Sep | 16 | Fri | The City of SOUTHAMPTON | What you F’ing Looking at?


  • Ask | For God’s Richest Blessing on JJ. That she would be housed, helped and provided for.
  • Thanks | For a bed last night
  • Implore | For God’s will to be doneSOUTHAMPTON TODAY. For Divine appointments please. and of course for PROVISION


  • TOMORROW’S MESSAGE | is ROOTED IN the book of | JUDGES |

See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE


Got up at 6:30am this morning. I check my phone and see texts form Matt the Atheist of last night who is concerned I am going to Doctor his interview and stick words in his mouth. As if!

I am annoyed because I’ve slept in and the blooming internet has been on since 6:00am and I have already lost 30 minutes of upload time! Sigh. It’s obvious that uploading these videos, some of which are just under a Gigabyte is going to be a major hassle without BT infinity or the like.

I squeeze into the B & B shower. It runs cold and then scalding hot! Typical.

Breakfast is a full English, ALL foreigner attending, eating food with no music paying in an uncomfortable semi=formal silence. Welcome to the British B & B.

I go back upstairs, check on an upload, send some emails and start packing. I am out of the door by 10:00 am and its’ off the to the City of Southampton. It’s not very far away at all.

I arrive shortly after, having recorded my audio diary in the car. Southampton is massive and I am now feeling very, very small and insignificant. What I am doing is ridiculous! I am a little frightened

I have been on business a few times to Southampton but my first visits was in the 1960’s with my half sister Rosemarie who was visiting her fiancé. I was only maybe 4 or 5 but I remember Southampton being a bit like bomb site, with blocks of flats. It was rough, not long after the war really and still recovering from the bombing.

Then, the old floating bridge, ferried us across to the cinema where we watched ‘633 Squadron,. ( or was it the Dam Busters?; ( the former being a ripping yarn with little of it being true. Winners write the history but ‘Hollywood’ make it up as they go along!)

It’s 2011. I Park in MacDonalds. The Boat show is on. Let me see if I can get a venue their first of all I contact the Media people on site at the boat show and speak with a very nice young man who says they will call me back. They never do. I don’t blame them. Though preaching at the boat show would have been fantastic.

I then email and call Chichester Cathedral, ( getting ready for tomorrow) they can’t help me but tell me I will get a far better crowd speaking in the open air, maybe at the Butter Cross. ( A Market square cross where traders used to gather to sell, eggs, milk, and you guessed it….butter)

I am also thinking about Sunday and ring a large independent church. No one answers the phone, (they rarely do) but it does go to an answer phone. We are SO bad at this as churches. When we have buildings, we are never bloody there! It’s not rocket science guys, forward the phone to a human being! At least give the impression that the empty building is being manned, at least give the impression you are attentive and interested. Oh and when a message IS left — bloomin’ well get back to people! Preferably this century. Good grief Charlie Brown, this is basic stuff. I feel like Frank Doberman “Oi, church offices NO! though the answer machine is a useful tool for screening calls and taking messages, when it becomes an excuse for laziness in not forwarding it to a human being, when you can’t be bovvered to get bak to sam punter, then I would say NO! You are representatives if the living God who has always been available for calls and till the great judgementt will always be available for call! How dare you fail to return a call. And if they say we “Havn’t got the staff”, I would give am a slap and say “you need one cheap pay as you go phone cell phone and one warm body YOU WALLY!”

I ring Salisbury Cathedral , find out that David Coulthard is the communications officer. I am pleased he has finally found the Lord. I call him only to find it is not him. Well it IS him, but it is not the Formula one, new blond on the arm, running out of night clubs and falling over racing driver, now retired. Still, he is a bloody nice bloke and is gonna see what he can do to help me. I get a call from an anxious liturgical minister at Salisbury. He wants me to call him as well.

A young woman working at the boat show comes and sits next to me. She is Greek orthodox and at the University of Warwick. She goes to the Christian Union as ‘it’s a great place to meet people.’ No, none of her friends would ever go and hear a sermon. They are just not interested and it is so irrelevant to them. I sigh inwardly, I ask where the biggest shopping centre is. “Oh” she says” You are just about here. It next to IKEA (the biggest in the UK) you can park your car up there”

I drive the short distance. I get lost on the one way system. My Abs are hurting. I am convinced I have adhesions, appendicitis or inoperable bowel cancer, or something worse. I already know that have Dunlop disease and it is gotten worse over the last 6 days. Yes that’s right, my belly done lop over my belt. I need more exercise.

I park the car. I can only get a parking space on the fifth floor of this 10 storey parking lot. I load up my rucksack and go into reconnaissance mode. Digital recorder, “check”. Video Camera “check “(I put the camera on the car roof – you already know what is going to happen ) Bible- “check”. Phone “check”. It’s time to go check things out and find God’s appointments. I suck in my belly and decide to use the stairs.

Five floors down I come out of the parking lot and reach into my bag to get my hand held Video Camera. It is not there. It is on the roof of the car. I run back up the ten flights of stairs and speed along the concrete floor. It is not on the roof! It is on the passenger seat. The PA system is snickering. I hate that PA system.

Down the ten flights of stairs again, I make my way toward West Quay, I see something that looks like bridge spanning the space from the top level parking lot into the vast temple of consumerism. It is a bridge.

Up the parking lot stairs – it is not connected

Down the twenty flights of stairs (at least! Well maybe….)

I find the stairs to the bridge that leads to Southampton’s temple of consumerism. I climb the thirty flights of stairs (at least!) I am sweating and knackered, but I am getting exercise. The thought crossed my mind that God is messing with me here and smiling whilst He is doing it. Or I could be just an idiot. Yes that’s probably it.

Billboards are filled with Ricky Gervais (Atheist par excellence!) series two of An Idiot Abroad – starring Karl Pilkington

I am beginning to think that I am the new Christian version of an idiot abroad. As Ricky Tomlinson would say “Roaming Reverend my arse, you ARE an idiot abroad!”

I enter the edifice and ask for the duty centre manager and tell my story, asking for a place to speak. They say no and warn me not to take any pictures. They point me to the high street and tell me that beyond their silver pillars is public property and the Above Bar public high street, where I can do anything I like. I thank them and move on. It takes me about 90-seconds to find my way out inot the high street and passing the Levi Strouse shop window I find the following words daubed on the Window and am inspired!

“WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, have you done or said enough? have you just gone along for the ride, or have you steered destiny’s hot rod? when you leave this world, did you make it any better than it was when you arrived? all you need is all you’ve got: your wits and the clothes on your back, your epitaph is yours to earn. your legacy, yours to make.”

I don’t buy any jeans, cause I am sporting a half price pair of hipsters from Burton’s and they’ve got a button fly. I am already feeling kinda’ cool for a man in his fifties with haemorrhoids. I take out my iPhone and take a snap of the inspiring words. Wonderful. I pull my hipsters up. My Dunlop problem is pushing them down and the weight of my phone, the digital recorder and all the associated cables is pushing them down. You can see my pant tops. They don’t say Calvin Klein but “HASMAT-IF FOUND RETURN TO….”

No sooner am I out by the Silver pillars on the Above Bar High Street but two security guards descend on me. I have been a naughty boy. They have me on CCTV taking pictures when I have been told not too. 90 seconds, tow security guards and an iPhone. I offer to delete it. They don’t care. They just want to slap my wrists.

We are the most watched people on the planet. CCTV is everywhere. On the roads, by the elevators, in the elevators, at the hole in the wall, the checkout, the….well blooming everywhere. It’s freaking me out. I am a persistent minor trespasser in just about most things. Most rules are barmy and just need breaking. But when you’re on camera and the law says……well……its ‘Good night Vienna.’ The Christian I talked to in the Above Bar High Street tells me he touched a rowdy small child on the head to stop her chasing the pigeons and kicking up a ruckus. He was arrested and carted away. Amazing. I remembered being caned on several occasions at one school and then thrashed with a Ferula by my Jesuit teachers at another. (Oh that’s a whale bone covered with leather by the way….) We rarely rioted then. Happy days.

I visit the famous ABOVE BAR CHURCH for some advice and an interview.

After this I am hungry and go grab some high calore food and Coffee.

Coffee is a great diaretic and I need to pee.

Button flys, new button flys with no give, combined with digital recording cabeles and belts with cell phones are a nightmare. I no longer care about cool, I want zip. I virtually have to take my pants down at the urunal and then I pee over the cables anyway. Sigh….the price we pay for fashion. Now my stuff smells of fish and pee.

Food finished, so Lord, where now? The Bar Gate is the oldest piece of Southampton. So I walk through it, up and down the high streets, taking in the sights. Big issues sellers are everywhere. Phillip is a big issue seller. He has an official red jacket with a licence clearly visible in the clear plastic pocket. “Yur, you see ‘im oer there, he’s got a white jacket which means he’s a novice. I got a red one, which means I’m a professional. I been duin this a long time. You put a £15 pound deposit for the red jacket, get your licence and then they give you a pitch to stand on. This aint my pitch, but it’s a good un.” He pays £1 for a magazine and sells them on for £2. Maybe Steve Legg should hire the homeless to sell SORTED?” Big issue selling looks like a franchise where the homeless aren’t benefiting. What do I know. I am too cynical. I slap my own wrist. If I buy a big issue, I help Phillip buy his Heroine until he gets his methadone script. If I hire him to film me preaching and bung him a tenner He will do the same? I ask him if he wants to film me preaching for a tenet. He says Yes.

So now I am going back to the car to get my chalk board (apparently can’t say blackboard anymore – even though is black. BUT you can say whiteboard…I muse on this.

Arriving back in the car park, a load up, the PA system is silent. No laughing no mocking. It knows I eman business. I have my game face on.I am committed to naked Bungee jumping. I garb everything, board, mics, bibles, and I am off. Down the forty flights of stairs ( honest ) and out into the sidewalk. After the Camera incident I re-check. Mic, Board, Bibles, Mags, PA System. NO PA system! I bless the ground I am walking on, go back up the fifty flights of stairs back to the car. Open the back and grab the PA system. It is not even smiling. It is deathly quiet. I turn it over and turn on the on switch. No active LED. It IS DEAD. The battery has gone flat. Bugger! No wonder it wasn’t mocking me. Too late parachute or not, I was committed, this was gonna be a vocal chord only delivery. I run down the 100 flights of stairs. I suspect God is laughing. I will never mention or worry about my lack of exercise again.

I return to the entrance to the Quays shopping centre and as I am walking down the street, an impetigo covered, shaved headed homeless young woman is sat outside the temple, crying and cursing the passersby, “None of you F%^&*kers care anyway! Stop looking at me” I stop, put my board downy here, she stands up and falls sobbing onto my neck.

I eventually calm her down and introduce her to Phil introduce her to Phil, she tells him to F Off. Apparently it was those Big Issue people coming round her flat that her so F’d up on heroin. Who knows. Phil backs off.

Before I begin, I remember what Sally Bash Mary said quoting William Boothe. “Take care of the Belly, then they might listen with the heart.” I go and buy Jurry a Subway. She is very specific what she wants “ White bread, no olives, toasted, with hot chocolate and ‘Smartie cookie” I ask Phil and he tells me the same but with Chicken. I wander down to Subway. I stroll in to place my order and am thoroughly confused that despite the smell of subway, there is no Menu board? I look again. I am not in Subway. I am in Greggs. My brain is elsewhere. I am obviously not stressed out at all. Subway is next door. I place the order, but can’t answer any of the ten thousand questions you are asked at Subway. “ SURPRISE ME IM SAY – JUST FILL THE BLOOMIN SANDWICH!”

“Would sir like sauce?”

Sir did not care, he had other things on his mind.

“Yes. No. I don’t care ( told you ) you choose!”

I get the two bags and walk up through the Bar gate back into above bar high street. Another man is begging. “Silver and gold have none, but such as I have give I thee…here’s a Smartie Coookie. What Phil does not know won’t hurt him”

Jurry says “Thanks Babe, insists I turn my mic off, and then examines her food

“Its not white Bread? Did you ask for white bread. It’s full of Olives! I am allergic to Olives, they could kill me.”

I see the headline

“Roaming Reverend proves he is the IDIOT abroad when he kills and homeless drug addict with Olives from subway”

I keep my mouth shut and just say sorry implying “Subway….what idiots!”

So Jurry open her sandwich and start dumping stuff on the ground, Closing is she chomps into the bread the massive amounts of sauce, oozing out the side of her mouth. A passing woman literally snarls at here, curling her lips up in disgust. “what you F’ing looking at?” says Jury. “People are just so rude.”

Jurry has nowhere to sleep that night. She tells me she has stopped ‘selling her vagina’ even though it was good money. “ I don’t care, I just open my legs and space out.

I remember I have a sleeping bag in my car from OFF THE FENCE and leaving my board with here, I go to retrieve it.

When I get back Phil and Jurry are now friends. Now its my turn for the grilling. Who am I? where is my ID? What am I doing. Who am I working for.

Phil now looks very uncomfortable makes his excuses and has to leave. Jurry now wants some Donuts after which she will give me an interview. ( See above). After which we pray. She assumes the open hands position, eyes closed looking up and swaying gently forwards and backward. Jurry has done all this before.

Once all this is done. People are packing up and going home. The time to preach has passed.

I leave Jurry in a shop doorway telling people to stop F’ing looking and with clear instructions on sending her a DVD, so she can refer back to it when she is in a better place, and the offer of travelling the world with me and sharing her story to raise money for my charity. She is looking forward to coming and staying with me and Bridget.

Jurry is a remarkable person. She has obviously been helped 10,000 times, before, been prayed for, prayed over and provided for. Yes here she is. “God has kept me alive”. Is that it? The best I can do is a subways sandwich containing everything she did not want, a shoulder to cry on, a sleeping bag and a prayer.”

I am disappointed. Is God more powerful than heroin and peoples choices?

God refuses to talk to me about this. Suggesting I am not open to the mystery and says ‘its best I be quiet’.

I wander back to the car. It’s time to go to an easy preach. Around 40 * 11-14 year olds at some church in Southampton. I have until 8pm to find it.

My sat Nav is on my iPad. Its free. Its not ideal and tonight, it just does not work. O2 is not playing the game with coverage! Eventually I find it. Helen is superb. This is her first night and she is brave enough to have me come along, I am impressed with the team. 8 Adults all rpaying and planning and preparing for the folks to come. That’s gonna be a 1 to 4 ratio! Marvellous.

The kids turn up. 28 middle class girls and 8 middle calls boys. I am speaking on Joshua. God is laughing again. The things that tickle Him…… This was gonna be an easy gig, talking about having God on your side, passion and perseverance. Giving them some keys to victory in their life. Easy peasy.

They prove to be a tough crowd and the first few minutes is spent telling them off and gretting them to calm down.

It goes well in the end. I inform people I need a place to sleep. Phil, one of the youth workers, rings his mate James. I can sleep on a blow up mattress in the front room

James brews his own beer, and ancient Christian practice in these island. He’s got 5 gallons of rich black Stout under the kitchen counter. It’s delicious. I go to bed at 12:30pm Today I have been up another 18 hours. I am cream crackered.

What will tomorrow bring?


If You Want to see The First Twelve of Our 66 Minute Video Bible Check Here | P.S. We need some more funding ti finish this project before Christmas so if you are up for it give me a call on 07975 805 323

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
This entry was posted in 06 of 66 | SOUTHAMPTON. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sep | 16 | Fri | The City of SOUTHAMPTON | What you F’ing Looking at?

  1. Robert standing with you in prayer my good friend. God speed. Pablo

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