Saturday 16 April

Towards the end of Thursday 7 April I found an Ocean Scupper Pro kayak for sale at only $250. I would have gone out to buy it but had the opportunity of attending a great jazz concert so this distracted me. The concert was amazing with Chris Botti and his amazing band. They played solidly for over 2 hours and introduced some brilliant singers.

So on Friday morning I went to view the kayak and it was indeed good but I walked away from it because I nowhere to store something of that 15ft length. Nor did I fancy dragging it up to my apartment. An hour later a friend messaged me to offer garage space so I went back later in the day and bought it.

On Saturday I had a ‘first penance’ Mass early in the morning, the usual vigil Masses and the Parish Gala in the evening. The Parish Gala was amazing in that it raised over $91,000! $5000 were paid (by auction) to have the two priests cook a bbq meal at the Rectory. I left at 10pm because I was tired already and had an early start.

Sunday was the usual routine of Masses with a break during the afternoon in which I returned home and then out again for the evening. The next day I ventured to Fort Desoto with my new kayak. I managed to get the thing off my roof easily enough although I realised I would have to add handles if I was to do this myself again. I had a great day out in fine weather and returned to Tampa in the early evening.

On Tuesday I was back at the physio for my weekly appointment, this time for an evaluation by the physiotherapist who recorded significant improvements despite my expressing issues relating to my back. I had got the time wrong for my appointment so had to wait an hour until 9am. After the session I dropped into Goodwill (of course) and tried out some really good shoes that had never been worn. They didn’t fit and in the process I kicked off the heel from my really good shoes. Now I needed to buy some shoes to get through the day! The day improved in that I did get my work done and was able to leave work soon after 5pm. One of my colleagues had recommended a cobblers nearby so that was my first stop. The cobbler was great. He fitted not one but both heels and only charged me $4.

Thursday started with School Mass and a liturgy committee meeting. The meeting discussed the proposal to add screens to the church and also ministries development. I left after this for a break and returned to prepare for choir practice.

Choir practice full on. In addition to rehearsing for the Sunday Mass we also had to rehearse for the Confirmations on Saturday. Our flautist would also come along to rehearse her music with us. The choir worked so hard as did I and I was really pleased with them. there was a good atmosphere all round.

Thursday began with a meeting with our facilities guy. A fault had developed with the pedals on the chapel organ. I thought it was a simple connection fault and we agreed to pursue this avenue before calling in the specialists. then I got on with preparing the instrumental parts for the weekend. I left at 2pm hoping to meet up with someone who would fix handles to my kayak. In the end this meeting did not happen and sharing my despair another friend offered to do the job himself. So on Friday morning after another funeral I met Wayne at his house and there we worked at riveting the handles into place. The weather today was so hot and overcast that I didn’t feel too good so I returned for a rest before joining friends at Charann’s.

Saturday began at 8am with an instrumental rehearsal. The choir joined us at 9.15am and the Mass of Confirmations (98) with the Bishop began at 9.30am. It was a lengthy affair but I was really pleased with the musical results. The bishop was really appreciative. Apparently in the past this had not always been the case so it was good to get affirmation from him for the second year running. I lunched at a nearby Spanish restaurant before returning to get some more forward planning done. I was hoping to take so some time out the next week and needed to get things in place to achieve that. After the two vigil Masses I was ready for home, a curried chickpea supper and sleep!



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