Gigging in Glasgow and carting around in Carlisle before moonlighting in Manchester 

Thursday 10th September

Today with beautiful sunny Autumnal  weather we jumped back into the trusty Kia for the last time and drove through Edinburgh’s not very busy peak hour traffic to its neighbour city Glasgow one hour away.  Glasgow is no longer a bleak drab city, quite the opposite.  Its freeway access is second to none and the cityscape is stately, modern, clean and energising.

We made our way directly to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery which is an amazing Victorian purpose-built palace designed for presentations of all kinds.

Amazing C19th Victorian palace purposefully designed for an art gallery and celebration space

Amazing Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. A C19th Victorian palace purposefully designed for an art gallery and celebration space

Kelvingrove front entrance detail

Kelvingrove front entrance detail

It has a huge hall with pipe organ on the second floor and organ recitals everyday. Installations of all kinds are everywhere and some sort of major production was being staged in the ground floor studio. It is a very happening place indeed.

Front wall of the event space in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow

Front wall of the event space in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow

Pipe organ in the event hall at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. Organ recitals are held every afternoon

Pipe organ in the event hall at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. Organ recitals are held every afternoon

Currently there is a display of the architect and cabinet maker Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This is a stunning cabinet

Currently there is a display of the architect and cabinet maker Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This is a stunning cabinet

Plaster and bronze sculptures of Thomas Carlyle. He was arguably the C19th's finest essayist, historian and publicist but is little read today. A remarkable man

Plaster and bronze sculptures of Thomas Carlyle. He was arguably the C19th’s finest essayist, historian and publicist but is little read today. A remarkable man

Amazing installation of faces suspended in the main display area.

Amazing installation of faces suspended in the main display area.

Very fine sculpture by Gilbert Ledwad, 1932 simply entitled

Very fine sculpture by Gilbert Ledwad, 1932 simply entitled “Garden Piece” at Kelvingrove Art Gallery

Our goal was to see Salvador Dali’s wonderful Christ of St John of the Cross which  is a stunning treatment of the cosmic impact of the  crucifixion. Spanish born Dali was an unusual figure and produced extraordinary contemporary art but later in life believed that he was the recipient of a vision and turned to some religious themes in his painting. He was received into the Church personally by the Pope at the time who gave his blessing to his religious art work.  This painting has always meant a lot to me and it was wonderful to see it in reality. It is much larger than I thought it would be and a very moving experience.

Salvador Dali:

Salvador Dali: “Christ of St John of the Cross” in Kelvingrove Art Gallery Glasgow

Kelvingrove Dali sources of inspiration info Kelvingrove Dali notes on religion

Moving on from Glasgow we drove the M8 South back into England, past Thomas Carlyle’s birthplace and stopped off at the wonderful historical town of Carlisle with its ancient Norman and Gothic cathedral. Below is the sort of scenery we passed on the way to Carlisle on an absolutely gorgeous Autumn day in England

Carlisle a quiet spot

Carlisle cathedral exterior Carlisle cathedral ext 2

Two shots of the exterior of the Carlisle Cathedral in beautiful red stone.

In its first incarnation in the C13th  it was a Romanesque cathedral with the normal “fat” round and shorter columns.  Some of these were broken down for the stones for defence by Cromwell’s men but quite a distinct section remains.

The Norman nave of Carlisle Cathedral with large round columns and round arches remiiscent of Tewksbury C12th

The Norman nave of Carlisle Cathedral with large round columns and round arches remiiscent of Tewksbury. This section is C12th

The Gothic section was added in C14th and is restrained and dignified. The nave is relatively short. The sanctuary was covered by a platform today because the local Trinity Grammar School has an academic presentation tonight.  The C16th grammar students have left their mark on the choir stalls with their Etonian like graffiti, names and even family crests.

Carlisle cathedral nave Carlisle Cathedral nave ceiling Gothic Nave and ceiling Carlisle Cathedral organ and choir stalls Carlisle student grafitti

organ, stalls, grafitti in Carlisle Cathedral

On the back of the ancient choir stalls are wonderful  C16tth paintings, some badly damaged but others in good shape, depicting the twelve apostles and several saints.  Some wonderful carving from Henry VIII’s time remains from Lancelot Salkeld, the last Prior of the ancient Abbey alongside the church. Apparently he kept his job by offering his skills and they are memorable including Henry’s coat of arms and several portraits in wood allegedly of Henry’s forbears (one of whom is the Roman emperor Severus who was of course an African as the carving shows!..(carving was on the other side of the Salkeld screen)

Slacked screen from C15th carved by former Abbot of the Priory after its dissolution. His way of keeping a job under Henry

Salkeld screen from C15th carved by former Abbot of the Priory after its dissolution. His way of keeping a job under Henry

High altar of Carlisle Cathedral

High altar of Carlisle Cathedral

For me a particular treat was the memorial to William Paley, the biologist whose writings on the evidence for creation in defence of divine creation were forrmely required study for all Oxford entrants.  In a way he was the most famous supporter of “intelligent design”. He is buried at Carlisle with his two wives (the first died).

William Paley's tomb in Carlisle Cathedral. Famous for his

William Paley’s tomb in Carlisle Cathedral. Famous for his “Evidences” of creation in the Natural World which was the last word on the subject before Darwin.

The old abbey is still very much in evidence and the crypt is now an excellent tea room. The grounds of Carlisle are peaceful, treed and very inviting.

Ann at the door of the old abbey with the chapter house beyond

Ann at the door of the old abbey with the chapter house beyond

From Carlisle we drove through the wonderful Lakes District of northern England, draped in late afternoon sun in gorgeous Derwent colours  and we are now happily ensconced in the Crown Plaza ready to fly out early tomorrow morning to Munich, then Singapore then Melbourne.

Ann high on Thai at the restaurant of the Crowne Plaza at Manchester Airport. That's me in the mirror taking the photo

Ann high on Thai at the restaurant of the Crowne Plaza at Manchester Airport. That’s me in the mirror taking the photo

So this little pilgrimage comes to an end and I thank the faithful who have followed or tuned in from time to time. We have seen much to digest and ponder upon in the years ahead. We have been both encouraged and dismayed by some aspects of “church”.  We have travelled quite close to political turmoil throughout Europe including terrorism in Turkey and Belgium, Financial brinkmanship and distress in Athens and refugee trauma in Calais, Greece and Germany.  Finally we joined the Queen in Edinburgh to celebrate the longest reign of a reigning monarch. Whatever your views of the monarchy, she has worked hard, long and consistently for the good of others and from our observation, lived relatively simply compared with some of the palaces of other leaders in the past. We  pray God for a safe flight home and give thanks for the privilege of sharing some of this experience with you fellow pilgrims.

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5 Responses to Gigging in Glasgow and carting around in Carlisle before moonlighting in Manchester 

  1. Christine Woolley says:

    Thanks for a brilliant ending…a reflection that shows the deep and privilege of the experience.
    You have inspired me to do a bit of travelling while in England, not all just catching up with family.
    Blessings

  2. Christine Woolley says:

    Depth…not deep

    • raprideaux says:

      Many thanks Chris the fact that you and Martin, Brian and Joyce, Michael from church and Sandy Andrzejewski were reading kept me going

      Hope the term is finishing well for you. We arrived home an hour ago thanks to Andy meeting us at the airport. A long flight but good to be home. Will catch up soon.

      cheers

      Richard >

  3. Welcome home Richard and Ann. I will miss the vicarious travelling although I was exhausted by stately homes much sooner than you were. Great trip, looking forward to talking to you about it.

    • raprideaux says:

      Hi Helen

      Appreciate you taking the time to read my waffle. It was more to make sure I had a travel diary but it does seem to have attracted a bit of attention. We had a very happy time although Ann was in some pain with a sciatica type leg pain referred from lower back problems. I know what you mean about the English stately homes. They all have a familiar theme – Capability Brown lawns – porcelain (usually Sevres or Meissen), tapestries (very faded), long sculpture corridors, and varying quality artwork. Nevertheless some of the gardens like Wilton or Stourhead are to die for and the Rothschild and Wallace collections in particular are Museum quality. It was good for me to cancel out some of my myths about Europe. We walked everywhere and I feel I now have a handle on Florence, Rome, Padua, Lucca, Venice and Mantua. Some memories won’t fade …I still love just being or standing in Tuscany in Summer e.g. San Bagno church in Montepulciano or the Piero della Francesca trail in Arezzo/Monterchi/Sanselpolcro etc. I loved the Hagia Sophia and all of Greece..to be in the Plaka during the referendum lead up was extraordinary and our room looked out on the Acropolis. The chapels at Meteora were must mind boggling on their hilltops. Malta was just a pleasant diversion….I have no love for Baroque Catholicism. Italy was so hot for a month but we survived and as I say I feel I have hung around long enough to put the mystique into perspective. Three of four of the large European Gothic cathedrals defy commentary …Strasbourg, Amiens, Rouen, Bourges. (I missed out on Rheims..the best of all perhaps ..but just couldn’t get there. I also missed Vezelay which is a pity but found St Denis in Paris …amazing. Baroque Les Invalides is awful but Mont St Michel at 9.00pm on a Summer night is unforgettable …a huge monastery rising out of the North Sea. We loved the old towns of Basel, Brugges and Ghent and the little Caroline church in Aachen has only San Vitali in Ravenna to match it. but i was disappointed by the Isenheim. I brought home a detail …will have to study it further. We worshipped all over England and loved the different experiences. Stourhead Garden in Wiltshire is I thing the best I’ve seen…all I could think of was how much Mum and Dad would have loved the rhodies and hydrangeas… William Morris at Kelmscote is also quite moving including the little church where he and Jane were buried together (without interference from Dante Gabriel Rossetti…what a wonderful painter and what a horrible person!) We fell in love with Edinburgh ..its people and places and we saw a heap of the royal palaces ..quite amazing. Everywhere, the art was wonderful …I knew I would love Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross…It is a serious sensation. All too much really but it is good to be home. I am looking forward to getting to know my own country again. I think the lust for Europe is over! It is a disease I have now cured…

      Trust all is well with you and the family. We have prayed often for Emily and Dylan and the children and hope things are moving in a positive direction.

      Hope to catch up soon…when you are coming down to stay a night in Berwick and have a look at our tiny treasures we brought back.

      Much love

      Richard and Ann

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