Balamory Salmon

Frequently at Amicus the conversations go off in a slightly strange direction, and you’re left wondering where it will end up.  Just occasionally though, you get the same feeling when the evening starts and you’re told what you’re going to be be doing and it seems a little odd and off-the-wall.  That was the feeling I had at the start of Amicus this week.  The programme said “Construction Challenge” – and James was true to that – but introduced a new set of ideas and materials into the mix.  Now, when I look back on the evening, I see that it really worked.  Nice one James.

Divided into two teams, our first challenge was to make a two axle vehicle with four points of contact with the ground which should roll down a small incline.  Easy enough we thought – until he provided our materials for the challenge: rice cakes and bread sticks.  Undeterred, we set about this challenging task with mixed success.  One team produced a good looking vehicle, but it sadly destroyed itself when it was picked up.  The other team produced a weird crab-like vehicle which had the body strength to survive the trip to the incline but sadly didn’t roll anywhere. A draw then probably…

Our second challenge was equally, um, challenging.  We were instructed to build a house.  Again, we figured that would be simple, until the materials arrived.  A loaf of bread and three boxes of matches? One team focussed on the structural elements, crafting individual bricks and buttresses. The other went for function over form, including items such as sofa (and cushions), table, TV, swimming pool and pet Giraffe. I’m not sure that it was possible to define a winning team as each had its own significant merits. Still a draw…

View from the Path View from the Pool Table and TV

The third and final challenge was a little more traditional; build a bridge. You may remember this also appeared in the Lego evening a couple of weeks ago.  But this time our material wasn’t as obvious as Lego bricks – instead we had a packet of dry spaghetti and two kitchen rolls.  Eh?  Where do you start?  One team explored the idea of boiling the spaghetti and then tieing it together to form a rope bridge – a genius idea, but sadly time wasn’t on our side.  Instead they soaked the spaghetti to see if it would become more pliable and enable it to be platted.  Instead, there was a eureka moment when they discovered the sticky property of the soaked spaghetti.  The new plan was to create “planks” (for want of a better definition) of spaghetti and then create a lattice structure.  The other team wrapped spaghetti in the kitchen roll, and then tied the lumps together to form a long enough span between the two chairs.  With people holding the bridges in place, they each managed to sustain the weight of one appropriately titled book.  So it ended in another draw – very Christian ;o)

Steph led devotions on the subject of friendship, and how it can often take time and hard work. She encouraged us to invest in random acts of kindness towards friends and others. We each received a suggested act of kindness and were asked to “do it” to someone before Amicus next week.

A few weeks ago Yolanda brought Jelly Belly beans along to share and I mentioned that you could sign up for a free sample on their website.  I signed up and promised to share them when they arrived.  Well they’re here – but don’t get too excited…the first picture below makes them look like mega jumbo jelly beans, so I included a 50p piece in the second to provide a sense of scale:

Jumbo Jelly Beans? Jelly Beans to Scale

As far as I can see without opening them, there are ten beans in the packet. I’m still willing to share them – but I can’t promise that you’ll all get one! The best bit was that there’s a small sticker on the back which contains an inventory of all the flavours, and a menu of combinations which might be of interest.

Inventory of all Flavours Menu of Combinations

Next Week: Film Making – Part One


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