I've had a weekend off! That's something I've been really bad at doing, but then I "only work one day a week", so what have I got to complain about?
Only it wasn't really a weekend off, because yesterday I had the privilege of preaching at St Andrews University Chapel. I talked briefly about pursuing studies and research (referring to the Ig Nobel Awards) but then preached on Philippians 3:4b-14, focussing on our pursuit of Christ, who has pursued us. The new chaplain, Donald MacEwan, gave me a warm and friendly welcome as well as an excellent lunch. It was a joy to minister again in such a lovely place of worship, whose people continue to have such an orientation towards mission in the University.
I also managed to visit a few other places of historical interest: Castle Campbell (photograph on the right) in Dollar Glen (it was once called "Castle Gloom", but it's a spectacular setting on any day), Loch Leven Castle (a boat trip and befriending a melanistic mutant pheasant were additional joys), Burleigh Castle (we got the keys on a second visit later in the afternoon which made it much more interesting), Broughty Castle (a mixture of medieval, 19th, and 20th century architecture with some worthwhile art in the museum galleries), Arbroath Abbey (spectacular and peaceful) and Claypotts Castle (which we couldn't get into but we enjoyed nonetheless). I'm a member of Historic Scotland which makes the cost of visiting all these places such a bargain. I learn new things about our history with every visit.
I even endured the misery of watching England beat Scotland on Saturday, but the joy of the Irish victory before chapel on Sunday.
Added to all that was the joy of spending time with my oldest and dearest friends, whose counsel and hospitality I still benefit from after thirty years. It's a wonder that they've put up with me for so long.......
Returning to Glasgow last night, I enjoyed the lovely Nerina Pallot in concert at Oran Mor on Sunday night. She's got some good songs (she wrote Better Than Today, which Kylie Minogue covered) a great voice and has the most charming between-songs-banter I've ever heard.
A good weekend. I'd best get back to answering the emails that build up after three days away!