Wednesday 22 June

It’s 12 days since my last blog and my memory is playing tricks with me and I cannot find my diary (which over here they call a calendar).

I spent most of Friday at the beach and then drove into town to join colleagues at a Taco restaurant. As I turned into a garage to park my car folk started hooting at me. I had forgotten that I had my kayak rack on the roof and was about to impact with the low ceiling. Fortunately this meant I just had to adjust the rack so it was flat rather than remove it altogether. It turned out to be a meal for my birthday and they insisted on paying for me. I in return invited them to follow me to Four Green Fields, an Irish pub which I had only read about previously.

The weekend passed without incident as far as I can recall.

On Monday 13 June there were 7 inches of rain falling on Tampa as we were in the direct path of a storm. This kept me confined to base so I did some home admin. I contacted the insurers for the other driver and settled my claim for $2300. All medical bills had already been paid but this amount was to cover outstanding bills and out of pocket expenses.

Friday 17 was a day off so I decided to begin paying some bills relating to the second auto accident. Earlier in the week I had received a cheque from insurers for $2300 from which I had to pay 2 outstanding bills. The bill for the MRI scan came to $1850 which I was able to reduce to $606. A further bill for an x-ray was reduced from $120 to $80. All it took was a couple of phone calls and a bit of cheek. I felt I was on a rol so I thought I’d contact the hospital which treated me for kidney stones recently. The outstanding bill of $590 was settled with a payment of $117. I don’t understand how this is possible. I always thought a bill was a bill to be paid in full. My chat with a colleague indicated that he had had a bill for over $150k from a hospital visit which he never intended to pay. So maybe they all think that if they can get even a reduced amount of money that is better than nothing!

On Saturday I went into work in the morning and worked on admin till it was time for the Vigil Mass. There was a Memorial Mass immediately after this at which I sang and played music in Spanish. Feeling flush after the financial successes of the last 24 hours I visited Total Wine and bought a case of wine and a bottle of single malt. Then I crossed the road and bought a new laptop!

Sunday followed the usual pattern of Masses and before the last of these I went to collect my kayak from storage. It had been almost 2 weeks since my last trip out as the weather had not been conducive.

Over the weekend my voting card arrived for the EU elections. On Monday 20 I went directly to the Post Office to send my vote. I was so annoyed to discover that it would take 2 weeks for the paper to reach UK. Surely UK elections knew how delayed their posting posting would be? I returned to work and produced material for the Cantors to use in July.

On Tuesday 21 June realising that it was the longest day and sun promised all day I drove to Fort Desoto and arrived at an offshore island by 8am! I spent a very peaceful day there. It was not so comfortable as the beach chair I had purchased a few days ago from Aldi collapsed.

On Wednesday 22 I awoke and left the house without breakfast. I had a blood test to complete and it is often easier to get this done earlier in the day. I only had to wait an hour and then I was off to work arriving in the office soon after 9am. One of my colleagues had offered to assist me with the transfer of documents from my old laptop to the new one. After an initial blip this all went smoothly.

At noon staff gathered for a bi-monthly staff birthday lunch. 22 of us sat down in the conference room for roast pork, yellow rice, black beans, plantains and salad. It was not so easy to work on such a full stomach after that but I struggled on until 4pm and left for Charann’s Bar. There was a new beer there which had more than a hint of ginger. Love it.

In the evening I sat down to watch Spotlight, a film about priestly abuse of children in the Diocese of Boston. It was a wonderful film which praised investigative journalism as well as shedding further light on attempted cover-ups by the Church in Boston with harrowing implications for elsewhere.

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