Happy New Year, one and all.
Eventually I got what seemed to be a Christmas break. It got interrupted by a midweek work day on Thursday but it still felt OK.
On 28 December I joined friends and Charann’s bar for an unwanted Christmas present swop. I took along an electric fondue set I’d bought months ago from Goodwill and people were bending over backwards to get hold of it! I swopped for a bottle of wine, box of chocs and a wine stopper. The idea of ever having to use a stopper eludes me!
On Friday I joined the choir for its Christmas party. A colleague Marty drove me there so I was able to wet the whistle a bit. It was a great evening with fine food, wine and conversation. An ordinary gathering, I hear you comment. Well how many of you had a gathering where the attendees broke into an impromptu performance of the Hallelujah chorus followed swiftly by a rendition of ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth’.
On Saturday I had a wedding followed by the Vigil Mass. Sunday was fairly normal in its demands but I’d become ill the previous day and thought I might have to rest during the afternoon despite having gone to bed early and remembered to apply earplugs to deal with the fireworks.. In the event I joined colleagues at a New Year luncheon which was calm and energising.
Monday is normally a day off but a funeral and the slim chances of getting all my parish work done meant that I had to work. That evening I attended a rehearsal for the Evening Prayer which would welcome the new bishop to the Diocese.
On Tuesday I’d managed to cancel the liturgical music rehearsal with the school which meant a later start with a school cantors’ rehearsal. Later I completed an arrangement of ‘All creatures of our God and King’ which slightly alters the rhythm and gives the tune a lift from the VW arrangement. At 5pm I left for the Bishop Evening Prayer. I’d not eaten since breakfast so I was feeling very tired. The event was great and delivered by a Schola of men only, sometimes singing in 7 parts!
On Wednesday I was in work at 7.30am, played for the 8.3oam School Mass and drove like an idiot to get to the cathedral rehearsal for the Installation Mass at 10am. The rehearsal ended at noon and we had time with fellow music directors over lunch. The music selection was eclectic and impressive. We finished there at 4pm and I drove back in traffic to prepare for the 7pm choir practice. I managed to get through the Epiphany stuff as well as the material selected for the funeral of Fr Rock a dear assistant priest at St Lawrence. He had died unexpectedly on Christmas Day and the previous week he’d given me some Franciscan bookends which he’d had since 1958, the year of my birth!
Today I was awoken at 4am by the maintenance. It appeared that a ground floor apartment had flooded because the water tank in my apartment had corroded and leaked. There was no damage to my apartment. By 8am the maintenance team were back to change the tank and switch the water back on. Unfortunately I had to be washed and shaved for work so instead I went for a morning dip in the pool! In the morning I wrote a flute part for my new arrangement of ‘All creatures’ which we would use later tonight. At noon I gathered a few members of the choir to sing the Midday Prayer from the office of the Dead. Over a hundred people turned up including some from the retirement home where he was chaplain. It went really well and eventually I was able to return home for a rest albeit slightly interrupted by a welcome call from my twin followed by a skype call to my mum.
Soon I will again return to church for the Memorial Mass for Fr Rock. It promises to be quite a gathering … he was a really popular man.