We’ve had a long, full and varied weekend – for a change! The amazing weather has influenced our activities.
On Thursday evening the church’s “outreach” youth club Torsdagklubben met outside, for the second week. It’s amazing how the simple pleasures of music and drawing with chalk will keep teenagers safely engaged for several hours. However, with no imminent rain, we may need to hose down the church car park before a funeral arrives on Monday . . .
Friday was spent preparing for the weekend, including rehearsals for a wedding on Saturday. There was also time for sunning ourselves on the balcony, where the temperature (in the sun) hit 45C (113 Fahrenheit). Sorry for the poor picture quality – I think the camera was near melting point.
Saturday was ‘the big wedding’. Susanna’s local euphonium teacher got married, and it was by far the biggest wedding we’ve seen in Norway. The brass band she conducts played outside the church to welcome guests, before running inside to play a wedding march for the brides maids. Then the bride surprised her groom by playing her own bridal march. There were solos and duets as part of the ceremony, special hymn arrangements and then the band and organ played the recessional march together. It was a roasting hot day and the musicians were all up on the gallery which presented some tuning challenges, but the congregation were a bit better off because it’s one of the few churches with air-conditioning (well, one small unit on the wall) which helped.
After the wedding we popped down to the beach to cool off with a swim in the sea. It was OK once you were in, but it took about half an hour to get the feeling back in my fingers. Other than the snow in background, you could almost imagine being in the Caribbean, with beach volley ball, sunbathing, etc. Despite the sudden appearance of storm clouds and a short shower, the temperatures stayed high.
Sunday morning Finnsnes church was packed as we hosted a service for a region meeting of a ‘missions’ organisation. This was also rather warm because Finnsnes church does not have air-conditioning. After church, with the threat of unsettled weather on the way, Susanna decided we needed to conquer Varden (a local hill), which had eluded her several times last year. And we did. And the views were lovely: