Monday 17 November

Friday is normally my ‘day off’ but I started with my first monthly music rehearsal with the senior end of the middle school. It was a good-humoured affair in which for each song I taught I allowed them to ask a question. most questions were pretty banale eg When was I born? My reply was to ask what possible value could my answer have unless they intended buying me birthday presents? In the end I told them that it was one day after one of my nieces’! They also asked my favourite football team .. Chelsea of course. The best question came after the event when I was asked what I thought of American Independence (as a Brit). I replied that I was not in favour of invasion at all unless it could be assured that there were benefits eg improved safety from local oppression. we went on to discuss the invasion of Hawaii and the dismissal of its Queen.

After the rehearsal I visited a musician colleague from another parish about 40 mins away from me. He had been the expert at my interview so it was good to spend more relaxed time with him. His church, St Jerome at Largo was most impressive and fairly recently built. The man church boasted a 3-man organ which had grown somewhat since its Casavant origins and now had an antiphonal section with en chamade trumpets (now that’s lost the readers who are not organ pundits!). Even the chapel had a neo-classical instrument of some quality. He had been there 25 years and I could see why. He had the music just as he wanted it and his office suite was extensive.

We lunched at a restaurant near Indian Rocks Beach … my first take on fish’n’chips here.

On my way home I stopped at the Central Music store. I introduced myself to the manager and invited him to visit St Lawrence to give an updated assessment of our instrument which is an extensive Rodgers 2-manual (with floating 3rd) digital organ with additional ranks of Buffatti pipes.

On Saturday I arose early to visit my first ‘yard sale’. I managed to get a door mat for $2 and a bed ‘comforter set’ for $5. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess what that is! My best buy was a BOSE sound-dock for an I-phone. It is an earlier version of the one I brought with me from UK. My one has not worked since my arrival since the power lead seems to have developed a fault. Having proved that by swopping cables it did indeed work, I then obtained a further lead and now I have 2 sound-docks! I bought the older one for just $5! Those who know me well can only imagine my delight.

By midday I was at work in preparation for a wedding at 1pm. The bride, who arrived in the most stretched limo I have ever seen, arrived at 1.30pm. No one sang but all were pleased.

Then followed masses at 4pm and 5.30pm and a wedding meeting. I was home by 8pm and, within a couple of hours, in bed.

Sunday was a day of wall to wall Masses. The 0930 was blessed by 2 excellent violinists and a flautist for whom I had written parts during the week. The 1100 enabled the expanding choir to show itself to good effect. There was a sense of pride in their achievement with which I was much relieved. The 1230 was also the Rite of Acceptance for 15 catechumens/candidates). The 7pm introduced a new young trumpeter to the parish.

During the afternoon I had returned home to Skype some friends which is always a delight.

Now it is Monday and as I gaze from my balcony at midday there are storm clouds gathering and it is raining. I am using the time to scan the internet for a home desk and cabinets. Thank God for ‘craigslists’.

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