A new dawn?

white-house

And so America has welcomed its 44th President to the White House. A relatively-unknown senator who has taken on the problems besetting not only America, but those of the free world and the wider area encompassed by the international financial markets.

An awesome task, and one which seemed a little-less troublesome when the race began. He must have had misgivings about continuing to seek the position as the various extra problems made themselves evident.

And the voters have placed their trust in someone outside the ‘norm’ of the high-risers in politics.Let’s hope that the position of high office is well-fulfilled in this young man, and that indeed a new day is dawning….and may his God go with him!

Listen Here!

radio-4

I was on Radio 4 this morning….maybe you didn’t notice!

I must be honest, it was more a case of my croaky voice, and cough!

Our Cathedral is convenient for the BBC Studios in Glasgow, and the Morning Service was live from there from 8.10 am. That meant we had to be seated by 7.45!  The Choir of 40 was its usual wonderful self with some unusual pieces (including one from a Salvation Army book), and the readings and Sermon were all about the dawning of the new day.

The uniquitous cold/cough which I brought into the Cathedral had to be stifled several times, and even my singing of the hymns had to be done with caution. I had two microphones quite close to where I was sitting, and I am sure that at least  one cough may now be in the BBC archives. If you are a desperately-sad case, and want to see if you can spot it, then click on the link below…at least for about a week, and then the BBC will probably decide to edit it out after numerous complaints!

For a wonderful piece of music listen to the anthem …..which comes just after the Sermon….’The Quiet Heart….’  (words by James Morgan, and music by June Collin)….superb!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/sundayworship/

Life begins at……

40-year-candle

It’s a bit weird!…..some of our favourite bloggers are approaching, or have reached, a certain unmentionable age…..in fact one used the fact as the title of her site….and no-one really wants to admit it! 

I actually imagine that it isn’t so long since I, and the Lady of the House were at that stage and we had a large house-party……sideburns and smoking pipes were very-much in evidence! But now that our Daughter has hit that age…..that puts rather a different aspect on this number! She doesn’t look it, I must admit, but neither did her Mum at that age. Maybe there is no such thing as ‘looking one’s age’, or feeling one’s age!

The fact is that we only get one chance at each age….it is a one way street, and it is probably best just to enjoy it as best you can…you can’t turn the clock or calendar back, or halt their progress. You just have to accept that the positive thing called ‘maturity’, brings along with it the baggage called ‘age’.

Some writer once said that he knew that we were all born, lived and would eventually die, but he hoped that the Almighty would have made an exception in his case!……… ‘fraid not.

Life is for living and with all its problems and limitations, this world is a wonderful place; and with all their problems and limitations, other human beings are all we have.

So, Daughter, take on the world as you always have, value your friends highly, hate no-one, don’t be too hard on yourself or others for none of us is perfect, always try to look to the positive side of every event, let yesterday go  gently into history, enjoy today, look eagerly to tomorrow and continue to do good in the world.

Do this and we will continue to be proud of you.

Mum and Dad

A grey Scotland

I drove some 250 miles yesterday, with a friend, to visit a few chuches in Argyll, one of the loveliest areas of Scotland.

It would have been, but when we started at 8.30, it was dull with lowering clouds. Even when crossing the Erskine Bridge about 9, we could just see the Clyde Estuary below (usually a wonderful, long-distant vista). Loch Lomond was wind-swept with few boats venturing out. Much of this road is new and wide, but when approaching Arrochar, we are suddenly into a tree-lined narrow twisting road which requires a lot of concentration in the driving. Puddles and fallen leaves were predominant here.

Tyndrum, with the famous ‘Green Welly’ shop, led us north to mysterious Rannoch Moor, which would be a perfect setting for a prehistoric film with dinosaurs etc, rising from deep brackish water. Eventually, as the rain and wind worsened, we descended through the very narrow gorge to the infamous Glen of Weeping, Glencoe . To Scots (and in fact, the whole civilised world), it remains as a reminder of what one person, or government, can do to others….formally-accepted murder.

The village of Glencoe sits in a marvellous setting, but seems uncomfortably close to the water level. Global warming and the rise in sea levels that it poses must be an obvious long term consideration for the inhabitants.

st-johns-ballachulishBut we were here to see two buildings in the neighbouring village of Ballachulish (famous for its slate quarry). A store house which was used as a very early Episcopal church, and the magnificent, (and very proud) St John’s Church which was built in 1842, and extended in 1888.

It holds the Communion vessels which were reputedly used by the Jacobite troops, on the night before the fateful Battle of Culloden. The building is badly in need of repair and has a Restoration Fund.

Our Choir, Angelus Singers http://www.angelussingers.wordpress.com (click the link) are helping to raise their profile by singing Choral Evensong there in March, so this visit was essential. It was of course freezing in the church as the rain continued to hammer down , but Highland hospitality in the local Tourist Information Office helped to warm us up.

We then headed through Rob Roy country via Appin, to the Church of Scotland building dedicated to St Oran at Connell. It was a subject of a previous posting ‘A little Gem’, and was no-less-lovely this time (The Header picture is of the sanctuary). Although it is Church of Scotland, we have been tentatively asked to consider coming as a choir to sing  the Anglican Service of Evensong for them!

The day’s work complete, we headed back through wonderful countryside, just visible in the gathering gloom. Maybe it had been a grey day, weatherwise, but none-the-less I wouldn’t have swopped it (except, maybe for a sun-drenched beach and a glass of beer!!).

Kalt und Warme!

languages

Lady of the House and I have just returned from a break in the tremendous heat of Tenerife (in the Canary Islands for the geographically- ignorant). Even as we approached the west of Scotland, there was a nip in the cabin air, and when the air-bridge was opened (after we had landed of course) one’s lungs were suddenly subject to the sudden shock of dropping from 24C to something approaching 0c.

The usual long wait for luggage allowed some adaptation to our ‘normal’ temperatures, and even the warmth of Daughter’s welcome could not hide the fact that we were in a different world again!

Adeje has a number of very nice hotels (and ours was no exception), and attracted a great variety of nations. I have always loved using different languages although I must say that Italian is my favourite. This time, however, German was the main language to be heard, with some French, Dutch and Flemish.

Many of the younger Europeans about now seem to have excellent English, but it was still evident that the vast majority of Brits do not speak a foreign language beyond the few words from a phrase book.

At the New Year Party we were grouped with Germans (our looks, or my slight corporation may have been responsible for this) and spending a long, noisy evening chattering in a foreign language is very tiring. However we all seemed to understand each other better, as the alcohol flowed. So perhaps this is a preferable way to understand foreigners than going to boring night-classes or reading boring text-books!