now a Student at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, and here's the proof...

Do you like the slightly confused Napolean Dynamite look in my photo? I'm sure they make you look silly on purpose.

It feels in some ways a bit strange starting Uni when most of my old friends from 6th Form are almost finished or even finished and moving onto other things, but at the same time it feels like the right thing to be doing.

Last week just involved registering and was a general induction week with lots of seminars and lectures about University life, and things like "How to meet coursework deadlines?". But strangely enough I've just been really looking forward to getting stuck in and started with the work. For some reason I've just got to the stage where I'm really eager to learn and take stuff in. I don't know how long this will last but I hope it lasts a while.

The course I'm doing, Sound Design and Technology, is such the right course for me as well. Just looking through all the different modules and stuff over the last week has really made me excited about it, cos its all stuff I really wanna learn about.(its sad I know!)

Anyway, this post has probably sounded a bit geeky so far, but there is the other side to Uni life which is probably the bit I'm more worried about. While studying at Herts Uni I'm still going to be living in Luton which has its advantages; its cheaper and means I can still keep contacts and stay involved with stuff here in Luton. But it also has its disadvantages the main one being missing out on the social side of living on Campus especially in the first year.

Being naturally quite a shy and quiet person I find it hard at the best of times to get to know people, especially in new places, and I don't wanna be a student who just goes to Uni to study, I wanna get to know people too, and be able to be a light for Jesus to them.

I'd really appreciate your prayers for boldness and opportunities to get to know people.

The one really good thing about being at Uni tho....... roll on student discounts;)