Preparing for Flame 2017

I went to Flame in 2013 and it still sits with me as a wonderful time. One day, I will make my way back, but at the moment, I cannot afford the time or money to go. I would definitely recommend for any Catholic looking to share their faith with young people.

CAFOD blog

Leah and Ryan in Lebanon last year. Leah and Ryan in Lebanon last year.

We caught up with CAFOD volunteer Ryan who is getting ready to speak to over 8,000 people at the Catholic youth event, Flame 2017, at the SSE Arena, Wembley on March 11. Read on to find out more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with CAFOD.

Currently, I am a volunteer at Savio House, the Salesian residential retreat centre. I really enjoy working with young people and helping them to build relationships with each other as well as with God. When I was in Y12 I joined the Cafod Young Leaders program in my school and as a part of this, I went to the Houses of Parliament to speak to my MP about climate change. From this, I continued to volunteer for a second year on the program with different people.

Buy your ticket to Flame…

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Photo of the Week: Supportive

There is none more supportive of me than my partner, and though I rage at him a lot, he is always willing to listen. He is one of the kindest men I have ever met – I seem to be socially drawn to the kind – and he cares for me more than needs saying, more than can be said.

These roses he gave me for Valentine’s Day, but, like most fragile flowers in a heavy-air environment, they only lasted a couple of weeks.

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I don’t mind. You see here the flowers before I dried them, as they began to blacken. I decided to be arty (!) and took this photo through the bouquet decorator, made of wicker, and which now hangs from my radiator.

Quick Takes Friday: Bring on the Stress!

It’s time for Friday’s summary of the week. Hosted by This Ain’t The Lyceum.

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~1~

Exams: five down, zero to go.

Obligatory robot party gif.

~2~

“So, now you don’t have any exams, you have lots of free time, right?”

‘Nother misconception about students is that when we’re done with assignments and exams, we have nothing more to do. Not true. Currently, Alex is a busy bee, run off her feet, with so much yet to do with herself.

And, apparently, that makes her use third person…

~3~

The Itchy Feet event I’m helping to organise was on this coming Wednesday, so my free time was devoted to promoting that. Which is, frankly, scary, as it involves leaving the house and handing out flyers to strangers. Oh well. I need to up my performance confidence. I should make it a goal to stop flailing as I do things I actually love. Starting with cooking.

Itchy Feet Reading

~4~

I had three meetings today, of varying lengths and involvements, but all is adding up as work. My Psychology project for third year is beginning to be planned, but we’ve been unable to get hold of our supervisor, so it’s feeling like we’re in the middle of a lake without oars.

~5~

Did I mention that there was a Steampunk event last weekend? It wasn’t a big one, and revision meant I limited myself to one outing, but a Steampunk event is a Steampunk event nevertheless. The Sergeant and I travelled over to Frome in Somerset for a few hours of looking around the Steampunk market there and then around the small town. I may have popped into some charity shops for quick-spend clothes… No photos from me, sadly – as seems to be the unfortunate trend; and I’d love to vlog or video more steampunk outings – but my gentleman and I did snap a couple of selfies.

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D’aww.

~6~

I’ve started editing again – didn’t much ease myself in, though, as I threw myself into Aidelle’s penultimate chapter whilst the Philosophy Society were busy with quiz and karaoke last night. The music in pubs these days is far too loud…

~7~

I’ve also been trying to enhance my imagery to make it more…unique to the novel.

Aidelle didn’t remember writing them, but her hand had decorated the page whilst Zara had been describing her life. It was as twisted as they were; more twisted than the pipes of a combustion engine. 

I Have All I Want: A Birthday Post

As is the way around birthday times, people were asking me what I wanted for my birthday (which is today, in case I didn’t make that clear enough).

IT IS MY BIRTHDAY

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I maked this cake today ^_^

Now, to that question, I replied the same as I generally do: I don’t know. Other people’s birthdays are hard enough to buy for, and, in all honesty, I’m not a big birthday celebrator. It’s just another day in the life of the universe. It is a celebration of a single person, but not a celebration that others can appreciate as a community.

At least last year, though, I kind of had ideas for presents, even if they were little things or things that helped me with life, cooking, existence. 😛 But, I don’t know, last year was a weird year. I knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday – what I’d always wanted every year – but I knew I wouldn’t get what I’d wished, so any presents were just filling the space.

Yet, this year, I have not been so bothered. Regardless of having two exams on Monday and Tuesday (the two days before my birthday), and trying to focus on them, I also have not been interested in presents – or even in people knowing that it was a day on which I was born 20 years ago.

Maybe it’s because I don’t really get attached to material things. I mean, if you’re going to buy my dinner or a drink, you get a grin from me, but I don’t want chocolate or jewellery or makeup or clothes. I don’t want flashy items. I am, by nature, a pragmatic person; I like doing. Besides, as a spoilt only child, I’ve had enough of things.

And, sure, I’d love to say that I don’t want material gains because material things mean nothing to me – as in, there is Him whom is greater than worldly positions. Part of my desire to push away material possessions stems from my faith.

But I think it runs deeper than that, runs deeper than my convictions. Maybe I am just a person of simple interests. *cough* Unlikely. *cough*

My personal desires and levels of happiness in and of themselves have turned birthdays into less consequential days than they used to be. And I like that.

The point is, this year I have everything I’ve wanted – within reason. I know I have to wait and persevere for career and family advancements – but no material possessions, no magic changes in my academic scores, or even no free drinks or experiences can change the feelings of lightness I have been blessed to feel in the last few months. Most significantly (if we must move into specifics), I have someone who is happy for me to look after him, and him to look after me; I feel as if God has opened my eyes to my purpose again with a wonderful gentleman.

I may not be working at my optimal, yet, emotionally and physically and even mentally, I have been more than averagely well. That for me this year has been better than any present, gift, or experience. That for me is a birthday present that lasts beyond a single day, event, or box.

John 15:15

A quote from the Gospel reading today. Our priest made the remark that if we go away with one thing from this Mass, we go away with ‘John 15:15’. God is calling us all to be his friends, his children and not his servants, and it is a call that requires us to do nothing if we don’t want to – He is calling us to be loved by him. If we do nothing else, we can at least share His Love through being good Christians and looking out for others in our daily lives.

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