Sunday 20 November

Another 2 weeks passes and we have moved into the Trump era.

I managed to stay awake until the result was all but certain, rising the next morning to a new world. The disbelief for me mirrored that after the Brexit vote, but for the majority of folk here it seems to have been complete relief. Most people were amazed at having to choose between two unsatisfactory candidates but the unwillingness to countenance Hillary was overwhelming regardless of class, origin etc. Most seem reconciled now to the possibility that there is something new in the air and that change might be positive. “It is what it is” is the most common response! I read that elsewhere in USA there have been massive protests against the democratic outcome but am astonished also to read that the majority of these protesters seem not to have voted at all!

It is now over 2 months since the first stage of my application for a Green Card was submitted and I can’t help musing that the delay may be in part due to the incoming administration’s greater scrutiny of immigrants. At least I am not an ‘illegal immigrant’!

For the last couple of days the weather has taken a turn and the temperature has plummeted to 50F in the early morning and not rising far above 65F during the day. It is very sunny however and promises only to be a short cold snap. I understand that back in UK things are more irksome as the snow begins to fall along with the temperatures.

At work I witnessed my first fire alarm. It turned out to be genuine but the procedures followed in such cases were lamentable. This is not the place to enter into the detail but my erstwhile teacher union experience determined that things must change. My observations were articulated at a scheduled staff meeting the same day and well received by management.

At the same meeting I also challenged staff to consider how a Christian institution such as ours could be so enthusiastic in its celebration of Halloween. This was a more difficult position as it was a completely counter-cultural argument. I did remind folk that the Church is called to be counter-cultural!

There are changes afoot in the workplace here introduced by developing legislation concerning the working hours for all employees. Over the next few years as the programme rolls out I’d imagine that most employees who ordinarily are contracted for a 40 hour week will be paid overtime if they exceed this amount. The task is then for employees to ensure that this level is not crossed as in my case the employer does not wish to raise the wages bill unnecessarily. This is a good thing and for my part I would comply although there will of course be foreseeable times in a year when overtime may be unavoidable.

I have some music which I wish to offer for publication. Those who know me will know that I compose a lot but wait ages for it to be used in various situations before even contemplating anything further. I have one piece I wrote since the summer for the revised Marriage Rites so I thought I would strike sooner. However I now realise this last week that OCP have published Paul Inwood’s setting of the same text so I am not hopeful for that one at least! We’ll use it at St Lawrence whatever.

I’ve also been looking into buying a house over here as the current situation of renting an apartment is just a waste of money. My bank does not lend to people of my immigration status so I’m not quite sure of my options but will pursue a few leads before my rental agreement terminates in August.

I have been under some pressure recently to wash my car. Americans seem to have a love affair with their cars so it never dawns on them that it might be possible to leave it blemished by dirt and sand etc. I have just removed the kayak from the roof so at least it is acceptable in a car wash now. Some friends have also advised that my age determines that I am eligible for a senior wash! So on Wednesday I may venture out to establish my inalienable rights!




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