These days, when I go on holidays, I ask for book recommendations on Facebook, download some novels to my iPad, and then spend my holidays discovering the 50 unread books on my Kindle that I bought on a whim, or a recommendation, and haven’t bothered reading yet. Our most recent holiday was a bit like that. I spent some of the weekend reading about the decline of Christianity in America (unChristian), and also about the historical development of American Christianity up to the present (Bad Religion) – both books are analogously useful in Australia (though our Christian heritage is very different to theirs), both have something to say about the way people who want to follow Jesus can operate in a post-Christian world, but I haven’t finished either of them.
I did finish possibly my favourite “How To” book of all time, How to Sharpen Pencils.
Then, in a possibly award winning attempt to “relax” and “chill out”… I spent most of the weekend reading books about social media and being a better citizen of the internet.
I’m going to post some reviews to these – with some helpful tips and things I’ve gleaned from them, as applied to figuring out how social media can support church and mission in some upcoming posts, but here are the books I read, they range from the practical, to the theoretical, to the technical.
So I’ve been absent from blogworld for a few days. What’d I miss?
In the real world our little family were taking our first family holiday – we had been planning to go to the Gold Coast hinterlands, right up until the car was packed, and I was printing out our wotif booking. Only to discover that some idiot had booked the accommodation for the wrong weekend. After a mad scramble around the interwebs we booked three nights in Stanthorpe at the Sommerville Valley Resort.
Soph was a bit excited en route.
Here’s the view from the balcony.
Here’s the view from the lounge room.
We saw the pyramids. Well, a slightly lamer Australian version…
Went to a fun jam shop where Soph charmed the storekeepers. Which was lucky.
Soph, in turn, was charmed by an ornamental peacock in our room. She couldn’t get enough of it.
We added a bit to the trip with a Tour De France style experience on the way home.
And now, the craziness of college begins for another semester.
Wow. What a semester. Luckily I’ve only got to do this three more times…
Sadly, my “break” is shaping up to be almost busier than the semester. Plenty of deadlines to meet. PR work to do. Sermons to preach. Coffee to roast (and make). Cafes to check out.
Hopefully we’ll get away somewhere for some days so if there are a few days of radio silence maintained here – that’s why.
In the meantime, I’ve got a backlog of things to post here that will hopefully keep you amused. No doubt I’ll find some semi-serious things to write about… In the mean time, here’s a cute photo of my baby girl – who is now just shy of half a year old.
I’m looking forward to spending some time with my girls in the next couple of weeks.
So, unlike all the other bloggers in Australian Christendom, or whatever sector of the blogosphere I occupy… I’m not taking any time off blogging wise over Christmas. In fact. I suspect a lack of sleep will mean I’ll be blogging more. Because blogging is what I do when I sit in front of the TV…
There are some big things on the horizon though. For Clan Campbell. Changes are afoot. We’re having a baby – any time in the next couple of weeks (or up until Christmas, if he/she really doesn’t want to come out). We’re moving house (not sure where yet). We’re changing churches (and sadly ending our time working for Andrew and Simone). But we’re off to Creek Road. Which will be different. I’m planning to hand in my last couple of pieces of college assessment for the year this week. We’re having a little holiday with family on Stradbroke Island at some stage in the next fortnight. And umm. I’ll be watching lots of cricket. Playing some Assassins Creed: Revelations. And eating banana paddle-pops. Also, my sister and her man became engaged today. So that’s also cool and newsworthy.
I blogged some coffee stuff at thebeanstalker.com this week (and I’ll post this semester’s essays up there when they’re all done and dusted), and some study notes at Venn Theology. And you canorder some roasted coffee with a “Really Useful Gift” kicker through the St. Eutychus Coffee Roastery between now and Christmas…
All in all a pretty busy couple of months in the pipeline – especially if you throw in a little bit of PR consulting (you can check out nathancampbell.com.au too, if you want to sling some work my way/me to sling some PR work your way…).
Ahh. Melbourne. Coffee. Home. Essays. Sermons. That’s the story of my life this week. We left Melbourne yesterday, and that was the last real holiday I think we’ll have before our family gets a new addition.
So, in the next few days blogging will be a little sporadic. I’ve got three sermons to write before this weekend. One on Psalm 122 for my trials for license (complete with a 3,500 word exegesis paper), one on social networking and what it teaches us about the human desire for relationship (for another church’s youth group on Saturday), and one on Paul’s method of connecting the gospel to culture (based on Acts 17) for church on Sunday.
Plus, I’ve got a tutorial presentation paper and essay on the Psalms to prepare for the first week back from holidays (next week). So that’s an ouch.
Anyway. Here’s some photos from Melbourne to tide you over.
This dessert was the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
And this was the best pork belly ever… both were from Axil Coffee.
Reviews of our caffeinated long weekend in Melbourne are up on thebeanstalker.com (I’ve got a couple more to go)
I’m on holidays for the next couple of days. And on college mission after that. I can’t promise I’ll blog in the next two weeks at all. But I’ll try. It’ll just be sporadic. In the meantime… don’t be alarmed by the absence of new content. I’ll be back.
So. We’re going on a holiday. Right. In September. Pretty exciting stuff actually. We’re heading to Melbourne for a wedding and a little bit of a holiday.
Now. The catch is. We’re flying Tiger. Don’t look at me like that. It was really cheap. Even buying checked baggage for both of us.
Let me tell you a little story about last time we flew Tiger. Last time we flew Tiger I only booked checked luggage for one of us, and I thought you had the standard 20kg of baggage. Silly me. I didn’t read that fine print.
When we arrived at the Brisbane airport for our departing flight the staff were really nice. They looked after us, they said it didn’t matter that we only had one bag that was over the weight limit – we could just purchase luggage for our second ticket there and then and not pay the ridiculous price per kilo rate that they impose. That was pretty nice. It was costly. But nice.
No such joy upon our return from Sydney. We got to the airport nice and early (we were fitting our schedule around some friends and airports aren’t that bad…). We tried to check in, but the check-in wasn’t open. So we waited at the cafe. It had bad coffee.
Now, we hadn’t realised that Robyn’s ticket was an online check in ticket (because we’d checked in at the airport without a hitch in Brisbane). And when we got to the counter with our excess luggage hoping to repeat the Brisbane deal we were met with derision and the promise of a $30 at the counter check in fee, and an excess baggage fee of more than $200. So we did what any typical students would do in this situation. Panicked. We left the line and went through our bags offloading some excess weight into our hand luggage (because nobody ever weighs hand luggage) and donning whatever heavy clothes we could muster. Long story short, we got our baggage down to an acceptable weight, and walked through the check-in gate looking like Bernard Black heading off to donate clothes to the second hand store.
So now my questions are – have I thrown money into a drain booking with Tiger? Will they even exist come September? What should we do in Melbourne?
Semester One finally finished for me yesterday. Which is delightful news. Because it means that other than a PR contract I have to fulfil in Townsville in two weeks, and some bits and pieces over the next two weeks (like preaching on Revelation 19-20 at Scots). It would be horrible to forget that. Wouldn’t it. To turn up at church not realising you’re meant to be preaching.
Anyway. Semester One essays will eventually be posted over at Venn Theology. I was particularly happy with the essay I wrote on the relationship between special and general revelation (reading the Bible, and science). Other essays included a look at hope in the book of Jeremiah, a review of a German guy’s view on Luke (his name is Conzelmann), and one on the role/authority of tradition in the church.
I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and I was infinitely less stressed this year. Not sure why. Maybe it was the almost complete lack of social life.
Anyway. That’s a long way of saying you may see more, or less, of me in coming weeks. Depending entirely on how long Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood takes me to finish…
What does your perfect holiday day look like? Especially a winter holiday day. I’ll be trying to produce a string of them in the next few weeks, and could do with some inspiration.
In no particular order…
1. Catching up with friends (including Izaac and Sarah whose blogs I can’t be bothered linking to but you all read them anyway. Right.)
2. Taronga Zoo.
3. Manly play the Sharks on Saturday night
4. Church by the Bridge (5pm service on Sunday is my plan)
5. Coffee at AIR, Alchemy, Bean Drinking and Mecca. Those are my plans.
6. Gould Books..
7. The wedding we’re actually coming down for.
So peeps. We’re heading to Sydney for a wedding in a couple of weekends. And we’ve got a couple of days to kill either side of the wedding. Robyn wants to go to the zoo. I want to go to a bunch of awesome cafes, and Gould Books.
Manly are playing on the Saturday night in Cronulla. Which is a pain.
Does anybody have any recommendations for other things we should do? Churches we should check out? Amazing cafes?
I’ve been to Sydney before. I was born there. It’s not like this is my first time. But places change.
I’m really looking forward to the break too.
You may be wondering why things have been a little quiet here until about three hours ago. The answer. I was at the beach for a little break with my wife, and my parents.
It was even sunny.
Heading to Townsville on Monday, so blogging may be sporadic again for a while. I might try to queue something up though…
Did you miss me? The Sunshine Coast was rainy. We read books and slept. We went out for dinner twice. I played Playstation. I watched Ninja Assassin (Very violent, the JB Hifi guy told me not to bother, I loved it – though you probably won’t. Limbs were flying everywhere.). The PM got ousted. We watched World Cup matches. I cooked Master Chef style hash browns.All these factors, combined with time spent hanging out with my hot wife, made the week almost perfect. We came home in time for me to take the field for Kustard FC – a game we won 7-3. If Manly had managed to belt the Panthers it would have been a perfect week.
How about you? Did you miss me?
I don’t know what the plural form of “hiatus” is. But can I just say, for the record, that I don’t plan on going on a blog hiatus over the Christmas holidays like so many of you. In fact, I’ll probably blog more. Because I like blogging.
If you are one of those people taking a break from blogging – enjoy it – and send your readers my way for good clean holiday fun.
That is all.
I took lots of photos during our holidays – most were at a wedding and will be boring to all of you. Some were at the beach. Like these (and whatever else I eventually upload to this album).
I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with aperture and exposure settings.
And here’s the dust storm on the Sunshine Coast.