Sunday, 7 May 2017


Clare's choir conductor Anna and her husband Klaus came to join us for lunch yesterday. We talked of our shared passion for sacred music and things European. Anna is Italian and Klaus German. We heard how both of them had made the effort to obtain UK nationality well before the brexit vote, sensing the wind of euro-skepticism chilling the climate of openness which has prevailed for the past forty years. We heard how lengthy and expensive a process it was, and how intricate legislation makes it hard for some long standing European residents to prove to the satisfaction of the Home Office, that they have been here living and contributing to society through work and taxes for decades. The system is loaded against the poor and not so well informed, who nevertheless play a full part in making Britain the place it is, or should I say was. I am unhappy about the movement of the country away from moderation and fairness, toward right wing elitist dominance. 

This morning drove to St John's Canton to celebrate and preach at the Parish Eucharist this morning before going on to St German's for the Solemn Mass. This morning in worship we used incense that I'd been given by Dr Laura Ciobanu on her visits, as I had enough to use for a full service in small packs of the same kind, originating from Mount Athos in Greece. It had the characteristic aroma of roses, ad a few people with sensitive noses noticed and commented favourably on the change.

After lunch and a siesta, we walked both banks of the river Taff as far as the Millennium footbridge, enjoying the birds and wild flowers in Bute Park arboretum. Bluebells are starting to diminish now, but alium (wild garlic) is flourishing, carpeting the grass under the trees with vivid white blooms. 
No sign of Mallard ducklings today, just an assortment of adult couples and same sex pairs. A bit like the human leisure seekers, out enjoying the sun in great numbers.

In the evening I watched the second episode of 'Lanester' on the tablet's All Four app.  It was just a two part drama not a series, adapted from a single novel - disappointing, as the main characters were potentially worth exploring further. Interestingly enough the German 'Inspector Borowski' series and 'Lanester' portray a gifted senior detective, workaholic, single and 50+. Both find themselves working with and needing to relate to a capable and highly intelligent woman, old enough to be a daughter. In the former the woman is a detective. In the latter, a Parisienne cabbie. Gender and generation differences are the underlying relationship issues not sexuality, for a change. 

Perhaps French TV moguls felt their thunder had been stolen by the German series, and didn't bother to pursue the theme further. Although, come to think of it, there was another French crime drama series in 2015 called 'Disparue' set in Lyon, which also has another workaholic middle aged detective, Bertrand Morel, divorced, and obliged to relate to his feisty teenage daughter who prefers to live with papa, who's more laid back than maman. All these story lines portray men who, despite being lonely, obsessed with solving hard and complex cases, are superb team leaders, yet with messed up personal lives. The role of these different confident modern women portrayed challenges the men with positive outcomes in the crime stories, and humanises the solitary male. It's not the romantic tale of heroic knights of old with an admiring lady gazing nobly from afar. It's more like a real world contradiction of this theme.

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