Sunday, 8 July 2007

Internet musings

I actually meant to post this last week, as it was fresh in my mind, but I got distracted. Pfft.

Anyway, last Sunday morning, as you do, I was watching the Heaven & Earth show. It's quite good, as religious programming goes. Anyway, there was a feature on the show about online churches. There are quite a number in Second Life, and they appear to be quite popular. There are also a number of online religious communities spread around the country. After the feature was shown there was a discussion with the studio guests, Nina Myskow, GP Taylor and some other bloke whose name I have completely forgotten.

Two of the people, unnamed man and Ms Myskow were really quite scathing about the use of internet forums and so on. Which got me thinking. I've been using discussion boards and forums for a good 5 to 6 years now and for the most part, it's been a hugely positive experience. I have met people who I now consider to be my closest friends. They have been there to support me during the bad times, celebrate during the good times and give me an alternative perspective when it's needed. Without that, I'd be a much lesser human being than I am today. I have grown in confidence (though, yes, that is quite fragile) and have expanded my horizons much more than I would had I not met them.

However, outstripping all of that has been the opportunities for so much fun and laughter. Which, frankly, makes life worth living.

To dismiss all of that with an airy wave of one's hand and wittering that people like me are sad and pathetic is to completely miss the point of all this. And strangely enough, it was the ex-vicar (GP Taylor) who was most in favour of online communities. Though thinking about it, perhaps with his background he can actually see the benefits rather than looking at the pitfalls.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Rain and sunshine

The last week or so, the weather here has been rubbish. Veering from grey, cold and damp to bright sunshine. I have the heating on in my flat right now - and it's July for heaven's sake!

Wednesday evening was a case in point. I was working late (summer working hours, work extra during the week and get a Friday off every other week), so when I finally left, it was just in time for the skies to turn dark and menacing. Still, as luck would have it, I managed to get on the bus before the rain started. However, halfway through the journey, the thunderstorm started. I have not seen rain that heavy for quite some time. It was bouncing off the tops of cars, bus stops, the pavement, umbrellas and assorted folk like anything. And of course, when the time came for me to change buses, it was still going (along with the booming thunder!). So, there I was stuck half underneath a very crowded bus shelter and half underneath my umbrella, when the sun started to come out, way over in the distance.

And of course, sun + rain = rainbows! I managed to get a picture of a particularly spectacular one whilst I was waiting at the bus stop. The picture quality isn't brilliant, but that's cameraphones for you.


Best of all, it's a doubler! I get stupidly excited when I see double rainbows. But then, I think I'm just a bit of a weather geek.