Saturday, August 08, 2009

Family outing

Today we held our annual Mission Fayre at Church to raise funds for USPG, with home made cakes and bric-a-brac, books and videos on sale, the church tower open for climbing and all tea room profit going to the cause. The Tea Room needed a washer-upper, so I spent three and a half hours at the sink, with only a few breathing spaces. We seemed to do well with customers, although the ringers staffing the tower reported fewer climers than usually expected. The crowds in town seemed a little thinner than usual too.

I stayed until two, then made a dash for the Millennium Centre to meet up with the family for the performance of 'The Sound of Music'. Rhiannon was a little tired but nevertheless enjoyed the spectacle and the music (she'd been fed the sound track coming down in the car with her parents). She spend the first half of the show on her mother's knee and the second half on mine - which gave me much contentment. She and her parents lead such busy lives, and mine is tied down to the Parish, so that I don't get as much opportunity for quality time with my grand daughter as I'd like. With a family meal and relaxed evening together following this was one of those happy exceptions.

It's either half a lifetime since I last saw 'The Sound of Music', either on stage or film, or I never saw it and only know the songs by absorption from my youth. I can't really remember. Visiting the whole thing afresh in the form of this high quality production proved to be both moving and inspiring, with its unfashionable strong moral and spiritual messages. The stage musical dates back to 1959 and the film to 1965, when its tone and values were decidely un-trendy, and yet everlastingly popular despite fashion - perhaps because it's an uplifting tale of faith, courage and integrity, all built on real life events.

Even though a story featuring a chorus of traditionally pious and wise nuns must seem decidedly strange in this post-modern world, it gives a glimpse into the world of Christian values, and what this demands of people confronted by the demands of power and authority, so often rooted in fear and conformity. Long may it flourish to remind a secular society that the world we re-make is greatly impoverished without spirituality that has deep religious roots.

I loved the promotional video street dance staged in Queen Street last month. It was another of the mass dance events organised to promote T-Mobile video phones, but also promoting the launch of the show in the Millennium Centre. It's a fun thing to watch, and must have been a nightmare to organise. If you haven't seen it, you can get it here.

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