The trouble with being away, is there's so much to do when you get back. We had a great time, however - I can still smell the salt on my finger tips (though that might be from the fish and chips I had in Ramsgate yesterday!)
I've been reflecting on work and Ecclesiastes ahead of preaching on Sunday. And part of that reflection has been watching Alexander Payne's wonderful film About Schmidt. Starring Jack Nicholson, an actor who seems to get better and better as he matures (like a good cheddar, really), the film is a black comedy about retirement and loss and whether life amounts to a hill of beans. It's very funny and extremely sharp.
I shall be using a scene near the beginning of the scene where Warren Schmidt visits the young high flier who's replaced him as assistant VP at his insurance company to see if needs any help getting to grips with all Schmidt's left him. He says no, that he's on top of everything but that he'll ring if needs anything. As he leaves the building, Schmidt sees all the files he'd carefully arranged for his successor, stacked in a garage awaiting disposal; his entire working life consigned to the garbage. It's fabulously observed.
As Qohelet says: 'Oh yes, I know what they say: "if you obey God everything will be alright, but it will not go well for the wicked...But this is nonsense. Look at what happens in the world' (8:12-14 GNB). And 'what do workers gain from their toil (3:9 TNIV).
I have been listening to the new album from Cherry Ghost. Beneath This Burning Shoreline is a huge step up from Thirst for Romance. The first album was the product of a singer-songwriter; this work is the product of a band who sound as if they've been hardened by touring. Simon Aldred's writing remains as sharp as ever and his voice is a soulful delight.