We took a couple of days off this week, thinking that June might actually be summer in Scotland. How wrong can you be! It wasn’t just all four seasons in the proverbial 24 hours, but all four of them in the space of about 40 minutes. The drive to Glasgow on Monday started in dull, though dry weather as we left rural Aberdeenhire, but by the time we were passing Stirling there was actually snow at the side of the road. We had to look at least twice, but sure enough – not hailstones, but real snow. Not to mention a sky as black as night and flooding all over the place. Then just 15 minutes later, bright sunshine, which continued all the way to Glasgow and for the rest of the day. Still, it was just as well that the main attraction was not outdoors.
And it was well worth travelling through fire and brimstone to be there! The main attraction was a concert by The Priests, three Irish priests who’ve just shot to fame from nowhere in less than 12 months following the release of their first album last Christmas.
In an obviously unscripted dialogue, their informal laid-back style of conversation throughout the concert was something else. Fun, faith, spontaneity, and a lot of easy talk about God and the spiritual, not to mention their fantastic singing just made it a great occasion. And where else would you find a concert where the most prominent projected icon is a cross? And it wasn’t all a bunch of old grannies either: we sat next to a couple of twenty-something young women who must have been first in line to get there, and whose excitement at seeing The Priests in person was … well, infectious.
Next day we went to see an exhibition of Edvard Munch’s work, which (as we expected) evoked the exact opposite set of emotions, with his obsessions with failed love affairs, death and, of course, stress – most famously expressed in his painting The Scream.
But as well as that there are various versions of his Madonna on display, along with an intriguing portrait of Nietzsche, and a striking self-portrait. The exhibition runs till September, and is free so well worth a visit if you like that sort of thing.
After that, a walk down the street to the Kelvingrove Gallery to take (yet another) look at Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross,
and while we were viewing that we had an unexpected (and free) organ recital.
Of course, all this was interspersed with new conversations, about the meaning of life, faith, spirituality, theology … and how cool it would be to have The Priests as pastors. And on the way home we called by this interesting studio. A two day outing doing these things probably tells you something about us …