Monday, 30 May 2016

Wallander redux

Glad to return to St German's for this morning's Solemn Mass, and to invite the congregation to pray for Hamid, as he is to be stripped of all support prior to deportation this Wednesday. People are very fond of him, and much troubled by the news. After the service I had a visit from a lady who is asking for a church wedding blessing this coming Friday. A hasty civil wedding had been organised ten years ago, when she was diagnosed with cancer, just in case. She's cancer free now and the family has survived other tribulations too, so there's much to celebrate and thank God for. 

I don't think she's a regular churchgoer any more, although she lives just around the corner from the church, but like many others, such good-will and gratitude is evident, and she knows where to come to give thanks. Fr Mark has asked me to do a funeral on Thursday, of a lady who could see St John's Canton from the front gate of the family home. Even though it's not a funeral in church, a sense of connection to the church and its ministry locally still persists. These modest local bonds of affection and sense of place still have potential in helping the church to reach out to the community it is planted in to serve.

Despite the good weather, neither of us felt inclined to go far after lunch. Clare enjoyed her garden and I completed my labour of love, editing and uploading photos. The job's completed now, and you can find them posted

Day five photos here

Day six photos here

Day seven photos here

At least now they're in a place where I can study them and reflect on the journey through history, with so many layers to it. The tour guides were marvellous, and naturally, perhaps, emphasised the grand European public figures, royalty, musicians, artists and the suchlike. I would like to have heard about the landscape and ecosystems, wealth creating trade, agriculture, industry and science that made life possible for all those top layer people. But maybe that would have required a two week voyage!

I noticed a new series of the English made series of 'Wallander' crime stories airing on BBC 1 tonight, starring Kenneth Branagh. As this had started last week, I watched the first on iPlayer, then the next one live. It's well produced and acted, no doubt, but still leaves me feeling that it doesn't quite capture the Scandinavian ethos, despite being set in the same western Sweden landscape as all the previous series. 

Not hearing any Swedish spoken feels incongruous. After years of scanning English subtitles and hearing the original dialogue, I may not have learned much Swedish, but voice and gesture convey more than words. In fact having the whole thing all in English made it feel, well, more foreign than usual. In fact, the Swedish originals are never short of English, or Danish phrases in the mix, as that is the nature of discourse in a linguistically diverse society, part of what gives it richness and colour.

What gives this series an interesting edge is Branagh's interpretation of Wallander as early onset Alzheimers disease starts to impact upon his work. It can't be the same as Krister Hendricksson's portrayal, as their personalities are different, but therein lies power of the impression made. Seeing this story re-enacted by different men in separate series and languages brings home a painful tragic reality affecting millions today worldwide.

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