Friday 26 June

I’ve been back from holiday a week and the time has just flown. I definitely enjoyed my holiday but missed the opportunity to get treatment for my back and neck. My neck is causing me real problems. I was delighted that the day after my return I had an appointment with the physiotherapists and associated doctor. I was able to pass on my recent MRI scan results. He had been sent the report already from the radiologist and the finding of herniated discs caused him to add traction to the treatment plan. 2 hours later I was back at the apartment. the weather was not great so I relaxed and unpacked.

On Saturday I started the usual sequence of Masses. This time with a new Pastor in charge.I always listen to the homilies and his referred to the early creed being ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ so after Communion I included a St Thomas More version as a meditation. He was really impressed and publicly thanked me. This confirmed what others had said that he is a really kind gentleman. On Sunday the 9.30am Mass was a farewell to our Associate Pastor Mgr Petilla who has been sent to Beverley Hills (Florida!). I sang Paul Field’s ‘Go peaceful’ for him after Communion. By 11am my neck was really hurting so I put on the neck support. As it happened the Pastor’s homily referred to a whiplash injury and I was the perfect visual aid!

During the afternoon I rested as my neck really needed to have no pressure. In the evening I went to Goodwill and bought a wood carving for $10. Later I realised that it was by a Master craftsmen from Ecuador.

On Monday  had a dental appointment to do a filling and also a CT scan relating to the implant. This is a long process but over here dentists do not want to risk litigation if they get it wrong. I was pleased that it does seem that the revised schedule means that the implant and 5 crowns will be completed by the end of the year. At 11am I was able to drop my car at the Cadillac centre from where I bought it for collision repairs. I really loved the level of customer service there which included two doughnuts and a few fine tasting coffees.

On Tuesday I was back at work but although I did a full day my neck was causing me some discomfort. The following day I had another physio appointment. Each time I seem to have different therapists. On this occasion in addition to the mechanical treatments the massage was delivered by a Swedish woman. She was strong!

Over Tuesday and Wednesday I managed to plan ahead for the summer Sundays when Cantors would lead the singing. Later that evening I led the last choir practice of the season. Fr Mike (who is really a Monsignor) dropped in so I invited him to sing along as the choir sang ‘In the breaking of the bread’. He concluded by affirming the importance of music in the liturgy. I recall my parish priest at Sheffield expressing to me that musicians had to be controlled but never anything positive about the music ministry. I suppose that says more about his own inadequacies. Thankfully my attitude towards priests has not been tarnished by that bad egg.

After the rehearsal I met with Cantors and we were able to mutually agree a schedule for the summer. I also invited them to a meeting next Tuesday at which we would rehearse the music for the next month and quaff some French wine!

I was in work early on Thursday to meet with Vanessa. She is from a  family of singers and had offered to serve as cantor over the summer. It was great to see how she responded to my coaching. Liturgical singing is so different from opera! Later in the morning I had a first meeting with my lawyer who is also a parishioner. After this my neck was causing so much discomfort that I went home to rest returning later in the afternoon to finish the week’s work.

This morning I attended another physio session which lasted about 2 hours and then I went to the beach to relax. In the evening I visited Charan’s bar. There was quite a commotion when drugs police swooped on a car in the car park outside. I then moved to the Long Bar much closer to my apartment where Mark was holding forth. He’s always amusing and likes to make fun of others … but he sells cub scout paraphernalia for a living!!!


One thought on “Friday 26 June

  1. Great blog there Phil. Sounds like you’re getting loads of help with your injured neck which is impressive compared to treatment levels here. Best advice I had was to try to keep your feet parallel to eachother as it ensures that your back muscles don’t over-contract. you may run that one by your doctors etc but it helped me.

    For me, I have a very welcome day off. I taught my last session at Barnard Castle yesterday and will look forward to the weekends starting 3 hours earlier in future. 3 weeks left of term but no let-up as some 10-12 concerts are demanding of my time….the problem with having so many schools! Among these are numerous recorder projects, woodwind transition (primary to secondary) workshops, a link-up with members of the Halle Orchestra and my debut on oboe and cor anglais in 3 performances of Les Miserables!!! Then I also have a trip down to High Wycombe to play for Adrian Brown in the Trojans (Berlioz) and a week of Phantom of the Opera in Durham. Climbing Scafell Pike in the Lakes next Saturday though i may choose to do other summits as I’ve already bagged that one 2 years ago. Did an amazing gig for cancer charities on tenor sax with a big band (Musicians Unlimited) full of north-east’s best players.

    That’s all for now Phil

    Best wishes



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