Sunday, 21 February 2010

Busy Times On The Wee Isle

This week has been busy, very busy. With morning worship at 9.30am, training in common room 10.15am - 12.30pm, lunch at 1pm, back to common room 2.15pm - 4.30pm, kitchn 4.30pm - 7.30pm and then service/social at 7.30/45pm .... each day has been busy, very busy.

It's great to be so busy, and to have so much time with everyone, but it does cause problems. Like not having time to get to grips with and do your job!

We had two days of worship training and skills, which were pretty useful but also quite tiring. Many good ideas came out of those days, and some usefull hints and tips also.

The Agape Table Space service in the Michael Chapel was amazing. Linda was leading it, and we had grapes, apples and pineapple for all to share, on wee cocktail sticks... the service was very well put together and thought through. The passing of the fruit caused quite a few giggles, and it fitted in perfectly with the song that mentioned fruit bringing joy. It was great!

On Friday night some of us made our way around to Dunsmeorach (staff house, that George MacLeod used to live in) to what we call 'The Dunsmeorach Cinema' which is basically a dvd played hooked up to a projector and projected up on to the big end wall. This week we watched Wall-e, and it was great! Last night myself and my lovely housemates watched Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. All I'm going to say is that if you haven't seen it, watch it! It's such a brilliant film, about friendships and how people come in and out of your life just at the right times. If you're anything like some people here, though, you may need a tissue or two for the tears!

After service at Bishop's House this morning we (Fran, Julie and I) had a hilarious half hour of moving furniture. Seeing as Natalie arrives tomorrow (yes, tomorrow, yay!) we thought it was about time we removed the old wardrobe from her room and got the new chest of drawers in to the room. However, that would be a simple task if the green van didn't have a flat tyre, we were stronger, there wasn't a distance from Bishop's House to the Abbey to be overcome (with said flat tyre), and a spiral staircase involved.... It was hilarious, but hard work! I then went in and gave it a dust, hoover and got the linen on the bed. Anyway, the room looks a lot nicer now and we are all looking forward to having Natalie here with us :)

I think it's time to go now and aquire a cup of tea and some biscuits to keep my little stomach happy untill mac 'n' cheese tonight :)

Saturday, 13 February 2010


I realise that at the moment I'm not very good at updating my blog. Oopsie.

Training has been very busy and full on this week. Learnt some really useful things about social styles, team work and consensus. I really enjoyed doing all of the sessions, especially Resident Group Meeting when we started our storytelling, where each Ressie member has up to 20 minutes to tell us about their life. We had 5 people share their story with us on Friday and it was fascinating. I'm really looking forward to hearing the rest, but not so much doing my own!

I will try better next week to keep you up to date, but time is disappearing before my eyes at the moment!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Life Goes By Too Fast!

Have you ever thought that life goes by way too quickly? Well, this is the case with staff training on the wee isle so far for me!

Had a nice weekend off, with various treats like bacon and sausage brunch, tea with Ben in Bishops House, guitar playing with amazing friends, many giggles and great conversations, a few long nights in bed, a service at Bishop's House, banoffee pie and many cups of tea to stay warm!

Back to work on Monday morning including time in the Mac kitchen debating what needs ordering, what sizes, how many, how much we can spend, and generally getting really really cold - I think the kitchen up there is colder than outside just now! Had yesterday and today as department time which has involved a few meetings to see what's going on, time sat at the computer doing various odds and ends, and some other odd wee jobs - overall has been a pretty busy two days! And from tomorrow morning life will get busier because the woman who was here to cook for us (covering the fact that Fran, the cook, is doing staff training) left today - which leaves Fran and I to do the cooking as well as do staff training... early mornings and long days for now then!

Anyway, it's so so cold up in the library tonight that I won't go telling any exciting stories for now! But, life is fun and full of laughter up here just now, even if it's long days and cold outside (and in!)...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Training so far

Training began officially on Tuesday, with a Welcome and Essential Information morning... all those thing you never thought would be useful - oh, and that you already knew! We learnt all about who would be what colour and why, and all about food supplies/sacristy resources/ethos/reception/social times/hospitality/wee sings/where things are... you get the jist!
We then had some department time, which basically meant time for me to wrestle with my computer to make it work - I failed on that task!

On Wednesday we had a session with Peter MacDonald (leader of the Iona Community) and Norman Shanks (convener of the Iona Committe) entitle 'A stop sign - how did I get here?' where we spent the morning discussing 'What Did Jesus Do?' which came out with many interesting points. We then, after tea and scones, went on to discuss how all of the things that Jesus did fit in to certain groups, and how we as a Resident group and as a wider community fit our work and our lives in to these groups. Some of these were: hospitalit, challenge, acceptance, relating, spiritual discipline, non-violence, and the list goes on...

Today, we started off in the common room with a briefing from Ian and Hilary about Pilgrimages, why we do them/when we do them/who does them/safety/equipment etc.... We then set off in a wee bit of sun and ended up getting soaked half way around - a good test of all of our new waterproofs! After a treck to Columbas Bay, flapjack and The Machair and a wet walk back, we were greeted with tea and scones in the refectory before drying ourselves off in time for a little bit of work time... And I have heard rumours that we are having haggis, neaps and tatties for dinner, and chocolate puddle pudding for desert, what a happy happy day :) It was lovely to get out of the common room and in to the wilderness today, and I can't wait to get going doing the pilgrimages more often (when I buy some better gloves!).

Anyway, hoping that you are all well and enjoying whatever life is throwing at you. Off to do some work now! Oh, pictures to follow at a later time!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Some Iona Photos...

Here is what you do to amuse yourself on a train... but I forgot to show you my iPod too!
The view from the train with the snow topped hills... stunning!
Ben More on Mull, snow topped
Me, Sarah and Fiona - 3 happy new ressies on the ferry!
The Trinity picture that was in my room when I arrived - very cool!
My room in the Warren of the Abbey. Don't you love that the curtains don't fit and are horrid?!
My new home, the morning after my first sleep in it!
Iona Parish Church on my first morning here.