Choir of the Earth’s first Scottish Concert

10 choruses of Georg Friedrich Handel’s “Messiah” sung by a selection of Choir of the Earth members in Edinburgh’s St Cuthbert’s Church. Choir of the Earth was formed during lockdown as the Self Isolation Choir and has performed a huge repertoire by mixing individual recordings of members at home. Now they are touring the UK and we performed these choruses after only one day of rehearsing. I’m also proud of this little video which was filmed and edited by myself entirely on a smartphone… Oh and Herr Handel himself made an appearance (see thumbnail picture) and gave permission for us to sing the Hallelujah chorus last!

Albania Migrants Investigation on BBC Scotland News: “The Nine”

In 2020 50 Albanians arrived on the shores of Britain in small boats, but last year that number had increased sharply to over 12,000. Altogether almost 16,000 Albanians applied for assylum in the UK last year. Most of them are from the Northern Highlands where the average monthly income is £240. Many have lost the hope that things will get better, often citing corruption as one of the reasons why Albania is held back. Eòrpa speak to one young man who has tried four times to get to Britain and another who made it, but was returned. His asylum application was refused and he admitted working in the UK illegally while waiting on a decision. Andreas Wolff also hears how victims of trafficking are sometimes forced to do illegal activities in the UK.

The government are saying they have almost eliminated corruption, that unemployment is falling and the number of people in work is rising. But given the number of people who have emigrated there is now a shortage of workers. There are however glimmers of hope as well such as a basketball academy and an agro-turism business. In one area of Albania the UK are also funding a scheme which teaches new skills to young people and corrects the perception that people can become rich quickly in Britain. (The Nine, BBC Scotland; Watch the full documentary on the iplayer: Eòrpa, BBC ALBA, 09/03/23)

Pope Benedict XVI – Traditionalist or Radical?

Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered by many as the first Pope to resign in 600 years. Although seen as a traditionalist this was a rather radical step.

My report from the Vatican on “The Nine” on the BBC Scotland channel “as live” from a smartphone (5/1/23).

Btw: The slogan on the back of my phone reads: I speak Frisian (slightly exaggerated, I’m learning the Northern Frisian dialect of Fering!) and the line underneath says: What’s your special power?).

Was bedeutet der Wechsel auf dem “britischen Thron” für die schottische Unabhängigkeit?

Heute reist König Charles III nach Schottland und besucht dort das Parlament. Die Parlamente von England und Schottland wurden 1707 zusammengelegt, aber seit 1999 gibt es wieder ein eigenes schottisches Parlament, wenngleich dieses nicht die Befugnis hat, über Unabhängigkeit zu entscheiden. Die Kronen von England und Schottland wurden schon 1603 in Personalunion vereinigt. Bisher wollen die schottischen Nationalisten den König als Staatsoberhaupt auch in einem unabhängigen Schottland behalten (Interview im Deutschlandfunk, Europa Heute, 12.9.22).