My new year didn’t start well. The whole family, including me, passed nasty flu onto each other during the Christmas holiday. I was ill. There was also a clunky gear change from zero to 80 miles per hour in terms of church commitment – there was training for the JPCi leaders to prepare, there was the leading rota for the newly-combined girls’ groups and all the communication involved, there was a Bible study to prepare, a one-to-one Bible study to prepare, all within the first five days of January. I also said yes to leading a seminar at the Women’s Conference in March. Reading the diary entry on Saturday 4th Jan, I was unsurprisingly depressed.
By the second week, I had recovered significantly, even though my bike got a flat tyre on the Home Group evening. I studied the Book of Revelation, learnt new things on Skillshare and went swimming. Another contributing factor for finding peace was the staff retreat. It was so good to just sit and study for hours (loved the pizza too).
I’d also made some satisfying progress on my 2019 review by this point. I was looking forward to making new year resolutions but I couldn’t do it before I completed my 2019 review. The later I made the new year resolutions, the more I felt that time was being wasted and it was a bad start of 2020. Looking back this all sounds a bit over the top, but I was getting myself into a corner. There was a friend’s birthday party by the end of the second week. I wonder if people could tell how tense I was. Sorry if I was a bad company.
First thing in week three: Andy fell off his bike, on a bend in an icy street. He didn’t break his teeth this time thankfully, but he got some yellow bruises. I’ve never seen yellow bruises before so my subsequent over-curiosity was probably really annoying.
I watched Little Women with a few friends. Absolutely stunning. Saoirse Ronan is an amazing actress. (I challenge you to pronounce her name.)
Apart from those, I spent most of my spare time watching Skillshare videos and taking notes. So far I have learnt about creative writing, storytelling, social media marketing, newsletter marketing and web copywriting. Some for personal reasons, some for work. Really enjoyed the quality video production and the useful content. Highly highly recommend.
A few things happened in week four:
- I missed buying a book called Atomic Habits on Kindle Daily Deal for 99p – really gutted.
- I discovered haggis in a supermarket and have been loving it. It was not the first time I tried haggis but it was the first time I was able to get some good haggis home and eat it whenever I like. I used to think the only good haggis was in The Cafe at the Palace outside Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. And I could never have imagined how versatile haggis is. One night (perhaps to the horror of Scottish people) we had it with Pad Thai and it worked perfectly well (should I be apologising to Thai people too?).
- The news about coronavirus must have reached me around this point, I didn’t note down exactly when. But I heard all about it on Saturday from my parents who are in China, which was the day of Chinese New Year.
Started to comprehend the seriousness of the coronavirus situation in China. People, like me, who have experienced SARS, seem to take this more seriously. Chinese students travel back and forth into Newcastle, into our church and the international fellowship constantly. Precaution should be thought through and actioned on. I texted JPCi core team but no one responded. There’s no churchwide announcement concerning people just travelled back from China and Asia either. On Friday, two coronavirus cases found in York were transported to Newcastle RVI hospital.
On a different note, on Friday we said goodbye to Anna Wong, one faithful member of JPCi who headed back to Malaysia. We went through highs and lows, we studied, sang and prayed together. See you soon little sister!
NOTE: I’ll try to do books in separate posts this year.
Cover photo by Sergi Ferrete from unsplash.com. I’m unleashing my love for flamingos.