Wednesday 3 February

I went in early on Saturday to tie up some loose ends for the weekend series of Masses. After each Mass it had been decided to anticipate the St Blaise blessing of throats. I was surprised just how popular this blessing was over here. I sense an inherent fear among americans and it is possible that this blessing plays into that??

On Sunday I was visited by Paul Inwood who was in Florida for some conference work. At one point I had decided to sing his Year of Mercy song but then decided that this would have been rather creepy! It was good to see him again as we have not met since the NPM in July 2015. After lunch in a nearby Cuban restaurant I returned home for a few hours and then played the evening Mass.

Monday was a day off and eventually I headed for the beach. The tide was extremely high for most of the day but it was still relaxing. In the evening I went into work as Tampa Catholic School were holding an annual celebration at our church for which I was playing. Last year this had been an embarrassing affair with kids out of control. This was not helped by our then Pastor’s decision to lead the School Song . It seemed that since he had left the school the song had been only used on the football pitch and they sang it in a style appropriate to that place. Unfortunately when they had finished the Pastor was still singing in his rather different and perhaps more reverent manner. Pupil power won the day, I’m afraid!

This year the celebration was exemplary. One of the students was to sing Schubert’s Ave Maria and he was so impressive that I asked him to serve as Cantor for the whole Mass!

Tuesday was a more regular work day in which I prepared the weekend Masses, wrote instrumental parts and recorded the tricky psalm for the Cantors. At 6pm my friend Marty joined me, introduced me to some popular liturgical music he knew and then we adjourned for dinner at what used to be Boston’s. After this I stopped at Charann’s where there was only one other customer, a woman who was very drunk and eating her way through quite a lot of food. When it came to settling her bill there were problems until it seemed that the Police might be called. Then her memory returned and she remembered the credit card PIN numbers!

The bar had introduced a new ‘Belgian Trappiste beer’ called Spencer. It was really rather good and you even got a free glass! I forgot the glass .. another senior moment!

On Wednesday I went in for the School Mass and then moved sound equipment over to the Higgins Hall in preparation for the Grandparents Mass which we would ‘set up’ on Thursday. Then I was free until the evening so I headed for the beach on what was a wonderfully sunny day. Later I returned to prepare for choir practice which went well. we looked at O Sacrum Convivium by D’Evry as well as other stuff for the weekend.

In the evening I visited Charann’s as usual before retiring to bed.



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