Monday 15 February

Last Friday was a day off so I eventually made my way to the beach. It was not the warmest of days at first but it was certainly quite sunny. I had a hire car so I did not feel able to tie my kayak onto it for fear of marking it in some way.

In the evening I dropped into Charann’s where I experimented with alcohol free drinks. I found one that was not too bad. The looks I had from bar staff were a picture … what’s wrong with you?

This weekend my brother Chris, his wife and daughter went to Iceland for a long weekend. it was their way of marking the anniversary of the death of their 21 yr old first daughter Emily. My thoughts were with them, as they often are.

On Saturday I went into work earlier than usual as I had a wedding at 1pm. I’d only been approached by the couple during the week! I was able to get quite a bit of forward planning done for Lent and the various RCIA liturgies. In the evening I did the 2 vigil Masses before retiring for a fish dinner at home.

On Sunday much was the same as ever with the notable event being a conversation with one from my choir regarding my car. I had become quite attracted to the hire car as it was so much more comfortable than the very basic car I’d bought when I arrived , not knowing how secure my job was here. Now I feel more secure and that conversation was all it took to stir my desire.

During the afternoon I was able to Skype my friend Sarah. I had missed talking with her since the new year as she and I had been rather too busy to connect.  It is always good to pick up where you left off!

On Monday morning I received a call that my car had been repaired and was ready for collection. Before that I had to go to the office to sort the choir rehearsal schedule until Easter and also play for a funeral. The deceased was a big player in the City of Tampa and over a 1000 people paid their respects and a few hundred stayed for the Mass. Today was also President’s Day for which we are awarded a day’s holiday. I lost my usual day off, or at least about 3 hours of it so this would have to be added to my rather low vacation allowance.

Following the Mass I drove to collect my car. They had done a good job and had cleaned it inside and out. It looked so good that I decide this was the time to test its trade-in value. It took 3 hours at the Nissan dealer before I drove away a new Nissan Rogue Select SUV. SUVs come in all shapes and sizes but this one appealed by being smaller than most and last year’s model which they were trying to clear. I’d gone in to buy a used car but there were so many discounts going on this vehicle that it was cheaper to buy brand new!

During the night a massive storm hit Florida and at 3am the thunder and lightning were spectacular if a little worrying. The morning would show what damage had resulted.

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