Tuesday 27 September

It’s been two weeks since I last wrote and I won’t be able to do a day by day submission because I left my diary at work.

Work has been busy but I’ve been able to get back to forward-planning after a frenetic summer. The choir goes from strength to strength and last week we did John Bell’s Blessed are you poor. I even surprised them by insisting we did it unaccompanied and was delighted with the results. We have also introduced my ‘What has passed our lips’ because a UK friend confided that his congregation have been singing it at every Mass for the past few years. When he dropped it one week he was almost linched! May be I should send it for publication.

It was great to hear from Stephen Hicks my old organ teacher. He has been living and working in Norway since 1983 so I have not heard him play for a long time. He wrote to suggest that we meet up when he visits Florida in March. He also suggested that he might give a few concerts so I’m starting to contact various venues where they welcome great organists.

I recently bought some music gear from Guitar Center here in Tampa. They kept me 2 hours just to place an order which I had already sorted and then they got it wrong. So I complained to the Head Office and hope that things will be easy when I go to collect the gear. I’m not holding my breath.

I arrived in the parking lot for my apartment at the same time as a neighbour was offloading his supermarket purchases. I gave him a hand to the 3rd floor. He had been drinking quite a lot but even still I was surprised to see him fall backwards down the steps and smash his head on the concrete landing. I accompanied him into the apartment, stemmed the flow of blood and poured him a beer. He seemed OK if shaken. The next morning I popped into to see if he was OK. His scalp was still red raw but his real pain was in his shoulder so I offered him a  couple of heavy duty painkillers with a narcotic edge to them. He’s been flying high ever since I suspect.

I finally got around to writing some music for the new wedding rites. I recalled a text from the OCM 93 which I could use for this purpose. I wrote the music very quickly but need to hear back from the owners of the text before I can take this further.

I’m thinking of launching a campaign against the inappropriate use of the word ‘awesome’. Some of my work colleagues use it ad nauseam and seem impervious to my vomiting in my office. Only last night a local beer rep asked me whether I liked IPA beer. I only had to say Yes to warrant the response ‘Awesome’. Now God, the miracle of birth and the Grand Canyon are awesome but I don’t think everything is!

While I’m venting my spleen I must mention the elections here. Last night 100million Americans watched Donald and Senator Clinton in their first debate.  I wouldn’t want to say who ‘won’ … I am so grateful that I am not allowed to vote here … but both lost it. Perhaps 90 minutes is too long for people this age!

The hurricane season is officially over. It still rains heavily most evenings but the daytime temps soar into the 90s and it is wonderfully sunny. After 6 weeks of uncertain weather it is great to be able to get out on the kayak again so I work hard in order to spend days off relaxing with an easy conscience.

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