The weekend was fabulous, which was great after a holiday that was quite so-so. Glenburn Lodge was a lovely venue for our church. Yes, there's a bit too much fake rock and Scottishness around for my liking, but the rooms were well-maintained and tastefully decorated, the food wasn't bad at all and the facilities are very good.
My previous weekends away with the churches I've been part of were usually student camps or nationwide conferences. Accomodation consisted of dormitories with shared bathrooms and we normally had to bring our own bedding and sometimes even cuttlery. Schedules were often quite tight, and although I enjoyed every experience, I sometimes wished for a bit more free time.
So it was a nice change to have our own hotel room and some privacy, as well as time to socialise and chill on the Friday evening and between planning sessions on Saturday. Our leaders are a great bunch of people and we laughed our way through a Singstar competition in the bar and many rounds of pool. I love the fact that they are all so genuine and don't pretend to be holier than thou. Even our head church leader will grab a beer and have a go at the karaoke.
We had such a good time and were a little sad to leave on Saturday evening. But the rest of the weekend was good too. We ate lots of focaccia and saw Australia yesterday with our mates R and A, which was a very long movie but really enjoyable. I loved seeing Hugh Jackman playing an Aussie (seeing he is one) and Nicole Kidman squealed less than usual and actually did a very good job. The little boy, Brandon Walters, is just beautiful with his soulful eyes as Nullah, the mixed-race aboriginal child that warms Kidman's heart.
I enjoy Baz Luhrmann's films. They have a rich, bold quality that sweeps you up into the fanciful storylines he seems to be attracted to. He weaves strong visual and emotive themes into the film's fabric that carry what could otherwise be considered a laboured plot.
I guess this is a film that you'll either love or hate. I'm in the first category. If any of you have seen it, let me know your thoughts.