It’s been a week since my last blog and that will indicate my busy-ness somewhat. The fact that this amounts to a week will mean that my recall is not as exact as has hitherto been the case.
The slightly cooler weather here has allowed me to get more domestic things done and shoes repaired etc. I continue to frequent the Goodwill charity shops and to increase my stock of DVDs.
On Thursday I went to the dentist to sort out the gap in my teeth brought on by Bernadette Farrell’s fresh strawberries covered in chocolate. Of course it wasn’t really her choc that did it … the tooth was in a poor state already and the dentist’s exploration revealed further decay which may cost me a fortune. I even considered a return to UK to get the treatment done as this may be cheaper. We’ll have to see how much my insurance covers.
I had two ‘days off’ at the end of the last week and in one of these I played a funeral. there have been 3 funerals this week and one in particular was attended by a vast number of people. The deceased had been a waiter for many years at the famous Columbia restaurant and knew many people.
It was a delight on Friday evening to join a few work colleagues for a birthday celebration for Audrey. Her house is in the historic quarter of Tampa and being wood-built had been moved up the road when the whole area was re-designed to accommodate road widening. It feels odd starting a meal with cheese but clearly this is the pattern over here!
The Sunday homilies here are great. Octogenarian Fr Keating gave a magnificent one in which he drew the attention of all to the fact that many of the scriptural events and language were modelled on those of greek literary tradition. He spoke of Jesus as champion in the struggle against evil and how immediately after the ‘baptism’ in the Jordan (in which he accepted the sin of the world) he went into the desert to do battle with evil for 40 days. The public life then followed and the next major battle would be on the cross (must I accept this cup?). You had to be there!
In the evening the Pastor in his homily even referred to something I’d said during the week, which caused him to challenge us to find an encounter with our fellow Christians in other churches/denominations.
At the end of Mass (now about 8pm) I changed the planned final song to sing the ‘last carol in Tampa’ Hark the herald. That went down really well.
This morning I managed to Skype Laura and Eddie, my long-standing friends in Goa. I don’t imagine I shall visit this year and I guess this will be the first of several Skype conversations with them and others in Agonda. I really miss the place and the people!