This is our local parish church, and is where we will be heading for the midnight service (at 11.30, go figure). I thought I’d better take the picture early, as there is a yellow alert for rain on Christmas Day, and the rain has already started.
I did my last minute Christmas shopping, on the way back the sun was really low in the sky, I loved these silhouetted trees.
This Christmas card was designed by our niece.
Looks like Christmas is coming 🙂
We’ve been having seriously good weather for ducks. Glasgow had well over half its monthly average monthly rainfall in less than 24 hours, and don’t forget that in the west of Scotland we already get plenty of the wet stuff. Stirling was even worse.
I drove through a great big puddle too fast and gubbed the electrics, so we broke down just after we turned onto the M8 on the way home. This was taken with HD’s phone, and is of the car while we waited for the man from the RAC to rescue us. Of course by the time he came the car started, but he dried it out and sprayed it with industrial amounts of WD40 and it got us home OK.
I liked the morning sky colour here.
This clematis is by our front door. It’s going to look lovely in the summer.
This (very zoomed) view is not far from our house. As you can see the hills got a dusting of snow.
Confession: I totally forgot to take a picture on the 24th, so I took a picture of white nothing on the 25th. Whoops!
These carnations are left over from the bouquet I got from my colleagues (see previous photo) (actually they’re still alive a week later on the 30th too!).
I had an interview in the afternoon for a reduced-hours health visiting job, I didn’t get it (though they said I interviewed well), but it did give me the chance to hang around Queen’s Park before it got dark while waiting for HD to finish work. I tried lots of close-ups of the swans, got quite a few pictures I liked. This one had just had its head in the water, hence the dripping.
The best thing about moving house! 🙂
This is our local parish church (which coincidentally has the same name as our church in Glasgow).
This is the best takeaway we’ve had yet here (the Indian and Chinese have been a bit disappointing).
Today our new rector was installed at church, what a lovely service it was, though bitter-sweet to see a full church, as it is in reality dwindling a lot (and of course we’ll be moving soon so leaving too, not that I think we make an earth-shattering contribution. Might make that another blog post sometime).
Anyway. This hangs above HD’s computer.
Today is Good Friday, so here is a picture of my church.
I’m going to be offline for about a week after today, but will still be taking pictures 🙂
27th February 2011:
Here’s a sight to make the soul soar – crocuses in Queen’s Park. The reading in church today was from Matthew (“consider the lilies of the field …. not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed as one of these”). Whenever I hear or read that verse I always picture crocuses.
26th February 2011:
On Friday a friend of HD’s from York came to stay as the two of them were planning on going to a
nerd’s model railway convention at the SECC on Saturday. I arranged to meet them after a few hours, so had a lovely walk along the Clyde Walkway. I do like Glasgow.
25th February 2011:
To continue the arty theme of the last few days, on Friday evening we went to a concert and blessing celebrating the centenary of St Bride’s Church in Bothwell, out east of Glasgow heading towards Motherwell (ish). The reason we went was that our friend Richard, who is an artist, had been commissioned to produce a significant artwork for the occasion, of which this is part. There are 6 large paintings now prominently displayed in the entrance hall to the church, and are really very impressive indeed. It was great to see the end result having heard so much about the process of planning and creating the work (I think Richard was just pleased it was finished at last!). We know such talented people. The concert was fun, it was by the local amateur Philharmonic Choir and included a number of pieces that I have sung myself in choirs in the dim and distant past (including opening with Vivaldi “Gloria” – I told HD afterwards he had NO idea the effort required for me to listen and not just sing along, as that’s really good fun to sing). It was in aid of the Poor Clare Monastery, and sisters from the monastery were present, but behind a screen as they apparently have minimal contact with the outside world. I love the photo of the sisters on that link, some of them look really cheeky!
Good news: we have water in the right places (taps) and no longer in the wrong places (pouring from the ceiling). This is a picture I took earlier, just before the water finally stopped, there’s a full set of pictures here. The plumber was initially mystified by the downpour and couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Fortunately (errrrr…) the built up water burst through the ceiling in the hall while he was directly underneath, and therefore afforded him a really clear view of the burst pipe, so it was then fixed really quickly. The poor guy was drenched! I didn’t laugh (much) – actually it is quite scary to think that if the burst had been only a few inches further along the collapsed ceiling would be in our bedroom rather than the other side of the dividing wall. So I am grateful for small mercies. I have had the headache from hell today, probably unsurprisingly, but it is gradually easing and I should be able to put the final finishing touches to the thesis tomorrow in time for submission on Monday.
In other news, I have been really enjoying the films of various flashmobs people have been posting on facebook. It reminds me of years and years ago at madchurch, at one of the big evening celebrations, they did what we now know as a flashmob in the middle of a service, with a whole crowd throughout the congregation doing a dance to “The Happy Song” (who remembers that?! – by the forerunners of delirious?). That was so fantastic (kerensa, were you there?). Anyway, here are a couple of my favourite recent flashmobs. First up, the Hallelujah Chorus (I think this was in Paisley, near Glasgow, last month):
And secondly, how fantastic is this?! Clog-dancing in Newcastle (it’s worth enlarging the video in the link). I particularly liked the 5 guys from about 2 mins 40 seconds in: clog-dancing. Enjoy!
To (almost) the other end of the M8 yesterday evening, to see Derf – or should I now say, Rev. Derf (well technically The Dr. Rev. Derf, but she’s decided against that for thoroughly understandable reasons!) being received into her new congregation/circuit/parish (they’re a bit complicated, these Methodist types!). What a lovely evening. As soon as I walked in and saw her over the other side of the room in her dog collar I got all weepy (I’m still getting all weepy thinking about it), and although I did hold it together during the service, every time I looked at her I got all emotional. Just seeing someone doing what they were born to do, what a wonderful thing 🙂
The spread the congregations put on after the service was a wonderful thing as well 😀
Wishing Rev. Derf every joy and happiness in her new ministry.
Apologies for blogging infrequency, our home broadband is not very well (understatement; we are currently waiting for BT to test our line and try and find out what is going on. In the meantime HD has got a pay-as-you-go dongle (what a great word that is!) so we are still able to connect, but I don’t want to use up all his credit so I am being reasonably disciplined and trying not to waste it all on scrabble. Though I might waste a little bit later ….).
Thursday evening I headed over with some other people from church to Dunblane, where our friend and former curate was being inducted (instituted? I can never remember the correct terminology. I’m pretty sure it’s not induced though!) as the new priest there. I have (and I know I’m not the only one) missed Kimberly a lot here, she was a wonderful curate, and St Mary’s are lucky to have her. I must admit to shedding a tear during the service – it was actually at the point that the church warden handed her the keys to the church. She had such a huge smile at that point it was clear that she had “come home”. What a wonderful service and wonderful occasion, and I hope and pray she will be very happy there. As if that wasn’t all wonderful enough, I can now also say that I have been in the same room as the Cope of Glory (that’s a reference that kingsfold will get, if nobody else!). My goodness, and it was quite glorious!
The end of the week has seen a couple of pre-birthday events – yes I finally reach that grand-old-age-with-a-0-on-the-end next week, and so had drinks with people from work on Friday night (shamelessly piggy-backing on another friend’s leaving do), and then with friends from church last night too. I think I feel alright about it, generally – I was really excited about the last birthday-with-a-0-on-the-end, and have loved being in my X0-ies (I don’t know why I’m not just coming out and saying the numbers, I’m sure you all know!), so I think I’m more bothered about not being in my X0-ies than I am about being *0.
Anyway – we are going to go on an adventure on the actual day, so hopefully that will soften the blow a little 🙂
The world continues to shrink and collide. I remember when I first started getting involved in online communities, talking about my “real life” and “virtual” friends, and then getting really startled when “real” and “virtual” worlds started to coincide and overlap, and “virtual” friends became as “real” as “real life” friends. People from the wibsite and Ship of Fools turned out to know/have grown up with random people I knew in real life (especially people from madchurch, bizarrely), and since being on facebook it’s been amazing to see how many people have unexpected mutual friends with me – a few people I know from online are friends with a friend of mine from uni, whom they know from GCN, for example. I’ve had several facebook exchanges along the lines of “where on earth do you know x from?!” – one madchurch friend saw a comment from someone (whom I got to know through a friend of HD’s) and messaged me to say “I was at a Crusader camp in the 80s with someone called Jane Bloggs*, I wonder if it’s the same one”, so I messaged her and it turned out they were indeed already acquainted but hadn’t been in touch for 20 years, and then they spent a fun evening reminiscing together and catching up via facebook messages. I’ve also had a couple of “real life” friends come up to me and sheepishly confess that they think they’ve been reading my blog. One of whom as lots of people already know now has her own blog here too – we first met in the early 90s, and I think at first we were both a bit freaked out by the real/virtual overlap.
Now it’s my various virtual worlds that are colliding. I’m really delighted that Katya, one of my most faithful and regular commenters over on my Glasgow photo blog, has started to comment here too. I can thank Ian for following her comments on Glasgow DP and starting to comment on her blog for her getting to know the wibsite a bit.
Every time I experience one of these mini-world collisions I get a bit of a jolt. A pleasant one mind! I think I didn’t realise until I had lots of friends in lots of different places coming together the extent to which I choose what I reveal about myself in each different context. I think all of them are authentic expressions of who I am, whether it be the creative, spiritual, pseudy, or whatever sides of me, but I always wonder if those who know best the spiritual side of me will be surprised by the slobby side, or those that know the creative me will be put off by the more spiritual, even though it’s all me. I think I’m rambling (Shurely not – ed), not to mention getting a bit “me, me, me” on you – anyway really all I want to say is despite the momentary discomfort I think the coming together of these different worlds is fun and helps make the world both a smaller and bigger place. Yay!
In other news, working at home hasn’t worked at all. I have no self-discipline whatsoever (she says, like that’s news). Tomorrow will be better (actually maybe I’ll go into work after all). Sigh.
* Name changed to protect the guilty, obviously!
I guess one way of looking forward to the coming of Christ (something I’ve already explained I’m struggling with a bit this year during the current dry patch) is to look back. This morning’s service was action-packed if nothing else, being both Carol Service, Christingle Service AND a baptism (all 3 elements together worked really well – and still managed to take less time than the usual communion service! But I digress).
Some of you know I’m not from a church-going family, so church didn’t really feature in my childhood much apart from when my school orchestra and/or choir did concerts in churches sometimes. However, my late grandmother (whom we called Nanny – she died when I was 7 or 8 ) did sometimes go to church, and occasionally we would go with her, if there was a service which might be good for kids. So, one of my very earliest church memories, I guess I must have been no older than 5 or 6, is going to the Christingle Service – I remember precisely nothing about the significance of the Christingle or anything much about the service itself, but remember really vividly walking back home with my mum and nanny and aunt and sister and my sister and I both holding our oranges and shielding the still lit candle trying to protect the flame from being blown out. I remember the orange wasn’t beautifully decorated like the ones at St Frodo’s this morning, with red ribbon and sweets as well as the candle, these ones were literally just an orange with a cross drawn on it in red marker pen and a small candle. But, I remember that even from that very early age there was just Something about church, about Christianity, which just Felt Right, and that feeling never went away, even though I never did anything about it till I went to uni at 18 and joined the CU. Seeing those Christingle oranges this morning brought that all flooding back – the fact that God was calling me, little me, all those years ago.
And then in the readings, of course we got to Luke 2. I remember a few years ago when I was still in London, I think it must have been 1998 thinking about where I was living at the time and that I was getting ready to work on a hospital ward where I’d just finished a student placement for the early Christmas Day shift, so I was bleary-eyed and running around a bit. I had GLR (now Radio London, nowhere near as good as GLR was but that’s another story) on the radio, and then (as I think still now on Radio London) Jumoke Fashola was doing the early God-slot programme. While I was getting dressed I remember her reading out Luke 2, the story of the shepherds, and I remember when she read verses 10-11 “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord”, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and the story of Christmas never ever felt as real as it did then. This morning the same thing happened, at the same place. I’m guessing God isn’t as far away as he currently feels after all … it’s just taking looking back to realise that there is a future.