Family Matters in the Caribbean

​Our little feature in The Voice is now online http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/family-matters-caribbean

Have a read and please comment too! 

Thanks 

Phil 

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Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

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The best times in my life have been when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone;

-Applied for that job that was “above” me and got it!
-Moved abroad with my family for 4 months rather than stay in the UK.
-Stepped suddenly into a career change by responding of a friend’s Facebook status.

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So I just want to encourage you to do the same! Perhaps you’re not quite ready to fully step out, and that’s ok. Maybe try a few new things that stretch you to start with. I get inspiration from blogs and podcasts. I just found out my local library does online courses and free audio books [goodbye Audible]. Or ask for some suggestions from one of your inspirational friends (you MUST have at least one, right?)

Then share what you’ve done because you just might inspire someone else! It would be awesome to see more people step out of the ordinary and into something new. I know I’m happiest when I do.

Shout out to my Ninjas…you inspire me daily!

apologies for the blog break. I don’t quite have as much downtime as I did when I was on holiday 😁, but I do plan to keep this regular

5 Things I Miss About The UK

Our stay in St Kitts has been absolutely awesome…but there are still a few little things I’m looking forward to again.

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1. Yes! Food is at the top of my list. And fried chicken too. And chips. Ahhhhhhh #drool. But you know what. I really need to stop eating this kind of thing, so strictly for special occasions. Like first day back. And 2nd day back. That type of thing 😊

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2. I miss a Full English Breakfast. Premier Inn, watch out when the Mayers are back in town! Not only is it tasty, but with there being 9 of us the Kids Eat Free deal suits our pocket too.

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3. Did I mention the internet is slow here? And did I mention we’ve just been upgraded to 70mbps *yay*
Oh, I might as well throw in my mobile data package in this section too. The little tech things that I miss.

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4. A nice hot bath! Showers are awesome, but baths are awesomer! Some bubbles and light reading (note: using electronic devices in the bath is not recommended. I mean, who would do that anyway?)

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5. Driving! I actually haven’t driven at all for nearly 4 months. I miss it. The purr of the engine, the growl as you move through the gears, the wind on the open road, the speeding tickets. Wait a minute. I live in London. The A406. The M25. Maybe catching the rickety busses to Basseterre isn’t so bad after all!

Apologies for the blog delay, normal service resumes next week Monday (or Tuesday. I’ve been unwell plus the time zone thing keeps catching me out)

Wonky Veg


No, it’s not the name of an alternative pop group, or the result of a mishap with auto-correct, but the result of UK supermarket chain Asda changing the strict rules a bit to allow vegetables that usually go to landfill to end up on someone’s plate instead. And it got me thinking…

There’s a gospel artist who has been working with secular artists for many years, but a recent collaboration seems for many to be a step too far. Now when it comes to these things, we’re often encouraged to “look for the fruit”. But what happens when the fruit (or veg) doesn’t look like we expect?


A nightmare to peel, but perfectly edible.

It could be a bit bruised, damaged, or shaped strangely. Where I am in St Kitts, you get green bananas that are ripe! How many of us are bruised, damaged or shaped strangely?

So should we toss perfectly edible food away because it doesn’t quite fit the strict rules? In the same way, are we quick to write someone off because they don’t fit our own strict rules? Perhaps they’re a bit too short, or too tall? Maybe too fat, or too skinny, too dark, or not dark enough? The list goes on and on.

Thank God we haven’t ended up in a landfill somewhere! He sees us as something beautiful rather than something ugly. Something useful rather than useless. All across the globe He’s taking people as wonky veg and transforming them into brand new creations. God loves you!

2 Corinthians 5:17–Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

What Tech Am I Using?

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For this extended holiday I wanted to travel light and be disconnected yet have access to everything. Since I lost a lot of data on a faulty hard drive a few years ago, I’m now a huge fan of cloud storage. The last few months I’ve been shifting data from Dropbox…music to Google Music, photos to Google Photos, files to Google Drive (can you tell I’m a Google fan?)

I used to pay extra for the Premier Dropbox experience and still use it for its powerful folder sharing capabilities, but Google pretty much has everything covered.

Device wise I went for my personal power combo of the HTC One M9, Asus Zenwatch and Apple iPad. No laptop or desktop device apart from a really old laptop I managed to install Lubuntu on before it stopped working.

And I’ve been able to work, create, communicate and consume! Aside from a dodgy iPad screen which has now been replaced I’ve actually been able to do everything I need to.

Which gives me a bit of a dilemma when I get back to the UK. Which device to get next? The list is endless but I’m leaning towards an Apple device.

So over to my readers, what do you recommend?

5 Things We’d Change If We Started Homeschooling Again

[BONUS POST] While our journey of home educating our children has been a great experience, there are a few things we would change. Here are 5 of them.

  
Your teacher knows everything, your teacher knows everything…

  1. De-schooling. When you’ve been involved in a cult for any length of time, you need de-programming so you can begin to make sense of things again. (Now whether you think the school system is a cult or not is up to you 😜). We didn’t really take any time out, other than the summer break to really do nothing, and have a good rest before figuring out how to move forward as parents, and what to do with the children. Our initial efforts were a bit too “school-like” for our family, but by God’s grace we have found a good balance now.
  2. Take more advantage of the flexibility. We have done things here and there but this extended 4 month holiday is a great example of things it’s almost impossible while your children are in school. We intend to do more!
  3. Spend more time grounding us all in the love of God. As we’ve matured as Christians, we’ve realised that behaviour based on rules and punishment can only go so far, where as a home based on the love of God, and love for one another brings a totally different dynamic. We now intentionally make a home a place of honesty and reconciliation, but it would’ve been awesome to have go this sooner.
  4. Spend more time working on character than academics. This flows out of point 3, but basically when you have a right heart towards schoolwork and know your parents’ hearts, things go much easier.
  5. Be a little bit more organised. We’re not too bad, but sometimes we don’t remember where we got some online material from if we’ve printed it out, or downloaded a pdf [content creators, please make it easy to go back and find your stuff!]. I’m the tech guy so I’ll figure this part out…which leads nicely to my next post about tech. This one is just the final final conclusion to the series you can find here: Part 1, Part 2Part 3 and Part 4

Until next time

Phil

3 Things I’m Grateful For

 Life is very different in St Kitts. Now if I was organised, I would have 16 things to be grateful for in 2016, but because I’m not (yet), I’m just going to do 3 (aka 3 Things I Take For Granted in the UK).
1. Running water (which is sometimes hot).

There are a couple of different reasons this one makes the list. Over here, the water sometimes goes off at night and the pressure is variable anyway, which affects whether or not the hot water kicks in! Not every home here has a water supply so standpipes are a regular sight here too.

2. An Internet connection

As someone who uses the Internet every now and then 😊 I’m truly grateful that I can keep up to date with what’s going on in the world and keep in touch with friends. A couple of noticeable differences though. The Internet is SLOW. Currently 2Mbps (but moving up to 6Mbps soon) compared to the 50Mbps I’m used to at home. But hey, give me warm weather and slow internet over cold weather and fast internet any day.

3. Electricity

We had our first power cut recently. No electricity means no wifi, or charging devices, or using a microwave, or having lights. It’s another one of those things that are “just there” ready for you to use whenever you want, so when it’s not there, you really do feel it.

So if you have hot and cold running water, an Internet connection and electricity, recognise that you are blessed!

What are you grateful for?

Oh, and here’s one of my favourite tunes. Grateful (Fanatix Remix) by Dennis Ferrer & Kenny Bobien.