Friday 17 July

My last blog was 1 July so please accept apologies for my absence from the ether! The therapy is three times each week and given that I have to do at least 40-hours of work it is tricky finding time to blog. However today is a day off and the weather is bloody awful so here I am!

Since the last blog I have had two further days off on 2 and 3 July and then I was back in the church on Saturday for 2 vigil Masses. On the I travelled to the Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I left early having sorted various musicians to cover the day’s five Masses. I was in my luxurious hotel at 2pm have flown from Tampa soon after 8am. Pretty soon I met with familiar faces from the Diocese and we arranged to meet for a meal.

The conference did not really start until the afternoon so I accepted an invitation to a service opportunity. There were only twelve of us and none of knew what to expect. In the event we were driven to a clothes donations depot and set about sorting clothes for sale in the adjacent Thrift Store. After that we visited a cheap hotdog place for lunch and returned to base to shower and wash off any fleas that might have accumulated in the process.

NPM is a grand affair and a full report will appear in the next Journal of the Society of St Gregory if you are interested. I was one of three Brits among the 1800 delegates, Chris Walker and Paul Inwood being my confreres. Grand Rapids is a vibrant city with great craft beers and restaurants. I didn’t try them all!

I returned home late on Friday night 10 July. Unfortunately my Uber app would not work so I had to cadge a lift with another uber-customer which cost me more than it might have done if I had connected!

I was really tired and slept until quite late on Saturday morning and then went to play for the usual round of Vigil and Sunday Masses. I had developed a chest infection over the last 2 weeks so my cantoring from the organ for one Mass was interesting. Fortunately I had cantors turn up for the other Masses. The chest infection had left me really exhausted so I slept well on Sunday night and went to the doctor the following day. It cost me $105 for the consultation which produced a prescription for 3 super-antibiotic tablets costing $10. Healthcare over here is really expensive. I finished the course a couple of days ago but apparently they keep working for another week. I rather hope so as I’m still spluttering.

I spent long days at work on Tuesday until Thursday working on the production of a lengthy report of the Convention for my staff colleagues. The Pastor returned from holiday on the Thursday so it was good to be able to send him a copy. Thursday was also good in that 2 colleagues invited me to join them for lunch at Las Margaritas Restaurant, a cheap Cuban place which has great food. There we planned to return to my place one Friday night soon for a lengthy game of Monopoly!

Last night I was so tired when I got home after 9pm that I went straight to bed. It would be therapy again in the morning.

At 8am on Friday 17 July, my day off, I was attached to various machines and traction before meeting the doctor there for my monthly assessment. He determined that progress had been good and reduced my visits to twice weekly. Yes!.

Today is a sad day for my family. My dear sister Anne lost her battle with several cancers on this day several years ago. I was there with my mum when she died. She was an amazing woman and forever positive whatever came her way in her forty years of life. She got it from mum I think!


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