Christmas Ads: the modern seasonal sermon

Still from Sainsbury's ad 'The Greatest Gift'

Sainsbury’s ‘The Greatest Gift’

As some of you know, I have the privilege of writing for the wonderful London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), specifically for their Connecting with Culture page.  The brief is to write a short reflection on a contemporary British cultural issue with a faith lens – all in 400 words!  My piece last Friday was on this year’s Christmas ads which I thought some of you might be interested to read. Click here if you are!

Everyone Else is Normal goes on air!

Today, my blog had the honour of being featured on national radio.  OK, UCB isn’t exactly mainstream, but it is one of only two Christian radio stations that broadcast in the UK and has a decent following.

UCB contacted me last week after reading my post for LICC about the summer holidays being a time for throwing out the clock and giving our kids and ourselves much needed time to chill out and day dream.  They wanted me to join them on a live interview for their Current Affairs programme to talk about the topic for a full 8 minutes.  Being live, I was a tad nervous, probably more about the fact that my two children and a puppy were lurking around the house and could at any moment cause a small disturbance! But I know my kids and dog, and could count on them to not do such a thing….

Anyway, it went very well, thanks largely to the interviewer, Vicky Gibbens, who was very professional and relaxed, putting me at ease right from the start.  My friends who managed to catch it (one in the car en route to her holiday destination) said I came across really well, “very eloquent and natural”, and ‘balanced”.

To listen to the 8 minute interview, click here and fast forward it to 2hrs 42 mins. Only available till Wednesday 3 August.

Thank you UCB radio for giving me and my blog this airspace!


Becoming a regular writer for London Institute of Contemporary Christianity

I’m very pleased to have been asked to become a regular writer for the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, a highly respected Christian think-tank and training centre on all matters to do with making faith relevant to the workplace.  Their weekly feature, Connecting with Culture, is a short commentary piece on a current issue in the news or media with a Christian faith perspective.  The other regular writers are people I have a lot of respect for – Brian Draper, Jennie Pollock, Nick Spencer to name a few.

The subject I chose for my first post for last Friday was about embracing the no-agenda, day-dreaming time that holidays offer – for ourselves but particularly the children.  If you liked this, you might like to read this post I wrote a few years ago which unpacks this issue a little more for what it means for children, and looks at the Greek concepts of time, ‘kairos’ and ‘chronos’.

To my delight, UCB Radio picked up my post on LICC website and contacted me this week asking for a live interview about this on their Current Affairs programme which I gave today on UCB1.  Click here for the interview, available for the next 6 days, fast forward it to 2hrs 40 mins in to hear me.

Guardian Masterclass: learning the art of writing for children – the naughty way!

I have often toyed with the idea of writing a children’s book.  The simple reason is it is a fantastic excuse to poke fun at life and to laugh at the anachronisms of life.  Kids totally get this. Adults are often too busy being too serious to stop and notice.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell in mid flow

But who am I to write a children’s book? For a start, how would I find the time? I’m rubbish at getting up before my kids in order to pen that best seller, and too tired by 10pm to do anything sensible.  Writing creatively might be the best fun in the world, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

But then I received an email from Guardian Masterclass promoting their latest course ‘How to Write a Children’s Book’ featuring Cressida Cowell and the publisher who ‘found’ JK Rowling (i.e. the one who realised her cataclysmic potential and didn’t turn her away like the rest).   Continue reading

Going for a Colposcopy (or Alice’s Adventures in Hospital land)

My eyes caught sight of the sign. It was hanging at the end of the hospital corridor, a corridor I must have been down several times in the past for various ante-natal appointments. I’d never noticed it until today. I hadn’t even heard of the word until now.

“Coloscopy…, colosalpy… Closocapy… How the heck do I say that?” I muttered to myself. As a person not used to struggling for words (hah!) who was rather proud of her A grade for Latin ‘O’ level, I was slightly embarrassed that I couldn’t pronounce it.

Image credit:

Continue reading