Daily Archives: 17 November, 2013

Youth work and the quiet moments…

For way over 25 years I’ve been an occasional, then full time, then part time, and now a Friday night Youth Worker. The Friday night group that I, my wife and a fab bunch of young and old helpers lead has now been running non-stop term time for 20 years which is also a pretty cool achievement.

So if it sounds like more than a hobby then I suspect yes, yes it is 🙂  It’s certainly something I’ve been able to do without thinking – in as much as I’m always happiest talking to kids more so than adults where I often feel a smidge out of place. I’m a child at heart – loving animation and geek things and drawing on tablets and so on… And pretending to be an adult gets quite wearing. Chatting to kids about school and worries and happinesses and so on, occasionally while playing football or Rock Band at the same time, is no effort at all.

But there’s one point in the evening at youth group when it all goes quiet… I do the door duty as I like to welcome the kids in at the start of a night and then, just in case anyone’s running late, I hang on for ten minutes (if we have enough staff to kids or I don’t think I’m immediately needed).

And in that time I generally draw a picture if no-one’s come out to talk to me.

Fridays are a smidgeon harrowing at the moment. We have a college meeting at 8.30 and then it’s pretty much full on until 5, and then it’s registers and emails and follow up and phoning students not there and one to one emails or reading confidential papers which have to be shredded and so on and so forth. By the time I get home it’s a few minutes to gulp down a meal of some type (although occasionally I’ve been known to be sitting in the passenger seat of the car eating microwave in the bag rice) and then we’re setting up at 7.30 and the doors time is often the first chance I get to sit down and stop.

This week I was a little glum as the only stylus I had to hand was a Bic Cristal which, being a soft rubber tip, I was expecting little from. But actually it worked perfectly and the kids who came to the group made me smile so, as ever, as always, it’s a very worthwhile thing to do and be doing. I often suggest people take up some sort of voluntary work, especially if they are struggling themselves, as it can be an hour or two (or three in our case) of time away from our own troubles. In my case I also get the bonus of grown adults coming up to me and saying ‘do you remember me…?’ which is also a lovely thing.

So, um, yes. Youth work = woo.



It’s been a tough year in many ways. I tried to do too much, both with events and emotionally, and had a bit of an unexpected crash and burn over the summer break. It’s a few months on and I’m still picking up, slowly and as carefully as possible, some of the pieces although at least now they’re beginning to make a recognisable jigsaw picture as the weeks go by.

Every so often I have a road bump in the progress and this week was one of them. I took the students to another event (which I occasionally think I should REALLY stop doing but they’re just so much fun on the day and I ALWAYS see the best of the students when we go out and do something big) and at the end of it, when packing down, I found that the only thing which had been lost was a small tan brown pencil case which contained some of my most loved styli.

So, in one small loss I found I am now without my Wacom Feel, Jot Touch, Jot Classic, Pogo Sketch Pro, Pogo Connect, Nomad Cobalt Blue and two Dagi styli.

Basically – a bit gutted. A couple of the lost styli are irreplaceable, none are replaceable quickly although one magnificent friend has said she’ll send me some from the States which I can’t wait to open as it’ll be a lovely parcel to receive I’m sure.

Which put me in mind of this picture:

(drawn on iPad 3 using Dagi and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro).

Since drawing it I no longer see the person who’s iPad I drew it on and I’ve lost both the Moleskine pad and, now, the pencil case of styli.

All in all, it’s not been the greatest of years so far (some bits have been fab that said… but some parts caused more hurt  than I could bear at the time). Roll on ’14. Am aiming for more changes then and I actively look forward to those challenges as they come up…

Drew this pic on the same day so maybe the losses stemmed from the world of business being against me taking visual notes during a meeting… 🙁



So, as mentioned earlier, I’m most fond of using an iPhone as a photography device. Not to the extent that the very wonderful Lumilyon and a host of other hugely talented Phonographers use it, but still, it makes me happy. Especially if, through the use of an app of some kind, I can them play about with the photo taken or take it in a strange manner in the first place.

First amongst my loves – photography app wise – would be Autostitch. Boinx You Gotta See This is also fab but you lose a lot of sharpness in the images – which a phone update may in the future resolve but I’m not there yet…

And after that? Snapseed is ace and, in the case of the pics below (taken at a community fireworks festival last night) an app called Slow Shutter is also fab to use.

More on the Flickr site >>here<<