Sunday 17 May

You last heard from me on Friday with me setting off for St Petersburg and the Diocesan Choir rehearsal for the ordinations. When I got into my car it was looking pretty ominous but once I was on the ‘skyway’, an 8 mile-4 lane motorway across the waters of the Bay the skies opened. Visibility was extremely difficult and I slowed to 20mph and my facebook pictures shows a photo of the lightning hitting the skyway itself. It was scary.

I got to the Cathedral and sat down in what I thought was one of the tenor chairs only to find myself beckoned forward to one of the ‘Choir A’ chairs … quelle honeur! The rehearsal was long but really great and finishing after 10pm one wondered whether voices would have recovered for the morning warm-up at 10am.

The journey home was less eventful but there was a lot of water about so one had to be careful. I did manage to fall asleep on my new sofa which seems to testify either to its comfort or my tiredness.

Saturday morning I was on the road again by 9am and bumped into our new Pastor at the cathedral. One of the 5 ordinands would be coming to us at St Lawrence for his first placement. It was a great celebration but lasted almost 3 hours. Most of this was taken with the laying on of hands by bishop and the great many clergy and then a while later by the fraternal kisses of peace (some rather more lingering, I suspect!). Among the pieces sung was John Bell’s ‘Take O take me as I am’ which made me feel at home again. I was sat next to a young woman with an excellent soprano voice. She later was equally complimentary about my tones which was surprising as I could barely hear myself at all!

I drove back to Tampa and started my usual weekend schedule of Masses. This week’s psalm was one I wrote for the Catholic Children’s Society Mass in Westminster Cathedral in 1989. It was good to discover that it still had appeal although, like so many of my oeuvre, I have never offered it for publication.

After Mass I attended the 90th birthday celebrations of one of my choir who clearly must have been quite a groover in the youth and could still manage a mean pelvic thrust!

In the evening I returned to my sofa and eventually to bed.

Sunday morning went as expected with the choir really kicking hell out of the music I had programmed. They particularly enjoyed my setting of Psalm 116 (Go out to the whole world) which I’d written for the Installation of Bishop John into Hallam, and which we sang with gusto at the end of Mass.

I was really tired after 4 Masses so I returned for a bit of R&R before venturing out again in another lightning storm. It only last about 45 minutes and didn’t seem to affect the numbers attending the ‘last chance’ Mass.

I came home looking for a relaxing evening before again venturing out with my trusty kayak in the morning.

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