We have a saying in Estonia which goes something like this - when the cat is away, the mice party. It basically means that when the boss or the person in charge has left, the others (inferiors) take it easy and have a good time. I don't think I've ever put it into practice as directly as I did this week.

My senior pastor took a week's vacation and left the country with his family.

Mwahahahaha! [evil laughter]

I didn't quite leave the country but I did leave the city for almost three days (and I didn't even feel guilty about it). I went back to Saaremaa island, the place which pretty much saved my life and sanity a month ago. P. and K. were kind enough to welcome me again and once again I got to work on the construction site and have generally good time with them. K. and P. are just about the nicest and warmest young people I know, they most certainly have the gift of hospitality (which I totally lack) and spending time with them does good to my soul. M. was also supposed to join us but he got sick so it was only me this time who went over to the island. They were good and slow and quiet days, working in the church's apartment with P. during the day, having long conversations and playing with their little daughter in the evenings. No emails, no sermon writing. No rush, no noise, no stress. Days almost as good as they can get on this side of Jordan.

Having said all this, I certainly don't want anyone to think that I'm tired of my job or that I've lost the joy in it. I haven't. Just last week, after a long church board meeting, I walked back to my apartment late in the evening and I thought to myself - to wake up every morning and to know that I work for the church and for the people and for God on a daily basis, it's just about the best thing I can imagine. It has become increasingly difficult for me to imagine I could ever do anything else than to work for the church (all theological academic institutions included). It is a real privilege. Also a responsibility but first and foremost, a privilege. I had the same feeling last Sabbath when teaching homiletics. I very much had the feeling the whole day yesterday when back in the office again, writing a sermon and translating a church planting manual and having a long dinner with one of our conference's students I'm currently mentoring. The feeling is slightly weaker today - the office printer has stopped working and I can't print out tomorrow's sermon duh! But despite broken printers, the feeling is still there. :)


I've accepted the proposal to write my essay into an article. It needs to be done by the end of May. Looking at May's schedule, I'll probably regret the decision.


Tickets to UK have been purchased again. I need to breathe some Newbold air and hit the National Gallery with Dr A. N. again. There are things in life you can live without, and then there are things you cannot possibly live without...


And to the best older brother in the world - palju õnne sünnipäevaks! Ma ei jaksa Jumalale kunagi piisavalt tänulik olla selle eest, et sa olemas oled.


It's work-work-work that fills my days but as I'm not very keen on talking about my work, I'll fill some blog space with other, rather random stuff today. I happened to go through my photos on my phone last night and I thought I'd share some of them with you today. They're just little snippets of the humdrum of ordinary life. Nothing special.

It was last Wednesday when my cousin invited me out for a family dinner. I was rather surprised to receive the invite as we've never been particularly close. He was always one of the "little ones" who used to bug us, the older cousins, during our family reunions. But then, well, he grew up all of a sudden. Now he's a young aspiring jazz pianist and as he's flying back to Berlin where he's studying, he decided to invite his family out for a nice dinner in the Old Town before leaving. This is a photo taken from the cafe where we met - it's situated in one of the towers of the old town wall. I'd never been there before. It was a nice place with an exceptional, magnificent view. It made me glad to call Tallinn my home town.

It was the Sunday morning three weeks ago when I just couldn't get up. I had spent a whole day in the church the previous day: Sabbath School's teachers class, then the Sabbath School, preaching in the divine service as well as having the Revelation seminar in the evening. I was dead when I got home that night. So I stopped trying to get up the next morning after a couple of miserable attempts and decided to stay in bed for the whole day with this wonderful book by Tim Mackintosh-Smith that had just arrived in post. I absolutely love his wit and writing style. So I read his Yemen for ten hours that day. It was a day well spent. :)

Meet my new preaching shoes. Whoop!

We have this little Whatsapp group with a couple of good ole Newbold friends. We talk about most random stuff, which I like. And now for a couple of times we've exchanged 'Sabbath selfies' with each other (even U. managed to take a photo of himself yesterday). These have been my Sabbath selfies. The first one's taken at my auntie's place one Sabbath a few weeks back. As you can see from my (auntie's) massive cardigan, it was freezing - we still had considerable amount of snow here. The other one's taken yesterday morning in the Eastern Estonia, ready for the day's work - preaching and an afternoon seminar on Homiletics.

That's it really.