Wednesday, 27 March 2013

St Matthew Passion

Another favourite of mine today, the chorus wir setzen uns mit tränen nieder  from Bach's St Matthew Passion.

Then, as I've been at  a Taize service this evening, I simply had to sneak in a second piece: Stay With Me.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

St John Passion

Here's another piece  for what I've decided to call a Holy Week Pilgrimage: Herr, Unser Herrscher, the opening chorus from JS Bach's St John Passion, sung here by Trinity College of Music.  For me personally it's at times like this that music goes far deeper than words ever could; even more so if I've taken part in the work myself in the past.   I've particular memories of the dance that was set to the opening section ; it added yet another nuance to the experience, truly lifting it from mere performance to prayer.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Revisiting Pilgrimage - A Royal Wedding in the Pentland Hills

By popular request from Crafty Green Poet who's been out and about in the snowy Pentlands, here are some snaps of the Greenpatch wanderings in the same area, during our grand Durham to Iona pilgrimage in 2011. We chose an auspicious day for this section of the journey; we must have been the only living souls not glued to the TV watching the Royal Wedding.

Setting out from West Linton. Mr GP checks his blisters

Destination Newbiggin

If we make good time we'll be able to drink a toast to the royal couple  during the next coffee  break (in Lucozade!)

I come from haunts of coot and hern, 
I make a sudden sally 
And sparkle out among the fern, 
To bicker down a valley. 

Are we nearly there yet?

After an impromptu lesson in sheep droving, Mr GP turns his hand to fence maintenance

Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz

I wonder where the birdies is?

Well, we did wake to a surprise this morning!  Do give a thought for the poor birdies: they must be having a hard time of it at the moment. As for  me, in this topsy-turvy climate of ours, all I can do is thank God that I have a warm house, dry clothes and food aplenty. Any grumbles, gripes and aches and pains I might have are put into their proper perspective compared to the struggles of so many out there.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Blog Dish of The Day

Hmmm...looks like a certain luncheon meat to me.  I'll not flatter myself that visitors from a certain 'Eastern' area of the blogosphere are hanging on my every pearl of spiritual wisdom.  I've just one thing to say, (in Christian love, of course) - "Shove off!"

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dedication to Prayer

 I've been reading about the Aberdeen minister who has offered the local Muslims prayer space in his church.

 Earlier this evening, Mr M and I were watching the episode of the comedy series Rev where Adam rouses the ire of his congregation by letting a Muslim childrens' prayer group use the church and is inspired by their dedication to take a moral stance against a proposal to open a lap dancing club  near the  church school.

Some of us enjoyed an interfaith discussion on the topic of Forgiveness last Sunday, held at our local secondary school. Much food for thought. Especially at the start of the evening when the call to prayer came (through  the facilitator's mobile phone). He simply handed over to his (Quaker) co -host and the entire Muslim contingent got up and disappeared into another room for their prayer time.  There's dedication for you!

Now I'm not saying, nor  would it be practical, for  all our congregation  - wherever they happened to be - to down tools and head off to the church for Morning Prayer at a text from the vicar, but it does make you think, doesn't it? Why, when prayer should be such a natural part of our lives, do we find it so difficult to set aside time for it, given that we do have 24 hours a day at our disposal? Answers on a postcard please.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Meece And Men

I'm hoping to get my blogging Get Up and Go back sometime soon. Hopefully then my virtual "visitors" will be genuine ones, rather than what look to me to be the cyber-equivalent of mysterious men in trilby hats and shades in trench coats with upturned collars hissing: "Psstt! Spam!" 

Meanwhile, Mt GP informs me that there are two "late" 'meece' awaiting my attention in the garage. Ugh!

He also seems to have developed a minor obsession with ironing. Odd, very odd.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pacing Not Racing

credit: Boaz Yiftach

Zzzzzzzzzzz.  I need to pace myself;  Franciscan simplicity is in short supply just now. This Myers-Briggs Introvert and Enneagram 6 is badly in need of a good dose of "get up and go." I've had a run of perfectly worth spirituality type events over the last few weeks with more in the pipeline. Loads of input all needing to be processed with much output, too. It's the latter which really drains me: this was the second Saturday night  in a row when I was so exhausted  I was in my pyjamas by 7.30 pm!  I can pussshhh myself outwards  quite convincingly; love it even,  but, boy, do I need my time back in my shell to recover. So I spent this afternoon curled up with a blanket, hot waterbottle and our latest book club read - CJ Sansom's Dissolution: blood, gore and sinister goings-ons in Reformation England. I don't think I'll be able to visit a monastery ever again without checking over my shoulder every five minutes for  cowled figures slinking about in the shadows, secret passages, sinister spyholes and falling masonry!

Friday, 1 March 2013


image:Danilo Rizutti:

Oh dear! Mr GP disappears to cycle ev'ry mountain for a week and what do I discover? We have mice. Not in the far, (I suspect GP dog and cat would soon give them a run for their money), but in the garage, attracted by sacks of pet food. When Ms GP phoned last night she uttered a shriek of horror at learning that I've set some traps. I feel eternally guilty as well, especially given my Franciscan credentials: "What would Francis Do?" asked daughter. She's promised to pass her ultrasonic mice deterrent devices  on to us when next we meet. I guess he would probably have gone for more humane methods of pest control:  delivered a suitably meece-flavoured sermonette or even a merry ditty on his fiddle (the medieval equivalent of an ultrasonic deterrent device?). I'm dreading the moment of truth, when I have to go out and check the wretched traps. Ah well.