Sunday 7 August

I was happy to get out on the kayak on Monday, my free day. I took advantage of some lethargy to sleep in a while longer than normal before venturing out so I did not get to Fort Desoto until around 1030. It was an unusually high tide that greeted me and the islands in the area had ‘shrunk’ for this reason. It was a good day and I still managed a couple of beers at Charann’s to round the day off.

Tuesday started really early as with 4 colleagues I went to a meeting about the new marriage rites in Orlando. We started out at 5.45am and arrived quite early so we headed for breakfast. We must have found the world’s worst place for breakfast if you were in a hurry. It took 40 ins to have our order taken and when it came it was nothing great. The meeting gathered folk from surrounding dioceses and the hall was packed. The day was well delivered and well resourced. One colleague had to return to St Lawrence early so four of us stayed until the end and broke our journey by stopping at a seafood restaurant which was a delight. Despite poor weather and the stop for a meal we still made it back by 7.30pm. Once home I managed a few hours of british tv then hit the sack.

after a great sleep I went into work late around 1.30pm and worked at odds and sods until the rehearsals for St Lawrence Feast Day. I had a rehearsal with instrumentalists at 6.30pm and was joined by about thirty singers at 7.30pm. We worked until after 9pm and left feeling confident about Sunday.

On Thursday I was in work quite early trying to clear as many bits and pieces from my desk as I could. I met a couple who were to be married in September. I was amazed to get a response within a couple of hours to the questions I left her with after the meeting. I was so impressed in fact that I decided to go one better and managed to complete the Order of Service an hour later.

On Thursday evening I received a tip from friends about a horse race. I handed over $100 and hoped all would be well.

On Friday I did some stuff around the house and visited the pool and then went out in search of a suit. In the event I bought two suits, 3 ties and two shirts at the first place I visited. I will return on Wednesday to see if further adjustments are required. I stopped at the charity shop and collected some Armani shirts as one does!

I was in work by 9am on Saturday and managed to plan the first few School Masses and draft the song sheet. At 3pm the horse race, the first which I had ever bet on was streamed on the internet. My horse came in first at 10-1 so I walked away with $1000! Many of my friends cautioned me with wise words but Id’ already decided to walk away. In fact I was working and couldn’t do much else. The Vigil Mass went well and I returned  to Charann’s Bar to celebrate our success at the races.

Today, Sunday, was the transferred Feast Day of St Lawrence. The 11am Mass was set to be a bilingual celebration and all the musicians were on time for the last minute rehearsal. After the Mass everyone adjourned for the Parish BBQ for about a thousand people. It was raining so the food cooked outside was consumed inside the Higgins Hall. I had another Mass to do so would join folk later. I was able to join the party in time to see Fr Chuck lose his beard. In fact he lost a bit more than that. The shaving was in aid of a Youth project and the technician stopped shaving his beard at the halfway point and asked for a further donation of $1500 to continue. It came shortly and when complete another parishioner offered a further $3000 to shave his head! He would be cold tonight!

By the time I got home I was really tired and fell asleep in the armchair. I was glad to be awoken by my soon-to-be -married brother on a skype call. We were able to peruse the latest drafts of his Order of Service and sort things further. Then it was time to return to work where the shaven priest gave me a bag of beers before leaving on his vacation. Canned beers don’t really go off but who was I to complain?

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