Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Senora Rabbit and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire last week. The trailer I'd seen for the film made it seem a combination of really good music and a fairly cheesy and curious plot. As Caireen and I were going over the various offerings on the Edinburgh Cinema listings this was our third choice, after Far North and Defiance.

It having been "one of those days", however, we decided that these other films were too "dark" and that Slumdog Millionaire would be the more upbeat choice.

It's a good film - directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) which follows the unexpected success of a Bombay slum boy in the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

I thought it was really two films mixed into one. The first story places its question in the mouth of a Mumbai policeman questioning a young man accused of cheating at a televised game show: Given that doctors and lawyers get only half of these questions how has a street orphan with little formal education managed to arrive at the very last question without answering anything incorrectly?

We're then shown the reason - via a series of flashbacks - bits and pieces of a life lived on the edge and at tremendous personal cost which have given him all the incidental nuggets of information necessary to answer a series of twenty questions. It was his destiny.

The second story is the old boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl story. It's what seemed a little cheesy in the trailer but it wasn't woven badly into the story.

All in all a much better movie than I thought it would be and, as it turned out, a come from behind winner at the Golden Globes.

Highland Cattle at Nine-Mile Burn

I pass them several times a week on my way back and forth from West Linton. Today, on my way back from the midweek Mass at St Mungo's Church I decided that I'd take a picture.

They stand out there in the rain, in the snow and frost, day in and day out. They don't even seem overjoyed when the weather finally breaks and the sun comes out.

Aye, right! This is Scotland. It won't last. It never does.

As long as they get their breakfast they just keep plodding along.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Marrying Season

We've had a great year for marriages at St James!

We're not one of those churches where people travel far and wide to be married here. We don't advertise. We don't appear in catalogues! We don't compete with the Elvis Chapel.

The couples we've married here this last 12 or 13 months have all had some connection to the congregation - they were either children in our Sunday School who had grown up and moved elsewhere in the UK and then returned to be married or they were local people who set a date many months ahead and then started attending quite regularly in the months leading up to the wedding service. A few of these local couples have moved on but a number have stuck around. In either case, by the time they arrived at the Chancel steps to make their vows they were people we had come to know quite well.

Weddings in Montreal were sometimes a headache. I remember a lot of demanding strangers. There were even a couple of horror stories where people ended up not being exactly who they presented themselves to be (either to the priest or once - an interesting story I may not relate - to each other).

I once had a fancy Montreal 'wedding coordinator' to deal with. Her existence had never come up in my conversations with the bride and groom. We were introduced on the evening of the rehearsal at the Church. She flounced over to me and told me (quite politely, actually) to sit down and she'd get around to me in a moment.

I remember wanting to murder her.

Needless to say, she ended up sitting down and I got around to her in a moment.

This last weekend we married a couple here at St James' where the groom was the fourth generation of men in his family to be married in our church.

I rather like doing marriages here. They're a lot of fun and a very rewarding form of ministry. We've had nine or ten in a little over a year which, for us, is a lot. I've only got two scheduled (so far) for the remainder of the year - one on the Saturday before Pentecost (with the children being baptised the next day) and another on Hallowe'en.

Knowing the bride at the Hallowe'en wedding quite well, I have no doubt the occasion will be milked for its particular cachet.