Dean’s Blog – February 2018

March 11, 2018 in Dean's Blog

A Varied Day-off: Tuesday 27th February 2018

001One of the joys of having visitors is going to places that we ourselves like to go and one of these is a visit to A’ali potteries. It is like winding the clock back many years to watch the hand-thrown, but mass-produced, pots by the skilled potters on their wheels, and the firing of the pots in the simple gas-fired kilns each one ‘closed’ with a clay/earth door.

 

 

002From A’ali we went to the British Club for a swim, something we are able to do twelve months of the year as the pool is warmed in the winter and chilled in the summer. We followed our swim with a delicious fish lunch, before heading to Seef Mall to see the latest Nick Park film Early Man, a must for Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run fans. 003And perhaps for football fans as well, for it features a Stone Age team taking on a Bronze Age team in ‘the beautiful game’ and winning back their peaceful valley which has huge mining potential, which been overrun by the Bronze Agers.

004Not content with that, after a walk along the Seef sea front and a cup of tea and cake at Le Chocolat, we attended the Son et Lumière at the Bahrain Fort, a magnificent presentation of the key events of Bahrain’s history in amazing technicolour and a very good sound track using one of the textured walls of the fort as a screen. It is magnificent and is well worth the BD3 that is charged for entry and very accessible to children too. It is still on in English at 6.00pm on Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays and Arabic at 7.00pm.

Anne has had a very full on experience of Cathedral life and ministry doing in a month what might normally take a few months, so I hope these “days off” aren’t too exhausting in addition!

Wedding Blessing: Saturday 3rd March 2018

We held a simple service for a couple who were resident in Saudi Arabia, who’d been married in a civil ceremony but who were both wanting the blessing of God on their marriage. The Bible reading was read by the husband in Arabic and then Anne read the story of Ruth in English. It’s a story that resonates in the Middle East as so often people here have experienced uncertainty and insecurity in their family and working lives, but I like to point to two commitments: their own commitment to one another expressed in the Book of Ruth: Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. And also God’s commitment to them, expressed in the book of Ruth by Boaz’ faithfulness to the laws of Israel and the outworking of God’s plan in Ruth’s life: the foreigner who becomes the great-grandmother of King David and in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew’s gospel.

 

Blessing of a home, an engagement and a bbq: Saturday 3rd March 2018

005It was lovely to meet Fred and Sandra’s friends and Sandra’s family for an amazing bbq of Alaskan crabs- the most meaty I have ever eaten- and a most amazing array of salads. And it was a special privilege to be asked not only to bless a home but also, with the Roman Catholic Arabic-speaking priest, a young couple who had recently got engaged. Anne’s gastronomic tour of Bahrain continues and is full of surprises. As she keeps saying: Is this work?

 

 

New Infant Headteacher at St Christopher’s: Monday 5th March 2018

006It was good to meet the new Infant Headteacher of St Christopher’s School, Natalie Dickinson, on her brief visit to Bahrain to see the school and to meet some of her new colleagues and to wish her well as she moves from Greater Manchester here over the summer months. It sounded as though she was happy with what she had experienced and was looking forward to all the new challenges.

 

 

South Indian Cuisine: a meal with Robert, Pushpa and family: Monday 5th March 2018

007Over these last few weeks I think Tricia and I have been riding on Anne’s coattails enjoying the hospitality of many of our community in welcoming Anne to our churches. So we thoroughly enjoyed exploring new Indian cuisine in a wonderful South Indian vegetarian meal with Robert and Pushpa. Our local restaurant is Vrindavan, similarly vegetarian, but we certainly had some very different dishes and it was good to catch up with them as a family.

 

Tree of Life: Tuesday 6th March 2018

008After a visit to the Craft Centre, just five minutes walk from the Cathedral, which is always a treat as there is such a warm community of craftsmen and women and coffee with Wahab, who works so creatively in so many different materials, we drove down to the Tree of Life. We missed the turn off, which I don’t think was signed heading down on the dual carriageway south, but saw a sign on our return. With the camping season and the amount of quarrying that has been done in the vicinity, it was almost unrecognizable from our memory of the area, but it was good to see that the tree itself looks healthy and the immediate area around was clean. As is usual on our day-off we headed back to the British Club for a simple lunch and swim.