Friday music choice – 31.7.2009

Jennifer Knapp is still one of my favourite Christian singer songwriters and her Grammy nominations and 1 million albums sold speak for themselves.

In an interview from the January/February 2004 issue of Relevant Magazine, Knapp stated that she was taking a break from music for a while, leaving the future of her career in God’s hands. She has not been heard from since.

I hope that she gets back to performing again, because she really has no peer. Here is an example of why:

Adios Add Momentum

So after 4 and half years, today i bid farewell to Add Momentum. As to what the future holds? Well, more on that another time!

So, here is a little look back at at some highlights of my time at Add Momentum. 

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We often had fancy dress days at work. I am still stunned by Charles’ “Pimp" suit and Paul’s Indian wedding outfit. I thought he looked like Aladdin!

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And there was the legendary Top Gun day..complete with white t-shirts, Top Gun soundtrack in the office and fake F-14s in out photo!

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WE had brilliant summer parties with stilt walkers and mini-bikes (which were fiendishly difficult to ride!)

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Garrggh –our Christmas parties were famous too. This was our 2008 event at Averys Wine Cellar.

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We had an office lookalike survey and apparently this is me! (Although hopefully not as simple as Forrest Gump)

And who could forget the “little” events i took part in to raise money for HopeHIV?

We entered a team of 5 in the 2005 15 Peaks Challenge and the aim was to cover 52km over the 15 highest peaks of Wales, with over 14,000 ft of climbing in under 24 hours. image

Our team ("I swear you said 15 pints") consisted of Ben Akin-Smith, Gavin Barnett, myself, Mark Churchill and Toby Hughes. After months of intensive training (ok, 3 months of hill walking with hefty packs), we took on what Welsh mountains could throw at them. Funnily enough, that consisted of a large amount of bad weather!

The bad weather almost cancelled the event right at the start, visibility dropped down to 6ft at some points, and Mountain Rescue was called out to save several teams. Yes it was that kind of weekend.

Unfortunately, these circumstances meant that with the exception of myself the AML team had to retire. I was able to join another team and (eventually) complete the event in a total time of 20 hrs 17 mins 1 secs.

Happily, we raised over £2,000 for Hope HIV, which was really the whole point of it all.

And then in 2007, i decided to do something even dafter!

The Rat Race is an urban adventure race involving teams of 3 competing in a multi-discipline challenge using fitness, nerves, teamwork and stamina. ratrace4

I managed to complete/survive it with Ben and Claire and we managed to finish 46th out of 150 teams which we were pretty happy about.

Despite being very tired, we all enjoyed it immensely and so far we (together with the other 2 Add Momentum teams who finished in the top half), managed to raise over £9,400 for HOPEHIV.

I have done a lot in my time here and it has been a wonderful time (even despite the turbulent last 12 months but hey that is finance for you) and i am proud to have worked for such a great company. I have had great work colleagues and they have become fantastic friends as well.

I am aware that companies with the calibre of people that i have worked with is rare, and so its been an immense privilege to have been part of something so special..

In addition, and the most important thing of al is that we have been able t make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of children in Africa through our work with HopeHIV.

And for all of these things i thank God.

Now this is a wedding entrance!

This brought a big smile to my face on a Monday morning!

Most wedding entrances are the same, but not so for Kevin Heinz & Jillian Peterson.

The fact that they could get a dozen or so of their closest friends to do this in front of a crowd with cameras rolling, and that the guests in the pews had a great time, too, speaks volumes.

Weddings are supposed to be a celebration of two lives, family, community and an institution that is precious to God.

Aren’t we told to make a joyful noise unto the Lord?!!

Above Everest

This awe-inspiring photograph captures the majesty of Mount Everest as you’ve never seen it before; from more than a mile above!

The spectacular panorama shows the breathtaking landscape of the Himalayas from six miles above sea level.

It was shot by an intrepid British photographer wearing breathing apparatus in -56C temperatures 36,000 feet up.

Everest From 36,000ft by Leo Dickinson

The summit of Everest, the world’s highest peak at 29,035ft, takes centre stage above the 11,000ft vertical drop of the Kangshung Face, on the eastern side of the mountain.

British filmmaker and adventure cameraman Leo Dickinson took the photo from the stratosphere during his record-breaking balloon flight over Everest.

It is believed to be the highest panoramic picture taken by hand from a balloon, and has been described by the great mountaineer Reinhold Messner as the ‘best snap on earth’.

With Nepal on the left of the frame, and Tibet on the right, the stunning skyline westward shows nine of the planet’s highest summits.

These include Lhotse (27,940ft), Cho Oyu (26,906ft), Gyachung Kang (26,089 feet), Nuptse (25,850ft), Peak 38 (24, 904ft), Changtse (24,770ft), Shartse (24,471ft) and Ama Dablam (22,349ft).

The original photograph was shot in 1991 on the classic Kodachrome film – axed last month due to the rise of digital cameras. It was digitally remastered for the first time this week.

Leo Dickinson in his hot air balloon over the Himalayas

Mr Dickinson soared to 36,000ft (where temperatures dropped to minus 56 degrees Celsius)to become the first person to fly over Everest in a balloon.

He took this picture using a hand-held 35mm camera with a wide-angle lens while standing in the balloon’s wicker cabin.

Mr Dickinson’s Everest expedition took 10 years to plan, involved 150 porters and 50 yaks, and almost cost him his life.

His epic journey from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu to Tibet was chronicled in an award-winning documentary Ballooning Over Everest.