New Year's Eve is a time to reflect. There is plenty to lament as we ponder what our world has travelled through in the past twelve months. But it's also a time for gratitude as we look back, and for hope as we look forward. So here, without any commentary, is a short list of my personal highlights from 2013, accentuating the positive. I have not documented world or national events: this is the comparatively narrow world inhabited by a woolgathering northern dean.
Durham Cathedral events:
(a) Naming of Durham Cathedral East
Coast electric loco, July;
(b) Flower Festival, August;
(b) HLF grant of £3.9
Durham Cathedral services:
(a) Farewell to Justin Welby
on leaving to become Archbishop of Canterbury;
(b) Ecumenical Anglican-RC Vespers,
(a) Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition,
(b) Lumière, November.
Family event: the birth of Isaac, March, his baptism in September and his first Christmas.
Whimsical event: justifying in poetry my membership of Nobody’s Friends
Moving event: Battle of Flodden 500 anniversary commemoration, September.
Stimulating event: dance-drama A Young People’s Guide to the Lindisfarne Gospels;
Preaching invitation: 750 anniversary service of my college,
Balliol College Oxford.
Enjoyable public performance: being the Voice of God in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.
(a) judging Chorister School Public Speaking
(b) giving addresses at ‘come
and sing’ day on Bach’s St Matthew Passion.
Personal satisfaction: publishing Landscapes
Book read: J L Stempel, Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of
the British Officer in the First World War.
Poet read: Denise Levertov, The Stream and the Sapphire.
Musical discovery: Britten, Death in
Venice (at Newcastle, October).
Concert: The Sixteen on their 2013 Choral Pilgrimage ‘Mary, Queen of Heaven’.
Film: About Elly (Iran, 2009).
Theatre: Romeo and Juliet (Durham
TV Programme: John Eliot Gardiner’s documentary on J. S. Bach.
Radio programme: The Archers (of
Overseas place visited: Abbey of Conques, SW France.
UK place visited: the roof of St Pancras Station, London.
Photos taken: 'Isaac on a chesterfield sofa'; 'Prebends' Bridge in Winter'.