Ellen Loudon

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Archive for the ‘2009’ Category

the death of popular culture

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I have had a bit of a bonkers 10 days – full of Christmas cheer, popular culture and a viva that nearly tipped me over the edge.

I missed a lot of the run up to Christmas last year because I was caught up in jury service but this year I am getting the full hit of being a priest at Christmas-time. There is so much to do – and advent has been a lively spiritual challenge for me. I am loving the waiting for Christmas and all the lead up to it. That said there have been a few things that have been quite disturbing – The X-Factor for one. I am not sure I can express my disdain for it without rude words but I will have a go. I once thought it was as innocuous as karaoke but now think it is destructive. You know, dear reader, that I love popular culture and can usually find some worth in nearly any of it (even Miley Cyrus has her good points) but xfactor is a cruel twisted popular culture that is sucking the life out of everything that is good about music. It is a vampire draining the life-blood from young people’s talent and leaving them with nice teeth, lovely hair, shining legs and a look of vanity. I want it to stop – with all my of my heart I want it to stop. I want our young people to come back and stop following the nasty child catchers into the little box. I want them to run free and make pop music that is about them and not about a strange middle aged man who likes everything to be pretty. So there…

I am a bit tense at the moment (can you tell). I had my PhD thesis viva last Friday and whilst I am not knocking my achievements I still have some more work to do on it…work that I am disappointed about really. They are asking me to shift my work away from my practice and more toward the theory that underpins it. Of course my theory is completely sound and the work they are asking me to do is perfectly reasonable but I am gutted that I didn’t express the worth of the practice clearly enough to validate it. It’s not the end of the world but I do have to spend some time digesting their comments and working out what my response will be in terms of the work. It shouldn’t take me too long to sort it out but at the moment I am not sure where the time will come from. Some reflection and careful prayer about time management, stress and workloads will also need to be done.

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying advent and that your Christmas preparations are bringing you joy. Remember Jesus isn’t just for Christmas and that when the heavens and the earth are reunited there will be salvation from xfactor and all bad things. Until then it is up to us to make this world a better place and fight against injustice (wherever we find it) and seek the Lord in all things good and worthy. Lets get to it.

Written by ellenloudon

December 14, 2009 at 9:48 am

bridlington beach huts

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I am often jealous of people who live by the seaside (though to be honest I am a city dweller so perhaps it’s best for it to continue as a holiday romance)…but, I am particularly impressed by this take on the advent calendar. Farli will know the answer to this – Is it possible that Bridlington Rocks!?

Written by ellenloudon

November 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Posted in 2009, stuff

pop crisis

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I am having a pop crisis! The king of pop is dead and her ‘mag’esty (madonna) has seriously lost the plot. I went to see Madonna last night at the MEN and it was a fright…she went on very late then she mimed her way effortlessly through the first section of the concert. She danced like a 12 year old (and dressing like one!), she even tried to fool us with costume changes and at one point we were supposed to believe it was her singing under a full cape whilst sat on a grand piano (I am pretty sure it was a body double whilst she put her feet up in the dressing room drinking pop). The most grotesque spectacle was the unpleasant display of wealth and bizarre obsession with showing us her pants. Though there was a pretty good middle section where she seemed to have joined the fair and became incorporated into a Hispanic gypsy family even this was marred by slightly a preoccupation with death and the ‘cult of the child’. Madonna needs to spend some quality time coming to terms with her shift from youth to middle age, enjoy being an older woman and not see herself as having to prove herself as a sexual being…there is so much more to her than this but at the moment her pain at the loss of youth is unnerving and slightly disarming. As an audience member it makes for uncomfortable viewing (and not in a useful challenging way). Because she started so late we missed most of the last section – because we had to catch the last train home – which if she went on to demonstrate that she was in a transition and was seeking a new phase in life would have been encouraging – but I suspect it went on to be more of a cry for help!

I don’t want to walk away from pop. I want to see something useful, challenging, musically inspiring in the mainstream but at the moment I am really struggling to find anything in the charts that makes me want to celebrate life. I know Philly J will help me through this crisis…but I have seriously hit a musical wall. We need Cathy Dennis to write a great pop song NOW!

Written by ellenloudon

July 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Posted in 2009, culture, friends, music

back blogging

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This was the very moment of priestly ordination (a highly illegal photograph taken by my lovely husband)

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Well, it is good to be back…back here on my first web-blog (having left Diakonia behind – the website that is because ‘once a deacon always a deacon!’) and also back after a number of adventures.

So much has happened in the last few weeks, so here is a quick run down:

– I was ordained priest a few weeks back – which was an amazing event. I was far more relaxed than last year and felt a lot more confident about my place in the process this year. The diaconate year is so important in terms of getting my head round all the changes in my life and directing myself toward my new ministry. It was far from ordinary but it certainly prepared me for the shift to the priesthood.

– I presided at my first communion(s) – because I serve at two churches I got to do this twice! It is difficult to describe the remarkable privilege of presiding I was quite overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was very stressed about it and managed to mess up a few bits and bobs but I was drawn into the church community in a whole new way…supported, loved, cherished. Brilliant.

– I have been on clergy conference. I really didn’t know what to expect but was actually quite pleasantly surprised by the 3 days of retreat to Swanwick with 300 vicars. We were entertained by Roger McGough and Hugh Dennis, spiritually challenged by Jim Wallis and June Osborne. I also attended a couple of great theological debates led by Ann Morisy and Paula Gooder . It as great to catch up with old friends and meet some new people. I came away feeling challenged and spiritually refreshed (but also a bit tired – too many late nights setting the world to rights).

– I have also been to Spain on holiday to a wonderful villa in the hills outside Malaga – Villa Victoria. It was a real treat to go away somewhere very hot, with a private pool and just sit about soaking in the sun. Spending time with Eva and Mark – just the 3 of us – was a real treat too. We have not had much time together this year and a whole week was great (though it did take some getting used to!). I have managed to become ‘off-white’ – a nice low level tan – for the first time in years. I also read some great books, ate some fantastic food and spent some time with my cousin Ian who lives in Torremolinos.

– I am now trying to get my head together for a busy week – including going to see Madonna at the MEN tomorrow . We also are off to John and Johanna’s wedding on Saturday – which will be an exciting adventure.

So, best go and get on with living the life I blog – I will let you know how I get on with PillyJ at Madonna’s egofest tomorrow…

Written by ellenloudon

July 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Posted in 2009, fun, life as a curate