It has been while since I actually wrote anything for Friday Festival. This is my bad: a mixture of house move; lethargy; lack of inspiration and general feeling of burden carrying that spilled over into everything. every. thing.

However! A new month, in a new call, in a new decade (for me) seems to have given me a new perspective and when I began to read through blogs earlier this week I had so many to choose from that really spoke to me. I try, if I can, to follow a theme. This week’s theme is “Things Julie was inspired by…” it contains Words; escapism; finding self, responding to challenge… all things which seem to particularly resonate with me at this time. And I suspect I am not alone. If you live in the United States you have.a particular set of challenges every day. If, like me, you live in the United Kingdom – then you have a whole different set of challenges, as we once again, prepare for a snap General Election – even though parliament has passed a law saying that we had to wait five years between GEs…

The first blog I am going to recommend, in what has been a pretty momentous year of change for me, is Becoming Me, in which Mags explores the challenges she has faced, and how they have moved her to new appreciation of herself. As she looks back, she realises that she would never have chosen the things that happened, but, “if I had my time over I would absolutely choose this trajectory over triumph. Because what I have gained is an internal sense of who I am”. I hear you.

Until Everyone Hears, is a new blog to me, this week Shannon wrote Believe – everyone believes something. Right? Her post is short – but I found a profound sense of depth in it. her summary:  “Choose the best. Fight for the best. It will make all the difference”.  – yeah, that says it all. 

If you have been a regular reader of my festival pieces, you will all know I love posts about books and readings and words Bookgirl, and Bonnie’s Books are two I have quoted before, they both speak to me and share my love of a real book. Though Bookgirl uses a tablets for reading as well… The two posts I commend to you are, oxygen, water, food, sleep, books (life’s essentials) and once in a while. 

Within once in a while Bonnie explores the idiom and the misuse of the phrase, Once in a while (once in awhile / once and a while) and other misused idioms. Being one who loves how words and phrases are used and how they develop from generation to generation, I found it fascinating. Bookgirl on the other hand is helping her daughter with reading homework and discussing the definitions of homework – for she feels being given reading for homework is absurd: “You and Dad expect me to do something for homework. How can I tell you I’m supposed to read? That’s like telling you I need to breathe today or I need to eat.” Bookgirl explains about some of the books she is currently reading, and her desire to visit Britain, and especially her fascination with Wales. As one who loves Wales (almost as much as Scotland) I can empathise!

I have three others… which I am not going to talk to at length, but nevertheless commend for your enjoyment and edification.

Jan Edmiston is one I recommend regularly to you; seriously! Subscribe to her blog. She writes every day, and every day you will find something. This week I was particularly struck by her question, What Would You Do with $10,000? The answer will inspire you!

Autumn Seeps In, is both haunting and poignant. Lutheran Thoelogian is talking about the death of a former colleague, remembering Veterans Day and the way that this season is impacting, she writes: “This year, more than other years, I feel autumn seeping into all my spaces–and not the apple harvest, pumpkin spice scented autumn.  I feel the haunted, mists rolling in, All Saints parts of autumn–the year gallops to its end, leaving me shaking my head and feeling like I’ve lost several months.”

Gulfoss Falls, Iceland. The largest natural waterfall in Europe.

And finally. General Elections. Prime Ministers. Presidents. Elections. If it all seems just too much… try travelling!! In going Around the World to Escape America, that is exactly what Melanie has done! She writes about starting her adventure, and about why now seems to be the right time for it. Having just returned from an amazing trip to Iceland, during which for seven whole days I did not listen to the news at all. I can only concur.






Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland Minster, now serving a suburban parish in the Central Area of Scotland. She writes for Spill the Beans, and was included in the Revgals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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