Thursday 18 December

As you can probably guess I’m into my busy season which accounts for the delay since the last posting.

I awoke on Saturday 13th and made a Skype call to join my old Iona Community Family Group who were meeting in Skipton. I’d skyped Peter Coats the previous day, which was just as well as I understand he was a bit under the weather. It was good to see the others face-to-face. As Community members the relationships are profound and trusting so I miss them separated as I am by great distance.

I switched on the TV at 10am and was delighted to find Chelsea v Hull transmitted live…. and the best team won, of course!

I had a wedding later that day which was the source of some trepidation as there were difficulties. In the end we chose to deliver everything the couple wanted and the much feared kazoos playing ‘I got you, babe’ never materialised! After that I was back in to the series of Sunday masses.

I stayed at the church during the afternoon as I was intent on getting the Christmas worship aids started. In the event Deacon Cris assisted me to use a particular facility on the copier. It meant a bit of a learning curve but it paid dividends.

The evening mass was blessed by a new cantor. The family had arrived in Tampa on recently and found their way to St Lawrence. I had heard the father singing well and went in search of him after mass only to find the daughter who also turned out to be a singer! The whole family joined the choir and this was her first time out as cantor. She has a great voice but we didn’t have much time to look at the music so there were some gaps but the congregation recognised her gifts and were generous with thanks.

Monday would normally have been my day off but I decided to get the printing started. I managed all the Christmas Night booklet and most of the Christmas Day before the machine came to a stop. All the other staff were able to use the machine as long as they didn’t use the booklet facility. I thought that perhaps the problem was down to too much use but when I returned next day to a cool machine there was no change.

I returned home late that evening to prepare for my first evaluation the following morning. I could not do much preparation as I could not locate my job description. Next morning I arrived at the appointed time and clearly had not received a message deferring it! There then followed a funeral, a photo session with one of the staff who had offered to create some photos for an article I had written for Society of St Gregory magazine. The funeral allowed me to think of my sister Anne, whose birthday it would have been today. Then there was a meeting of the Parish Executive prefaced by lunch … pizza again but most welcome. During the afternoon I got some more work done on Christmas either side of a liturgical music rehearsal with the school.

Wednesday began with school mass, the last of the term. The engineer arrived for the photocopier but a part was needed and would not be installed till Friday. There was no point hanging around so with all prepared that could be I went home at 1pm to relax a while. I was back at 5.30pm because there was a penitential service at 7pm . I only had to provide music beforehand and play a hymn then I was free to begin Christmas Choir practice at 7.15pm.

The choir is really beginning to shape up and with another rehearsal on Saturday we should be OK for Christmas.

On Thursday I awoke to enjoy most of the day down at the beach watching planes and fishermen. The channel is not deep so they wade out with nets and rods and provide great entertainment as it is not long before they catch something significant. In the evening I adjourned to Charin’s Bar where I found myself sat next to one Bob Foley. He’s a local character who introduced himself at the start of the encounter and then pointedly asked me if I could recall his name 20 minutes later. Seeing that I was struggling he told me that he would not talk with me again and then his name came to me and we chatted for ages about all manner of things. When he left to go another told me he was 86. You never would have guessed it!

I dropped into the Long Bar on my way home and mentioned Bob’s name. The owner replied that it would only be a matter of time before I bumped into him. Quite a character!

On wednesday

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