Posted in Events, music

One love

On 22 May 2017, a suicide bombing was carried out at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, during a concert by American singer Ariana Grande as part of her 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour. The concert was sold out, and 14,200 people attended. Many exiting concert-goers and waiting parents were in the foyer at the time of the explosion. Greater Manchester Police declared the incident a terrorist attack and suicide bombing. The attacker was identified as Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old British Muslim who detonated a shrapnel-laden improvised explosive device at the exit of the arena after the event. Twenty-three adults and children, including Abedi, were killed and 116 were injured, some critically. Abedi was initially suspected of working within a terrorist network, and various people were arrested in connection with the incident. Police later said they believed he had largely acted alone. The blast killed the attacker, and 22 concert-goers and parents who were in the entrance waiting to pick up their children following the show; 116 people were injured. As of 26 May 2017, 75 people remained in hospital, 23 of them, including five children, in critical care.The dead included ten people under 20, the youngest an eight-year-old girl. North West Ambulance Service reported that 60 of its ambulances attended the scene, carried 59 people to local hospitals, and treated a number of walking wounded on site. Of those hospitalised, 12 were children under the age of 16. It was the deadliest attack in the United Kingdom since the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

Then On 3 June 2017, 10:08 pm three people conducted another terrorist attack in two locations in central London. The attack began At around 10:08 pm BST, when a white van travelling north to south across London Bridge mounted the pavement and hit pedestrians. Police began evacuating all buildings within the vicinity of the bridge. London Bridge station was also closed at the request of the police. Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations were also closed. Police at the cordon confirmed that there had been fatalities. The Metropolitan Police dispatched boats onto the River Thames, with assistance from the RNLI, to contribute to the evacuation of the area. A witness reported the attackers shouted “This is for Allah.”

After their van crashed outside the Barrow Boy and Banker pub on Borough High Street the three attackers, wearing fake suicide vests, ran to Stoney Street adjoining Borough Market, where they stabbed four people in the Borough Bistro pub. The attack occurred shortly after the incident on the bridge. The pub-goers attempted to defend themselves by throwing bottles, chairs and other items at the attackePeople in and around a number of other restaurants, including Brindisa, El Pastor, Roast, Black and Blue and the Wheatsheaf pub were also attacked. Seven people were killed and 48 injured in the attack. Three suspects were shot dead by police. The Metropolitan Police declared the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks to be “terrorist incidents”. Multiple explosions subsequently heard near Borough Market were confirmed to be controlled explosions.

The attack is the third to have taken place in Great Britain since the beginning of 2017. In March 2017, a man killed five people in a combined vehicle and knife attack at Westminster, and 22 people were killed in the Manchester Arena in a May 2017 suicide bombing. Following the latter incident, the UK Threat Level for terrorism in the country was raised to “critical”, meaning an attack was “expected imminently”, but was reduced back to “severe”, meaning an attack was “highly likely”, after five days. It stood at “severe” at the time of the June attacks.

Following the suicide bombing pop star Ariana Grande announced that she would host a benefit concert in Manchester. with free tickets offered to those who attended the show on 22 May. with net proceeds of the concert going to British Red Cross’s We Love Manchester emergency fund to raise funds to support families of those injured and killed in the Manchester Arena attack, So far Over £2 million has been raised .

The concert, entitled “One Love Manchester”, will take place on 4 June at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and will be broadcast live on television and radio.The line-up for Ariane Grande’s defiant Manchester terror attack benefit gig includes Take That, Robbie Williams, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Usher, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas and Ariana Grande. The concert will be hosted by Scott Mills, Jo Whiley, Phil Williams and Becky Want. And broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester and Capital Radio. Broadcasters in at least 38 countries have confirmed they will screen One Love Manchester live, despite the time zone differences. TV networks in China, the US, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Canada and Australia will also broadcast the show.

Liam Gallagher also performed his first solo gig in Manchester, a week after a suicide bombing in the city. The former Oasis frontman arrive on stage to beer-soaked delirium and launched into a raucous version of the Oasis song Rock’n’Roll Star. Liam sang many Oasis classics – including Slide Away, Rock’n’Roll Star and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, Live Forever and Don’t Look Back in Anger. Together with songs from his debut solo album, As You Were, including new solo single Wall of Glass. Among the audience at the 1,400 capacity crowd at O2 Ritz was the Mancunian former boxing world champion Ricky Hatton. All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.

Posted in books, Television

Val McDermid

Scottish crime writer, Val McDermid FRSE was born 4 June 1955. McDermid comes from a working-class family in Kirkcaldy, Fife. She was educated at Kirkcaldy High School and studied English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she was the first student to be admitted from a Scottish state school, and where she became President of the Junior Common Room. After graduation she became a journalist and worked briefly as a dramatist. Her first success as a novelist, Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery occurred in 1987.

McDermid’s works fall into four series: Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, and Inspector Karen Pirie. Her characters include a journalist, Lindsay Gordon; a private investigator, Kate Brannigan; a clinical psychologist, Tony Hill; and DCI Karen Pirie working out of Fife, Scotland. The Mermaids Singing, the first book in the Hill/Jordan series, won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year. The Hill/Jordan series has been adapted for television under the name Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green. McDermid has stated that Jacko Vance, a TV celebrity with a secret lust for torture, murder and under-age girls, who featured in the Wire in the Blood and two later books, is based on her direct personal experience of interviewing Jimmy Saville. McDermid considers her work to be part of the “Tartan Noir” Scottish crime fiction genre.

In 2011 McDermid was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sunderland and She is co-founder of the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, part of the Harrogate International Festivals. In 2016 she captained a team of St Hilda’s alumnæ to win the Christmas University Challenge. McDermid was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

In addition to writing novels, McDermid contributes to several British newspapers and often broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland. Her novels, in particular the Tony Hill series, are known for their graphic depictions of violence and torture. MCDermid sponsors the McDermid Stand in Stark’s Park, Raith Rovers ground in Kirkcaldy. This endeavour was in honour of her father, a scout for the club.A year after sponsoring the stand, she became a board member of the club, and starting in 2014 her website became Raith’s shirt sponsor.

Posted in Events

Pentecost/ Whit Sunday

The Christian holiday of Pentecost, is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. Some Christians believe this event represents the birth of the Church. The holy day is also called “White Sunday” or “Whitsunday”, especially in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was also a public holiday (now fixed by statute on the last Monday in May). In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can also refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive; hence the book containing the liturgical texts for Paschaltide is called the “Pentecostarion”. The date of Pentecost depends upon the date of Easter—it is, therefore, called a moveable feast. In Germany Pentecost is denominated “Pfingsten” and often coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations. The Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European nations.

The Christian feast of Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day after Easter. Because Easter itself has no fixed date, this makes Pentecost a moveable feast. The date for the “Feast of Weeks” came the day after seven full weeks following the first harvest of grain.” Thus, it is also known as the “fiftieth day” or Pentecost. It is called fifty days in Scripture, because the Hebrew way of calculating counts the beginning and ending days. In early Judaism, the Festival of Weeks (Hebrew: שבועות‎‎, Shavuot) was a harvest festival that was celebrated seven weeks after the beginning of the harvest or seven weeks after the Sabbath. Counting both the first and last days, it is “fifty days” from the day after Passover Sabbath to the day after the Pentecost Sabbath.The fiftieth day was known as the Festival of Weeks. This feast eventually received the name Pentecost, from the Koine Greek word Pentekoste, meaning “fiftieth day.” The actual mention of “fifty days” comes from Leviticus 23:16. The Festival of Weeks was also called the feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16 and the day of first fruits in Numbers 28:26. In Exodus 34:22 it is called the “firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Present were about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including the Twelve Apostles (i.e. the Eleven faithful disciples and Matthias who was Judas’ replacement). While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy (“I will pour out my spirit). Those who gladly received his word were baptized.

The Cenacle on Mount Zion, is claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost and Traditional interpretation holds that the Descent of the Holy Spirit took place in the Upper Room, or Cenacle, while celebrating the day of Pentecost (Shavuot). The Upper Room was first mentioned in Luke 22:12–13. This Upper Room was to be the location of the Last Supper and the institution of Holy Communion. Here the disciples and women prayed And then went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Priests or ministers, and choirs wear red vestments, as do many members of the congregation. Red banners are often hung from walls or ceilings to symbolize the blowing of the “mighty wind” and the free movement of the Spirt. The celebrations often include other symbols of the Holy Spirit, such as the dove or flames, symbols of the church such as Noah’s Ark and the Pomegranate, or , red flowering plants such as geraniums and poinsettias around the church are also typical decorations for Pentecost masses/services. These symbolize the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, In the southern hemisphere, In Australia, Pentecost comes during Autumn, and the red leaves of the poinsettia have often been used to decorate churches. In German speaking lands, in Central Europe, green branches are also used to decorate churches for Pentecost.

Pentecost hymns such as Martin Luther’s “Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott” (Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord), Charles Wesley’s “Spirit of Faith Come Down”and “Come Holy Ghost Our Hearts Inspire”or Hildegard von Bingen’s “O Holy Spirit Root of Life” and “Oh that I had a Thousand Voices” (“O daß ich tausend Zungen hätte”) by Johann Mentzer. Trumpeters or brass ensembles are used to recall the sound of the mighty wind. Another custom is reading the appointed Scripture lessons in multiple foreign languages recounting the speaking in tongues recorded in Acts 2:4–12.

In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and great churches throughout Western Europe were fitted with a peculiar architectural feature known as a Holy Ghost hole: a small circular opening in the roof that symbolized the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the midst of the congregation. At Pentecost, these Holy Ghost holes would be decorated with flowers, and sometimes a dove figure lowered through into the church while the narrative of Pentecost was read. A large two dimensional dove figure is sometimes lowered over the congregation, during the singing of the sequence hymn, or Veni Creator Spiritus. rose petals may also be thrown from the galleries over the congregation, recalling the tongues of fire. Red fans,or red handkerchiefs or red balloons may be distributed to the congregation to be waved during the procession signifying the “Birthday of the Church”. The nine days between Ascension Day, and Pentecost are often set aside as a time of fasting and universal prayer in honor of the disciples’ time of prayer and unity awaiting the Holy Spirit. Roman Catholics, pray special Pentecost novenas derived from those original nine days of prayer observed by the disciples of Christ. The Eve of Pentecost was traditionally a day of fasting for Catholics, and both Catholics and Protestants may hold spiritual retreats, prayer vigils, and litanies in the days leading up to Pentecost.During early days of Western Christianity, Pentecost became one of the days set aside to celebrate Baptism.

the term Whit Sunday derives from the custom of the newly baptized wearing white clothing, and from the white vestments worn by the clergy in English liturgical uses. The holiday was also one of the three days each year (along with Christmas and Easter) Roman Catholics were required to confess and receive Holy Communion which also features in Protestant celebrations of Pentecost. some Reformed denominations may offer the communion meal, and is one of the days of the year specially appointed among Moravians for the celebration of their Love Feasts.

Pentecost is also a day for the Confirmation celebrations of youths. Flowers, the wearing of white robes, or white dresses recalling Baptism, rites such as the laying on of hands with the blossoming of Spring forming an equal analogy with the blossoming of youth. The typical image of Pentecost is that of the Virgin Mary seated centrally and prominently among the disciples with flames resting on the crowns of their heads, rays of light and the Dove are also depicted. Many Famous painters like Titian, Giotto, and el Greco have painted Pentecost themed art.

Pentecost Monday remains an official festival in many Protestant churches, such as the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and others. In the Byzantine Catholic Rite Pentecost Monday is a Holy Day across many Western denominations, Pentecost is celebrated with an octave culminating on Trinity Sunday. However,in the modern Roman Rite Pentecost ends after Evening Prayer on the feast day itself. in Roman Catholic beliefs Pentecost is the third of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, as well as being one of the Stations of the Resurrection or Via Lucis. Pentecost is an opportunity for many Christians to honor the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and celebrate the birth of the Church in an ecumenical context.

Some composers have also written sacred cantatas to be performed in the church services of these days. Johann Sebastian Bach composed several cantatas for days of Pentecost, including Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel wrote cantatas such as Werdet voll Geistes in 1737 and Mozart composed an antiphon Veni Sancte Spiritus in 1768.Olivier Messiaen composed an organ mass Messe de la Pentecôte in 1949/50. In 1964 Fritz Werner wrote an oratorio for Pentecost Veni, sancte spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) and Jani Christou wrote Tongues of Fire, a Pentecost oratorio. Richard Hillert wrote a Motet for the Day of Pentecost for choir, andVioleta Dinescu composed Pfingstoratorium, an oratorio for Pentecost for five soloists, mixed chorus and small orchestra in 1993.

Customs and traditions for Pentecost vary. In Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues. In Sicily and Italy Whitsunday is called Pasqua rosatum which refers to the red colours used on Whitsunday. In France it was customary to blow trumpets to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In England, church and chapel parades called Whit Walks take place at Whitsun (sometimes on Whit Friday, the Friday after Whitsun). These contain brass bands and choirs; girls attending are dressed in white. Traditionally, Whit Fairs (sometimes called Whitsun Ales)took place. Other customs such as morris dancing and cheese rolling are also associated with Whitsun. ” Whitsunday” has been the name of the day in the Church of England. (The Book of Common Prayer only once uses the word “Pentecost” for the festival.

In Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, people originating from Pentecost Island usually celebrate their island’s name-day with a special church service followed by cultural events such as dancing. Since Pentecost itself is on a Sunday, it is automatically considered to be a public holiday in countries with large Christian denominatio. Pentecost Monday is also a public holiday in many European countries including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania (since 2008), (most parts of) Switzerland, Ukraine and also in the African nations Senegal, Benin and Togo.

In Sweden Pentecost Monday (Annandag Pingst) was replaced by Swedish National Day on June 6, on December 15, 2004. In Italy and Malta, it is no longer a public holiday. It was a public holiday in Ireland until 1973, when it was replaced by Early Summer Holiday on the first Monday in June. In the United Kingdom the day is known as Whit Monday, and was a bank holiday until 1967 when it was replaced by the Spring Bank Holiday. In France, following reactions to the implementation of the Journée de solidarité envers les personnes âgées, Pentecost Monday tales place on May 3, 2005.