Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Aussie Test XI I've Seen Play

I know we've been over this ground before [at least in coffee induced conversations] BUT with extra time on my holidays and the chance to get through a mountain of around the house jobs I have had some time to watch cricket and admire the current crop and reflect on seasons past and my own passion for this silly game played in the hottest part of the year!!

Rob Hanks Aussie Test XI [I have to have seen them play]
1. Matthew Hayden
2. Bob Simpson [c]
3. Greg Chappell
4. Ricky Ponting [I can't believe he's made a convert out of me]
5. Alan Border
6. Steve Waugh
7. Adam Gilchrist
8. Shane Warne
9. Dennis Lillee
10. Jeff Thompson
11. Glen McGrath

12th Man Doug Walters

Well, there you have it!! There's a few good players left out
Those with a Yahoo ID may care to take the challenge and comment!!

Oh and Ian Chappell would be appointed coach but would knock back the position out of the integrity that he doesn't believe in them...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Newcastle Earthquake 10.27am 28th Dec 1989

Some footage might be disturbing though its all NBN news coverage and part of the wrap up documentary some time later!! Including the Newcastle Bus Depot interview in some 9 mins of footage!!

My Story: Earthquake Relief Concert

This week was 18 years since the Earthquake in Newcastle and surrounds which is evident today in new buildings and old stories about December 28th 1989!! It's recognised as happening at 10.27am and amongst a range of remembrances a memorial clock stopped at that time is on the wall at Jesmond Woolworths.

The funniest footage [of what must be remembered as a tragedy which cost 13 lives] was the news story being recorded about possible industrial action by Newcastle Buses where the ground shakes and the Union rep looks around saying "sh%# what was that?" and was therefore 'must see' footage on all the news bulletins.

The city was shutdown, buildings were demolished or haggled about insurance for more than 5 years... awnings fell at Hamilton, Newcastle Workers collapsed... and I for one MISSED IT ALL!!

Friends and I were on an ill conceived bushwalk down the Williams River in the Barrington's which Scouts and other adventure clubs have famously undertaken. That year there was a fair bit of water in the creek-like sections and it slowed us as a group. Personally whilst reasonably fit from footy that year my knees had started to complain and my old faithful comfortable joggers turned to soap from the continual wet walking and wading... more than one of us slipped on a mossy rock you needed to shimmy across to avoid jumping down into a tree trunk covering the waterfall-like section... friend Bernadette slipped and we later learned didn't just injure her side but busted a rib...

I gained some new insights into my own way of being part of a group that day and was also pretty annoyed with our two friends leading the group who in recognition of fading light and us taking a lot longer than planned charged off to set a pace... out of some frustration and with only minimal communication... as others of us with less balance and struggling a bit were left to bring up the rear!! While some of those friends returned again many times since, including this year... I count it as an interesting experience I don't care to repeat!! They were glad of that!

We didn't hear about the earthquake until half the group waiting at 'Bear's' house were joined by the Chinese takeaway buyers who heard about it on the radio and in the take away!!

My flat had water damaged books from a wavy fish tank, fish on the floor a cracked wall and a clothes dryer that had almost fallen off the top of the water heater... otherwise you wouldn't have known anything had happened!!

Simone tells the story of falling off her bike, friends in Sydney remember feeling a shake...
AND in the Barringtons..... NOTHING!!

The earthquake was in part the inspiration for the NCYC 2003 theme of "Shaking the Foundations" which was really about Jesus 'god values' view of the world that turns convention and trend upside down and calls us to live in community and relationship as intended!!

BUT the reflections I do have involve the coming together of people to raise money through the 'Earthquake Relief' Concert and that's what I was reflecting on this week as the 28th rolled around!!

40,000 people packed into the Newcastle International Sports Centre Stadium [since named 'Marathon' and now 'Energy Australia' Stadium...] The concert was put together by lots of Aussie acts and their management with the grunt of Michael Chugg... the black t-shirt is still in my collection somewhere!!

How did you decide the playing order 'Split Enz' and 'Crowded House' were asked...."well nobody could play after 'the Oils' so they'll be last and who cares from there..."

My highlights included:
The Angels entire set as they were just 'on fire' in those days
Ian Moss for the first time live
Neil Finn making a mistake and Paul Hester reaming him mercilessly about it as a turning of the tables on the perfectionist
The people towers rising ten people high
The blanket tossing of small males and females what must have been 10 metres in the air at times
All this in a pretty spontaneous, generous and playful atmosphere considering the alcohol and 'grass' consumption for the day... judging by most punters we encountered!! It had the same kind of unifying feeling as the Sydney Olympics did in the city that September 2000!!

I wonder if anyone had footage they've put on youtube from their archive!! While there was some consternation later about exactly how much money was raised it was one of my most memorable concert experiences!!

As another aside the earthquake experiences and stories of many people effected gave rise to the play "Aftershocks" which was a style of theatre production thats since become very popular in style and is like a retelling 'in their own words' of peoples experience and reflections!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Most Complained about Advert in Oz

It seems the Nando Chicken advert has earnt the ire of the most people in 2007 according to media reports today... too much nudity in the pole dancing mum storyline apparently...

It seems an honourable mention goes to the clever RTA advert about young men speeding or acting the fool in cars. As it happens this advert was shot in the industrial Newcastle suburb of 'Carrington' and can be seen being replicated by real hoons any given Saturday down the very wide main street!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Two New Storytelling Resources

I spent some expected Christmas dollars in advance on Christmas Eve to add to my 'storytelling' resources!!

FIRST is "Fridge Magnets are Bastards" by Mark Dapin
This is a fun listing of everything quintessentially Aussie and annoying that seems to be flavour of the month here and yet takes us backwards or serves no real purpose. Its a 'list of annoying people and useless things.....'

SECOND is :"Hot and Bothered" by Michael Leunig
A collection of some of Michael's recently published newspaper cartoons which are brilliant as ever!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"Christmas Must Be Tonight" The Band

While I'm impressed with Paul Kelly's B-side cover of this track on the Won't You Come Around EP, this youtube punter has added some Chrissy images to the original from 'The Band'!!

Happy Christmas and have a significant time re-membering all that the story of the birth od Christ represents.... it was untidy, unexpected in location, humble, and representative of the values of God we are called to live out and example in our lives, relationships and community!! bringing HOPE and reconciliation to all!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Give a Better Gift: Betta Electrical Gift Cards

Betta Electrical score my award for Christmas marketing this year and the Anglican and Catholic heirarchy went for it left right and centre. Check out the advertisement for gift cards and see if it would have been as controversial and noticeable if the churches had not made comment!!

Gee at least the story is out there in the mainstream and someone at Betta and at their marketing firm have remembered it has something to do with Christmas!!

Smartartz 2007

In 2006 a group of keen adbusters began thinking and planning for a series of street scape art installations to bring an 'alternative' Christmas focus.

In community not church space
Static with crazy multimedia ideas but safe and interactive unattended
Focused on key words from the advent story
Relevant to the community
Friendly and a new face for 'the church'

We ran out of time without burning ourselves out!!

In 2007 a bunch of those inspired group members picked up the idea and developed the alternative side of the project into advocacy for TEAR Fund Gift Catalogue and Fairtrade products.... we now have some ideas for 'stations' next time having seen the ideas and the space first hand with a genuine passing traffic [between REBEL Sport and Charlestown Square Shopping Centre]

A range of committed Uniting Church folk and UCATSA tertiary students of various flavours wore t-shirts pondering "what I want for Christmas is....." depicting goats, wells, etc on the back!! This was a Uniting Church U-Turn group!!

Live music was our centre piece in the rotunda with the usual rotation of embarrassingly talented muso's and singers on tap in these Hunter networks!!

Thanks go to all who participated... including those excluded from the Centre by Security for their subversion of the consumerist myth of happiness by material possessions!!

Some photos will appear here... others will later be uploaded to our yahoogroup space and a flickr panel in the right column!!
Well done and thanks to the core Team who made this possible!!

NEXT year....
three sided gazebo tents
4 art installations
a wardrobe with holes cut for 34cm tv's
vox pop video about 'what christmas means to me'
invite Juan Mann to join us with his free hugs
maybe move from the Mall to a community hall or space somewhere with through traffic where a bbq and fire twirling could happen
alternative nativity
negotiate one installation to be in a shop window and out real people in a scene as if mannequins
so it goes on......

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unreliable Idea # 34 "Minute by Minute" Grinspoon CLIP

OK caught the released clip for this Grinspoon song on 'Video Hits' this morning!! The clip adds a dimension to the story of Phil's live performance and interview on Denton's 'Enough Rope'!!

A great Camp Small Group activity would be to take a chart song that relates to the theme and invite each group to write/design/storyboard and then film a clip interpreting the song or the song in relation to the Camp theme and then of course play these clips!!

You need:
A props and costume box
Video camera/s
Capture/edit software
CDs and lyrics of the song
Maybe the original clip
A brief precis of the connections between the theme and the song [use only if groups are stuck]

Monday, December 10, 2007


So here I am at the end of week one of an extended holiday!! I return to work after Australia Day at the end of January!! I decided after 8 years in my role to 'take a breathe' before the next 3 year extension and lets see what we can do.... We are not doing more than day or overnight trips because I can tell you now I just need a huge rest!!

So I find myself with advent ideas and nowhere to use them... some from previous years, some new and crazy!! Though my posts over Dec/Jan will slow down I consider this fun and not work so you'll see stories, news and music IF I feel like it...

1. "Christmas Must Be Tonight"
I am very strong on trying to interpret Christmas in the Aussie climate and culture so Paul Kelly's 'The Band' cover as a single B side on 'Won't You Come Around' is a great tune.

2. "The North Wind"
This carol demands the writing of your own verses to actually introduce some element of Jesus story and to contextualise its singing in a given year.

3. ABC Radio 702 Christmas Carol CDs
Where listeners/groups have recorded music... my favourite is Wiley Park Public School kids doing 'Silent Night' with a little rock a billy piano... I have 2 volumes which are still around...

4. Audio-visuals
Available from [after you wade thru the americanisms] and rather than scamming some of them from youtube which does have other options also

5. "Nine"
From Jonny Baker and the Grace folk... something I will use one year...

Worship around the nine lessons used in 'lessons and carols' services only this time you invite nine participants who volunteer, to choose a piece of music that relates to the 'lesson' or bible reading for them and then to design a worship 'station' or activity connecting both or springing off them... I understand that people are invited to experience all NINE in the worship time and space

6. Upside down Christmas Tree
Bring food and small prezzies for those in need and distribute the to advertised community groups. The UCA links with 'Target' thru our UnitingCare name and local congregational partnerships.

7. Refugees
A valid focus for Advent 2007
I guess people have already started lighting Advent Candles in wreaths.... but you could focus on the plight, struggles and hopes of refugees through the Advent themes of HOPE< ANTICIPATION, PATIENCE and OBEDIENCE

8. Australian Images
While I am no fan of Buck and Champs [Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion] CDs the Holden Ute does evoke some strong local images as transport for Santa. Use crayon and other artforms to draw backdrops, cards, AV slides etc to fit with an Aussie Christmas

9. FarSide
I still rate Gary Larson's Christmas art amongst his finest work and the funniest Christmas images around... I have previously blogged about how "unbeknown to most theologians a fourth wise man was turned away for bringing fruitcake..."

10. Prayer for Others
Here at Christmas time is a chance to have a red hot go at listing all the international situations that need prayer and action for change in 2007. Our best chance to demonstrate our missional sensibilities with mixed audiences of visitors in worship!!

11. U2
"Peace On Earth"
"Wave of Sorrow"
See previous posts on both these songs BUT the second one comes as a brilliant Intercession track reflecting as Bono says on the story of Solomon and on his experiences in Africa those many years ago!!

The 20thanniversary remastered album, and limited edition 2 CD set are out... BUT I have waited and ordered the Deluxe version wit the Paris concert DVD and booklet as an advance Chrissy present from money I believ is on my way... due here 2 weeks ago but always held back by the marketers until 18th December!!

12. BBQ
Hold one in your main street, on the front lawn of your church, or in your own backyard BUT hold one somewhere so your faith community shares with the rest of the community on some level... maybe even be inspired to do what my collaborators in the Smartartz colelctive are doing...

13. TEAR Fund Art Installation and Music
Outside a local shopping centre there will be music, a shanty with advertising for TEAR Gift Catalogue and the plight of refugees the world over... a bbq we hope and t-shirted volunteers reminding people that hyper consumerism is not the entire message of Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wallsend South Public School Celebration

Wow, after all those reminiscences about Newcastle Workers Club... there I was tonight at Lucy's end of school year celebration. So she's in Kindergarten and perhaps there's plenty of years to catch these events BUT she was one of two Kindergarten 'signers' for the National Anthem and a choir member for the Kindergarten dinosaur songs!! Little did we know she was receiving a certificate for "citizenship" which made sense... she's been a great friend to some other kids and has loved school!!
Even moreso, the night was spectacular... from the matrix clock countdown to start through three or four songs of visuals from the year and then a few other video diaries in between some awards!! It was brilliant... my motto, simple things done well!! It showed the generational difference in short speeches and plenty of images!!
As well as this I had been talking beforehand about how this is one venue where 'mum and dad' used to come to see live bands and especially 'The Oils'... blow me down if song three in the video collage isn't "King of the Mountain" which certainly rocks!! from the Blue Sky Mining" album!!
All in all a terrific if late night and a testimony to a great School and a dedicated and keen staff...
It made me think about children's ministry, worship, the challenge the church faces in the current context, the positive values and participation that were encouraged and what happesn to kids who 'go off the rails'? In this affirming and positive environment they still manage to hit 'walls', struggles, esteem issues etc and experience untold pain that no institution seems equipped to handle!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Reflections "1000 Miles Away" Hoodo Gurus

"1000 Miles Away" Hoodo Gurus
Estimated time of arrival 9.30 a.m.
Been up before the sun and now I'm tired before I even begin.
(Now you're flying) I got so much work in front of me,
(Really flying) it stretches out far as the eye can see.
I can see.
Spend half my life in airports doing crosswords and attempting to sleep,
And when the bar is open then you'll often find me warming a seat.
(Now you're flying) I never find a place where I can stay
(Really flying) I'd rather be a thousand miles away.
Thousand miles away.
Working for yourself sometimes ain't all that it's cracked up to be.
It can be as lonely at the top as at the bottom of that corporate tree
(Now you're flying) I'm told I'm going places - who can say ?
(Really flying) I might arrive but I'll be gone the very next day.
I must be on my way
A thousand miles away.
Promised to myself someday I'd take the time and try to make sense
Out of all those opportunities I've lost from trying to sit on the fence
(Now you're flying) But right now I've got no time for yesterday
(Really flying) Yesterday's a thousand miles away.
A thousand miles away.
What was that that you were trying to say ?
I guess I was a thousand miles away.
Sing it again.

As I head off to extended holidays for this year [wow, finally taking some of that well earned Long Leave] I was thinking about my reflection time on Saturday as I drove to Canberra listening to my 'mixed tape CD' in the car and drumming along to the Gurus...

This song is not my story, a bizzaro version of it might be... the opposite to the corporate tree, working for myself, wishing I was 1000 miles away etc BUT my reflections were somewhere between what a brilliant guitar/drum rock band the Hoodo Gurus were/are and memories of Newcastle Workers Club gigs maybe 15 years ago... the humidity, smoke, lights, the bass causing your sternum to vibrate and the drums making a breeze blow through your hair whenever the foot pedal was hit!!

Just as your settling in to listen to a brilliant performance the latecomers start wending their way forward and taking up your space, you catch the pungant wiff of a joint fired up nearby as three Merewether surfers push past to get a better position at front of stage.

Its late, your at part time Uni and working fulltime and the chances of you getting to work tomorrow are getting slimmer as the encore lengthens!!

Then when it all ends you shuffle slowly through ankle deep cans and plastic cups to a half open door that only two people at a time can fit through!! Out into the crisp air you suddenly develop a craving for a Haven Burger and large chips with chicken salt down in Darby St [now Hunter St]

Life is full of potential BUT you feel a little stuck, alone and unsure... THEY WERE GREAT TIMES!!

"Promised to myself someday I'd take the time and try to make sense
Out of all those opportunities I've lost from trying to sit on the fence
(Now you're flying) But right now I've got no time for yesterday
(Really flying) Yesterday's a thousand miles away.
A thousand miles away.
What was that that you were trying to say ?
I guess I was a thousand miles away.
Sing it again..."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Worship Unplugged #48 CD Cases

This idea courtesy of Nicole!!

Clear jewel CD cases make an excellent frame/container/display for a small picture/illustration/drawing or piece of creative writing!!

Like calico or a series of canvasses imagine if a group were invited to respond creatively to some story/experience or visual and they drew or wrote on a cd cover sized card.

The card goes into the CD case and then a group of cases could be superglued together side by side and in rows and columns for pairs, small groups or even whole communities.

They wouldn't be too heavy and could be hanged in a gathering space for display once dry!!

Sets of these could be made for tables or groups as stimulus for prayer for others/discussion etc.
In fact for this purpose the images could be printed on CDs as labels to add to the appearance.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Worship Unplugged # 47 MUSIC

This unplugged activity comes via Jonny Baker from

In many places and at many times I have introduced a song as a soundtrack for some form of prayer, reflection or input and have commented that people may or may not relate to that but for me an hour or more of just music would stimulate sufficient 'space and time' for me to enjoy that as inspired worship giving me sufficient connection between life, news, music, God and the songs themes and ambience!!

The beauty of this idea is to select out an hour of music your youth or young adult group will relate to that explores relevant themes... burn a CD and distribute it so they can download to their mp3 player [have spares on hand]... then prepare a single image/short text workbook styled page for journalling or reflection for each song and make them up into a booklet for each participant. Participants can then spend time listening, reflecting and responding!!

Do the hard work on the songs and the workbook and they will lap it up!!

Unreliable Idea # 33

Looking for that unique t-shirt [something of an old hobby of mine] then you could do worse than head to and ordering a shirt with a print of a legendary concert performance in a range of colours!!
Alternatively you could save the images yourself OR scan your own favourite tickets into the computer and take the jpeg file to the nearby shopping centre copy centre that handles t-shirts, mouse mats and coffee mugs and your all set for that present for someone who has everything!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interesting Momento from the Howard Years

Four weeks ago I was walking through Eastwood and a corflute political poster had come free from the telegraph pole in Benelong. I grabbed it from the footpath thinking 'if I drive past the campaign office I'll drop it in, if not I have cleared up some litter from the street and it'd be an interesting piece of political history [pictured above].

Former ABC journo/presenter Maxine McKew seems to have created history where boundary changes over recent years have increasingly moved this electorate west and made it more and more marginal. Maxine was described by Kevin Rudd as him 'messing with John Howard's head' and she meant he had to spend weekends at home and not touring marginals!!

She just may have won the seat and saved the trouble of a by-election from John Howard's resignation!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

20 Years since 'Diesel and Dust' for Midnight Oil

Here's your big chance... what's all the fuss about Midnight Oil? What is it about their music that made them world famous? Social justice? Aboriginal issues? What would they know about that?

Over twenty years ago Midnight Oil toured the outback of Australia, living and playing music in remote and urban settings right across the top end. Thye undertook this as part of the 'Blackfella/Whitefella' Tour with the Warumpi Band.

They came back inspired and having written seminal tracks for their 'Diesel and Dust' album that would take Midnight Oil to the world and bring indigenous issues to the forefront of mainstream media. This impact was celebrated with their performance at the Sydney Olympics. In their own small way they paved the path for Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach and others.

At the end of January 2008 you will be able to purchase a re-released version of the 'Diesel and Dust' CD with a DVD of a couple of songs and the 'Blackfella/Whitefella' documentary which has been seen on the ABC many years ago!!

Don't take my word for it... buy your own copy of this brilliant recording and see what all the fuss is about!! Keep in mind they are absolutely brilliant played live... lucky it'll be hot summer weather at end of January, so you need to dim the lights, grab a cool drink, sit in the dark and crank the stereo up and enjoy!!

Perhaps my abiding memory of that experience will be the way in which the Diesel and Dust set within any concert became a moving highlight... often started by all the inventive ways they could play an instrumental intro to 'The Deadheart' seeing how long it took for cluey audience members to begin chanting "do, do, do, do ,do do, do, do! do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do!" as the gangling rhythms of Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey set the mood to transport your imagination to central Australia!!

"Strict Rules" was a revealing book that documented the Tour and a segement of that ended up as part of the Year 10 English Moderator exam a few years back. It's a great read from a journo who travelled with the group. The same poster and excerpt of the bands thoughts came with the vinyl record. Colleague Rob McFarlane found a vinyl of the original album and gave it to me as a generous gift that will eventually find its way into a frame with my autographed t-shirt, 2 drum sticks and a few other bits of memorabilia when I get around to it!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ten Years since Michael Hutchence Death

Contrary to popular belief there are any number of bands from the 80s and 90s I have enjoyed and would travel and cancel stuff to see... INXS was amongst those.

Despite "Listen Like Thieves" being the album our inconsiderate flatmate Chris made us put on every afternoon while he got ready for ten minutes to go out again... we really did enjoy the music, the fan worship and the hot summer nights at Newcastle Workers or other outdoor Festivals taking in INXS live with the Farriss brothers, Garry Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly... and the svengali Michael Hutchence.

If you read those early articles you were reminded that when INXS first got going in Perth and then moved to Sydney they were still under age and needed special permission to play pub gigs around the country.

They did have a unique sound and tragically and interestingly a 'larger than life' lead singer in Michael!!

He is the quintessential example of 1990s rock n roll excess and the unhappiness of wealth and fame masked by drug and alcohol abuse where fundamental happiness and filfilment seemed unattainable!!

Michael lived through the dramas of a relationship with Kylie Minogue [and her supposed loss of innocence] the supermodel Helena Christenson, singer Belinda Carlisle and others and with the late Paula Yates who left Bob Geldof to live with Michael!!

He moved in that rock star stratosphere...

His mysterious death in a Double Bay Motel room was very sad. Was it taking his own life or being caught out in a known sexual practice of faux hanging yourself to prolong your experience. I guess we'll never hear the full story of Kym Wilson and boyfriends time with him that night and the phone calls to London with lots of shouting!!

For all his faults and struggles he was a larger than life character on the world stage...

I still remember the tribute by U2 at their Pop Mart Sydney concert the night the thunderstorms persisted until claering to produce a hot pink cloudy sky during the rendition of "Never Tear Us Apart" from close friend Bono!! It was eerie and poignant!!

The Hutchence family had strong connections with the Forrest Kirk Uniting Church in Sydney's north and I've been shown the sappling planted in the grounds as part of a family memorial for Michael!

Personally I have no axe to grind with JD Fortune but what INXS have become through Rockstar and the addition of a new singer [following Terrence Trent Darby and Jon Stevens] is just a bit sad and is not INXS in my humble view... good luck to them!!

Powderfinger Silverchair

If like me you missed the 'Across the Great Divide' tour of these two exceptional bands THEN on December 1st in Oz you can grab a copy of the concert and behind the scenes doco!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Official 'I Missed Out!'

Well I hope they know what they're doing at ARU HQ!! Hopefully Ewen McEnzie has been given the nod to coach the Wallabies for three years because my brave attempt to return the team to running rugby under the keen eye of Team Member Mark Ella has been skuppered!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aussie Netballers World Champs

After years of one point extra time and emotional thrillers culminating in the Aussie losing the World Title four years ago... the girls stamped their authority again with a four point win over the silver ferns in the Final tonight in NZ!!

Irene Van Dyk was note perfection personified but it was the ausiie girls all court defense that restricted the Kiwis and delivered a great result. Skipper Liz Ellis [looking fitter than ever] had a great game leading our World Champs!!

Final score 42-38!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The film U2 promoted at Cannes in May this year is due for worldwide IMAX release from January!!

"Joshua Tree" remastered


The Joshua Tree: Remastered

'The Joshua Tree will prove a braver and better record than anything else that's likely to appear in 1987. ' (NME) The Joshua Tree has been meticulously remastered from the original analogue master tapes to mark 20 years since its release.

"There has been continuous demand from U2 fans to have The Joshua Tree properly re-mastered," says Paul McGuinness. "As always, the band had to make sure it was right, and now it is."

In 1987, The Joshua Tree reached Number 1 around the world and won a Grammy for "'Album of the Year', while U2 won the Brit Award for Best International Act and Time Magazine put the band on its cover, proclaiming them 'Rock's Hottest Ticket'.

Including the singles I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name and With Or Without You, The Joshua Tree went on to sell in excess of 20 million.

The album will be available in four formats:
• A standard CD featuring liner notes from Bill Flanagan, lyrics and unseen photographs from long time collaborator Anton Corbijn.
• A double 12" gatefold vinyl format, with the original album pressed across two 180 gram audiophile discs.
• A deluxe edition including a second CD of b-sides and demos from the original album sessions.
• A limited edition box set containing two CD's and a DVD featuring The Joshua Tree Tour live from the Hippodrome in Paris and other rare video footage.

The CD track listing is as follows: Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, With Or Without You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Red Hill Mining Town, In God's Country, Trip Through Your Wires, One Tree Hill, Exit and Mothers Of The Disappeared.


U2 "Wave of Sorrow"

U2 have always been brilliant at keeping fans happy and keen between major recordings! Stories of stolen CDs in suitacses, lyrics notepads going missing, live recordings released, iTunes deal etc!!

Following the DVD of Pop Mart comes a re-mastered release of Joshua Tree and extras!!
You may have just received an email from iLife attached to Facebook with footage of Bono talking us through a performance of the previously unreleased "Wave of Sorrow" which is a moving and important story again reflecting on Bono's trip thru Africa with his wife Ali and reading about the story of Solomon!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free Hugs comes Home

Whether you are aware of Juan Mann [the originator of the Pitt St Mall FREE HUGS campaign on Thursdays] with a youtube video picked up and spawning a clip to a Sick Puppies song... Juan has now added an invitation online to visit him at his home between 10am - 10pm except Thursdays!! Bring food, drink, video game....

12/30 Bucknell St Newtown

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Five Worst Films You've Seen this Year

Hi All,
Here's the challenge!!
What are the 5 worst films you've seen during the 2007 calendar year [which yes does still have a month and a half to go but as someone having all of December and January off this year I'm starting now!!]
In no particular order they are:

1. The Simpsons Movie
Disappointing simplistic story that could have been told in 30mins
2. Superbad
A few funny ideas but otherwise a less funny American Pie
3. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Hasn't that been done, saved by Jessica Beils
2. Evan Almighty
One good scene, funny, just not a good script and not clever
3. Death Proof
Quentin makes brilliant movies about ordinary America but this cut and paste caused me to ask 'why' it was a film?

Love at First Sight on NY Subway!!

This from the local papers on the weekend! A great story for the collection!

A brief encounter in a New York subway train prompted a romantically inclined man to set up his own internet site just to find the woman he saw.

Patrick Moberg, 21, said it was - for him at least - love at first sight when he exchanged glances with a rosy-cheeked young woman while taking the train from Manhattan to Brooklyn on Sunday. But just as he had plucked up the courage to talk to her, the train stopped and he lost her in the crowd.Undeterred, Mr Moberg, a web designer, set up a new site - - which was dedicated to finding her.

He drew a picture of the girl, who was wearing blue shorts, blue tights, and a red flower in her hair. He added his mobile phone number, email address and an appeal for help in finding her.

Amazingly, in a city of eight million people, it worked. Within hours, Mr Moberg's inbox had been inundated with emails and his phone was ringing continually. Some of the emails came from women who admitted they were not the girl, but asked him to pick them instead.

On Tuesday night, a friend of the woman contacted him and sent him a picture so he could confirm her identity. Mr Moberg announced the breakthrough on his website with a notice entitled: "Found Her! Seriously!"The mysterious subway brunette was later named as Camille Hayton, a 22-year-old Australian magazine intern.

The internet listings site Craig's List carries a "missed connections" section in cities including London and New York, in which people can try to track down the other party. But Mr Moberg's decision to set up his own website takes the searcher's dedication to a new level.

Yesterday, the pair appeared on Good Morning America, ABC's television breakfast show, having met for dinner the previous night.Mr Moberg claimed that he hadn't been nervous about meeting her, adding: "We totally clicked."Perhaps sounding a little more cautious, Miss Hayton said she "couldn't not meet" Mr Moberg after he went to so much trouble to find her. Mr Moberg said he had spent the journey "psyching myself up to introduce myself" but now wonders what he would have said anyway. "I don't think anything I could have said would have been able to sanely convey how strongly I felt about her."He added: "As soon as she had disappeared, I felt an undeniable urge to reach out to find her. "The only way that seemed remotely possible, without seeming like a total creep, was to put up a totally straightforward recap of what happened, and hope it somehow made its way to her."

Miss Hayton admitted that the encounter was a complete fluke as she had only been using the train to go to a friend's home because her own house had just burned down. Mr Moberg said he would be giving no more updates on his website. He said: "Unlike all the romantic comedies and bad pop songs, you'll have to make up your own ending for this."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Oh Dear!!

This is what happens when you "tow the party line" for over 3 years and basically have to pretend to be someone your not!! I'm not talking about Peter Garrett's latest kerfuffle over the "we'll change them all when we get in" comment... although thats part of it!!

It's more how someone so articulate, informed and coherent can become a media target repeatedly!!

To me that's because if you set your agenda, form your views and stick to your guns you can't say the wrong thing!! BUT if your task is to make yourself and your mob the 'smallest target possible' then you have to constantly watch your p's and q's... almost impossible for someone so vitally interested in making the world a better place!!

Disowning your own lyrics as a compilation or the views of others in your band
Tip-toeing around strong 'green views' for the sake of party policy
Endorsing a new Pulp Mill thru gritted teeth

Yes, I'm sure Bill Leak's 'lost voice' cartoon has some short term accuracy and pain attached!!
But hopefully PG can keep an eye on the bigger picture but use that energy to steer clear of further gaffe's [stuff up's]

Perhaps he's missing the impatient count in or foot tapping of Rob Hirst as another sweat soaked rant hits the air in any pub you name BUT Hirst fires up the drums to signal its time for a song Pete!! Maybe he should be on your front office staff!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 ARIAS Highlight

Run and won!! Largely by "Silverchair" the ARIAS are over for another year and demonstrate the magnificent creativity within the aussie music industry!!

My personal highlight was "Powderfinger's" rendition of "Lost and Running" with the Sydney Gospel Choir!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Go the Boks!!

What other choice is there... if another country is to have two Webb Ellis successes then is sure as heck can't be England!! Not back to back... from being the best side for 2 years to being perhaps amongst the worst and somehow bobbing up with a gameplan that we helped them have confidence in!!

Habana alone and the mercurial Percy Montgomery [who can forget the immortal commentary of Simon Poidevin in the Tri Nations as Jonah Lomu make him look like a turnstile "He's dogged that Percy Montgomery, he's taken a dive rather than tackle Lomu!!"] both deserve a title win!!

The Boks forwards have been skillfully restrained and could do anything tonight!!

Will Wilkinson play a determining role?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Applying for the Wallaby Coaching Job

OK OK stop texting and phoning me demanding action!!
Let me confirm I have sent my application to the ARU High Performance Unit for the job of Head Coach of the Wallabies!!
Let's see if I get a response this time... Pat Howard now heads up the Unit and I have co-coached with his Uncle Tom at Wanderers so we'll see... I have also sent my media release to Greg Growden at the Sydney Morning Herald as it was he who blew the whistle on the journalist spin that previously 'Knuckles' Conolly was indeed NOT the 'last man standing'!!

Here are some extracts:

I would work to build a set up and a team at its pinnacle that:

Could catch, pass, run and kick when needed
Brought in younger players in a smooth transition
Offered redundancy to half the current squad post Cup
Organised a huge farewell send off for George Gregan
Work at continuing Matt Dunnings transformation including a haircut
Keep Mortlock as captain for 2 years
Shift Camp Wallaby to Newcastle
Work towards a 12 team National Comp for which all Wallabies would be available
Shift the Brumbies to Melbourne
Sign Gordon Bray to the Test Commentary for life
Scrap “Waltzing Matilda” for Midnight Oil’s “Only the Strong”
Have mufti day for training every Friday
Undertake Compulsory touch football drills
Includes Canterbury clothing up to 5XL
Reintroduce the players to Bill in 2011
Includes No Test Rugby in Melbourne or Perth
The Wallabies would play a genuine free spirited style which involved actually running
forwards, passing to beat the man and fines for every dropped ball
Now we’re over the Wendell Sailor experiment I’d ban League converts in future
Fitness would be paramount…
They say you always focus as a coach on the areas you lacked as a player!!
Loose forwards would train to link with backs not just be battering rams
Inside backs would run straight lines and make room for wider athletes
The Sevens would include top flight Wallabies
Players would be encouraged into Baa Baas & World XVs
Wallabies would wear club socks at training and occasionally in games
Mat Giteau would be asked to be more than a ‘potential star’
Old coaches/players banned from commenting on team & coaching performance
except over a schooner at the club after the match
Old fashioned ‘skolls’ would be returned

I am writing to you to apply for the position of ‘WALLABIES HEAD COACH’ which despite not seeing it advertised is clearly ‘up for grabs’ with all the recent media coverage in the wake of exit from the World Cup in France!!

Once again ‘friends’ have been pestering me to throw my hat in the ring following our early exit and reminded me of my efforts last time around when [as Greg Growden noted] John “Knuckles” Conolly was indeed NOT ‘Last Man Standing’. Not so much as a letter from the ARU advising me I was unsuccessful ? AND I had to phone and chase up the result only to be fobbed off!! I look forward to your correspondence on this occasion!!

At a glance reasons for considering my Application:

25 years experience as a Rugby Player under myriad coaching regimes
13 years experience as a Coach [Wanderers Rugby] in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Unions [A Club I know you’ll be familiar with]
All during the beginnings and development of the professional rugby era
Knowledge of the highs and lows including 12 premierships [6 as a Coach] and the career ending rupture of both kneecap tendons in a tackle in June 2003
Commitment to running rugby
Suffering through TV coverage and live attendance at Wallaby Tests in 2004-7
Excellence as a “man manager” with playing groups of mixed ability and potential
Demonstrated results in dealing with an arch enemy through match plans, tactics and Grand Final Results
The Wallabies skills of catch, pass, run and kick could not be collectively worse
No political baggage cf Muggleton, Nucifora or any overseas candidate

My RESUME will give more detailed background and evidence for your consideration BUT
I urge you to do some ‘outside the frame thinking going forward’. I would welcome the opportunity for an Interview to further push my claims. I look forward to your letter acknowledging receipt of my application and advice as to where I am placed and what are the likely next steps in this exciting process!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

#@$%^ Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson is a tough and capable footballer and clearly Brian Ashton and his team are very good coaches as they lift the cod ordinary England team into the Final of the Rugby World Cup!!

The French appear to have struggled with the England rush defence and they timed their fitness peak beautifully to get the chain passing game and shifting the ball going pretty well BUT clearly a late penailty and drop goal shifted the momentum for a late French charge and snubbed out their enthusiasm to leave England a chance to defend their title after 4 dreadful years!!

Things are so bad I contemplate cheering for the South Africans... I suppose Argentina have a chance and that would be a fun Final... spare a thought for Aussies with tickets!!!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

There is Hope

So the Aussie Schoolboys beat NZ today at Hunters Hill 23-18!!
I guess we'll see some Academy players coming through in the years ahead BUT seriously I am just back from a few days away and will write about the 'Rugby World Cup' DEBACLE soon!!

Short summary now:
  • Geez poor Steve Larkham with those images after the defeat
  • Can we find a Front Row with skill, bulk and speed... it was supposed to be their time!
  • I feel for Mortlock as he should never had needed that missed goal after playing behind a beaten pack of forewards
  • Great to be watching some 'daytime' footy
  • How dangerous we looked with the ball, how little of it we had
  • Mastering the offload game meant loose forwards were out wide looking to run and hence invisible when beaten at the breakdown
  • Our positional kicking game went off and the wheels fell off
  • Berrick Barnes slight of hand was good but you need multiple phases of play so you fool the opposition ocassionally.... we didn't have enough ball to do that...
  • Eddie Jones is behaving like a 'pork chop' but he is right that if George Gregan is in the side he should have been skipper and only move on after he goes...
  • Vickerman... grow up! They out foxed and niggled you beautifully
  • McMenniman does look good
  • The Lineout pictured above and our defence are about all we did really well!!
Anyhow... more later!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Trouble in Burma

UN Envoy holds Second Meeting with Aung San Sui Kyi
Associated Press October 2, 2007

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari today held a second meeting with Burma's detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, just hours after his talks with the nation's junta leader, a Burma official said.

The two met at a military guesthouse in Rangoon, the same place where Gambari met with the Nobel Peace Prize winner for more than an hour on Sunday, the official said.

The 15-minute meeting came immediately upon Gambari's return from Burma's remote capital Naypyidaw, where he held talks with junta chief, Than Shwe.

After talking with Aung San Suu Kyi, the envoy headed to the airport in Rangoon, where he was expected to board a flight to Singapore, witnesses said.

Gambari had waited for days to see the reclusive Senior General Than Shwe and express global outrage after security forces put down protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 13 dead and more than 1,000 arrested.

What amazing scenes as the Monks this time led the protest and took to the streets! I began to think we might actually witness another amazing story like the release of Mandela... revolution in our time!!

BUT it looks not to be this time as the Military struck back and the scenes were quite disturbing!! I note a few internet petitions, a bit of froth and bublle from the UN and wonder where to from here.... for Burma, for Aung San, the people AND for those of us who would pary and wish it changed BUT don't really know what else to do?

For worship in groups there are two songs that come to mind though neither is a genuine way to change in the next week... yet both might be about the way this will change in the longer run!!
I'm not for a minute suggesting these songs will change the world... but with images and words they may well inspire prayer and action. There are other tunes that have been similarly inspired.

"If Everyone Cared" Nickelback
"Walk On" U2

"If Everyone Cared" Nickelback
From underneath the trees, we watch the sky
Confusing stars for satellites
I never dreamed that you'd be mine
But here we are, we're here tonight

Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
Singing Amen, I, I'm alive

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we'd see the day when nobody died

And I'm singing

Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive
Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along

Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
(I'm alive)

[Chorus x2]

And as we lie beneath the stars
We realize how small we are
If they could love like you and me
Imagine what the world could be

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we'd see the day when nobody died
When nobody died...


We'd see the day, we'd see the day
When nobody died
We'd see the day, we'd see the day
When nobody died
We'd see the day when nobody died

"Walk On" U2
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind...

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't steal it
No, they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed, to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly, for freedom

Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't deny it
Can't sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart, it breaks
You can only take so much

Walk on...
Walk on...

Hard to know what it is, if you never had one
I can't say where it is, but I know I'm going
That's where the heart is...

And I know it aches
And your heart, it breaks
And you can only take so much

Walk on...

Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel

All this you can leave behind

All that you reason, (it's only time)
(And I'll never fill up all I find)
All that you sense
All that you scheme
All you dress-up
All that you've seen
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

News footage from BBC [over 4 mins]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

This communuty and political activist website and ad campaign will be a feature of the Federal Election we are about to have here in Oz!! It's a great take on political adverts we are used to here and has fun with the climate change issue!!

Rugby World Cup Update

It'll seem like 'after the fact' now but the one comment I meant to make in my pre Cup blog was if the Wallabies win one thing we will have seen for that to be possible will be the making of Matt Dunning!! The signs are good so far!! He stacked on muscle and bulk in the off season [didn't we all] and with a minor injury thrown in he took 4 or 5 Super 14 games to get going with the new frame before pace was regained... it almost seemed like the wrong move until he hit his straps in the Bledisloe... keep watching him unless we get more ifiot refrees who've never stuck their head in a scrum misinterpreting our dominance!!

'Bernie' Larkham... will he play again and will we miss him if he doesn't.... yes he will!! If he doesn't we will only miss him in hindsight if a drop goal, half gap, opportunity for a slight of hand slicing run or a ball on the chest of a straight runner gets missed, dropped or stuffed up in some way... Barnes was not my pick for the squad but I think his success so far is built on not trying to do 'too much himself' which might have been an issue with Kurtley Beale.

We had better not drop any ball against England and we 'should' dispatch them in a strong display that stamps our mark on the tournament!! Watch for the Wallabies to finally start getting the offloads going rather than the arm wrestle of recycling ball through supposedly quick rucks. We take the opposition flanker out of the contest, run Elsom and Palu wide of the centre field and have George Smith charging around behind [right behind] them.

Geez I wish Tonga had belted England this morning and fingers crossed we don't get any injuries against the physical defence of the Canucks tonight!!

And finally, we hope those Kiwis keep having easy games until France/South Africa have the chance to knock them out....

PS Note to Lote Tiquiri!!
Stop telling us all how you're about to cut loose and play the game of your life and actually do it!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dixie Chicks "Not Ready To Make Nice"

Colleague Lindesay mentioned this song on Tuesday and I had just been listening to it on the way to our 2 Day Staff Meeting on Monday in the car!!

Of course the song is inspired by the variety of reactions the group got to Natalie's comment on stage in London that she was ashamed the President of the United States "came from Texas"

There is a DVD out about the reactions, fallout and results after the post 9/11 comments!! By and large great parts of the US and its listeners tuned out big time!! People carpeted them, banned them from venues and radio etc etc!! BUT not everyone....

Now also comes the doco "Shut Up and Sing" about their experiences and the support or critique they received themselves and how the comments could have fractured the group but in fact it galvanised them!!

"Not Ready To Make Nice"

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and i'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and i kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

New Bicycle

While I continue to enjoy my swimming [almost every day I can] this winter has proved tricky with so many coughs and viruses so I have gone crazy and updated my bicycle for those days the pool isn't an option!!
I bought a Giant Cypress from Hadleys... local cycling legends!! And got a rack for the car so as to take the girls bikes to the local Cycleways as well... Fernleigh Track, Warners Bay Foreshore and best of all around the Newcastle Harbour and beaches!!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Unreliable Idea # 32 CAMP ACTIVITIES brainstormed

I hastily asked colleagues to help jog my creative memory and suggest some activities which could well be used at an all age Camp where young people had little or no introduction to 'church' or discipleship outside a High Scholl aged Youth Group.

Here's what we came up with in a hurry:

1. MySPACE page on A4 paper…. Have a look at myspace and see what questions they are answering and set up an A4 sheet with some of those questions, opportunity to draw pics they’d post if they could and then use that in the big group and smaller groups to share… tape the pages to the wall at the end so they can read each others more fully and leaders and other campers can read about them and see the names in big letters!!
2. PHOTO LANGUAGE… either the Catholic Education Office series, St Lukes Innovative Resources or make your own in B&w or colour. Circulate around pics on the floor or wall and engage in choosing pictures to represent answers to a given question, or how people are feeling/reacting to the input or do some creative writing in response to a chosen picture/s.
3. BEACH BALL get to know you Just like Group Books pre made inflatables, buy a cheap beach ball and CD ROM marking pen. ADD questions, story prompts and ice breakers by writing on the ball. Toss it around and on ‘stop’ ask people to share a response to the prompt near one thumb or the other!
4. BIG GROUP GAME Have the groups build a track out of toilet rolls and masking tape, tables and chairs....a ball is fed into the tubes and allowed to roll freely down the track... the idea is to create the most intricate track to create the longest run time of the ball

Take cardboard boxes and have the groups set up "houses".
Have a series of "rounds"
  1. - round 1- build a house to fit 1 person in
    - round 2- build a garage to fit a cardboard car in
    - round 3- build a garden
    - round 4- interior decorate (paint and wall paper etc.)
    - round 5 a devastating storm destroys the houses (kids swap houses and on the word, take the opportunity to smash the houses)
    Each round is judged and points awarded
    We used this to open the opportunity to talk about the wise and foolish men and their houses...
    not only that, it was a great opportunity to allow leaders to gain relationships during the building of the houses.
Groups have used junk sculptures or recycling bottles, newspapers etc with tape and textas or paint to invite young people to construct a model of a world lived according to the values of God [with some biblical passages to help them think about that… they design it and build it in small groups and then present to each other
Song by Ben Harper
Play the song with lyrics in hand and give the groups a sheet of stories where Jesus is meeting those he did in Luke for example….
ASK young people to listen, then read then draw their picture and/or write descriptive words around the picture and then discuss… its really important to affirm all sharing… while discussing any weird views!!
The LUMP Nooma DVD affirms God’s love for all of us. Other film scenes depicting helpful imagery are ‘the opening of ‘Love Actually’ and the love discussion and song in ‘Moulin Rouge.’
The activity where young people STAND ON THE LINE and you ask questions and if they think it’s true they stay on the line or false they move off.

The variation would be the SPECTRUM LINE where you move from one end to the other depending on your view on the question or issue. Issues like war, bullying, fashion and current affairs might get them moving!! Encouraging people to voice ‘where they stand’ in a less confronting way.

STORYTELLING by having people write or tell stories in relation to prompt questions or stories. LIFE MAPS and other identifiable ways of talking about perceived GOD moments in life might open up a great conversation and be a real gift to the Camp in terms of setting the sharing standard as high and affirming.

What about MATCHING BIBLICAL STORYLINES WITH MOVIES, 30 SECOND TV ADVERT WRITING OR making STORIES into MOVIES… i.e. how would we shoot this story?

MOVIE maybe watch a movie early on and lead into discussion where it’s easy to take off from the film, Like “Pursuit of Happyness”


Find someone who…

Is younger

than you


‘The OC’

Has been on


You would

go out with

Doesn’t like




Loves black

jelly beans

Is the same

height as


Can tell a


Has the

same sized

hands as


Is wearing



Has seen

the movie









Is wearing

odd socks

Can’t swim

Has been in

a fist fight

Is studying

at Uni


signed any

squares for

anyone else

Can name

[4] Sharon



Wears the

same sized

shirt as you

Has no



Has been



Can do a


Change and update these squares… given a time limit the group circulate and ask each other if they fit the bill and sign if they do… bingo equals a line or diagonal of signatures and then second prize is most squares in the time limit….


in case your group needs them [from an old Easter Camp Guide]

1. Name Game

Ask each person to think of a word, which says something about them and starts with the same letter as

they’re first name eg. tennis tony, laughing leanna, stumpy simon

Choose someone in the circle to say their word & name, then the next person clockwise repeats that plus

their own, next person says the first two & their own and so on… last person does all the words/names…

pick someone else to do them all… IT’S a great way to learn and remember…

2. Memorable Share around the group about memorable scars or illnesses

3. Test Your Skills in the Speed Trap

In pairs or a three, each point the index finger on one hand and hold out a flat palm on the other… place

your finger on the open flat palm of the other person/s

When the Leader says ‘go’ try to grab the other person’s finger in your hand without them grabbing your

finger… try again!

4. Name Bop

With someone it in the middle holding a pillow… say your name and someone else’s around the circle and

then they say theirs and someone else’s attempting to do so before being hit on the head with the pillow. Be

hit and you become it.

5. Knots

If everyone is suitably dressed and equally abled… invite your group members to stand, reach out with both

arms, close eyes and hold onto two other hands. Open your eyes and try to untangle without letting go


6. J File

J File is the regular weekly history and discography of a band on Radio Triple J. It’s about gathering answers

to background questions from another punter. A blank sheet for each person to research the background of

another punter and can be used to introduce the other person to the group

7. Scary Sharing

Share: memorable scar; worst throwing up experience; best disease; biggest accident

8. Ball Talking [ball not supplied]

Whoever has the ball determines who is speaking and this can be used in various other activities. Good for

groups that tend to be noisy or talk over each other!!

9. Small Group Name

Brainstorm and choose a name/identity for your Small Group.

If you have a number of suggestions…. Use a process of encouraging members to vote for UP TO half the

number plus one until one suggestion is a clear winner [might take several rounds]. This voting method

produces the name MOST group members can live with…

Get to Know You Questions:

There are thousands of questions you could come up with and use. The trick is to deepen your sharing over

the weekend at the pace of the group.

Ø Favourite: food; colour; TV; movie; music; holiday spot; school subject; hat etc

Ø One wish you’d make…

Ø Favourite Day of the week and regular schedule

Ø Best room in your house

Ø Peanut Butter… smooth or crunchy

Ø Six dinner guests [currently alive or dead] you’d invite

Ø Time you were most embarrassed

Ø Two bands you’d book for your birthday

Ø Something you’d print on a t-shirt front

Ø Who would play you in a movie about you

Ø What makes you happy

Ø What’s one thing you wish you could do

Ø Who would you like to sit next to on a flight to London

Ø Favourite saying of yours

Ø Nickname of yours or best one you’ve heard and why

Ø Hollywood Name: First Pets Name/Name of first street you lived in

Ø What makes you mad, bad, sad, glad

Ø Most interesting thing about you

A comprehensive activity called 'The Bomb' focused on 'gifts' wa salso sent in and passed along!!

Thanks to all those who had time to help the group out. I sent them the ideas and they will work with some of those this weekend with their Speaker and Leaders!!