As I get older it becomes more and more difficult to recover from ‘down-time’ or time away from work. At the end of January I had joined fellow composers for the second time at their retreat in St Louis. I always knew that alcoholically this would be something of a last fling. Since then I have sought to limit my intake and to be careful about what I eat.
I returned to a full-on weekend of music & liturgy and even found I had to defer my Monday ‘day off’ so as to catch up with the demands of the week ahead. The week ended with the school celebrating a Mass with grandparents on Friday 2 February. I had proposed a way of enacting the particular ritual opening for this Mass. It all went rather well. I was quick to leave so as to enjoy the rest of another spoiled ‘day off’.
On Tuesday 6 February I met with our Hispanic music director to discern how we might take forward the bilingual celebrations of Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil. It was a great meeting and 150 minutes later we had agreed the way forward. Then I had to dash to the school to work with the school cantors and then back to the office for a meeting to discuss the confirmations to occur on 3 March.
As soon as Wednesday’s school mass was over I was off to the optician. I had experienced problems with the prescription I’d received a year ago and they sought to resolve this. The solution, it appears, is not to go to high street lens makers but to spend more elsewhere!
On Thursday I only worked a half day. I stopped by for my weekly visit to Charann’s bar for some pineapple juice (!) but also collected some equipment from another friend. I am now the proud owner of a barrow and an air compressor!
On Friday I had another spoiled ‘day off’. There were two funerals but the family for the second included some musicians so I gave way to them (but still got paid my fee … result!)
Back home I spent the rest of my day off getting innoculated for MMR and a few others.
On Saturday together with a colleague from work we demolished the garden pond which had been built immediately adjacent to the rear of the house. A small tree had been planted several years ago and had grown to such a height that during the hurricane it was bashing against the roof. I had had it lowered to a stump soon after. As we removed the walls of the pond we discovered that marble had been buried in the area. Having already discovered that the slate around the pond was sufficient to serve as borders to the garden beds the marble was enough to start the same in the front.
The rest of the weekend at first appeared to be as you might expect until I got in on Sunday morning. Then I discovered that I would be required for the eucharistic healing service at which Sister Briege McKenna would speak. I was deeply disappointed by her but hoards of followers turned up and adored her as well as the sacrament. Unfortunately in the process I missed the opportunity to hear Paul Jacobs give an organ recital at the Sykes Hall of Tampa University.
As I drove into work on Tuesday 13 February I was astonished to hear that the state government had just reinforced the status that residents of Florida were not permitted to grow vegetables in their front gardens. I remarked “You can still shoot someone in your front garden so life ain’t all bad!” Little did I know what was to occur in a Florida Hugh School only hours later.
Ash Wednesday was another long day which began with school Mass and then continued with a trip to a designated civil surgeon who would assess me medically for the Green Card and order various tests. By 1130 I was back to prepare the next Mass at 1215. When I left the rehearsal room where I had been working with the cantor we were astonished to see TV cameras in the church. They were there to record something for the news later that day. I was annoyed that I had not been informed. One of our junior priests did not show any understanding but the Pastor responded positively to my letter. Later that evening we held another Mass in the Higgins Hall. This was notable in that normally the hispanic Mass is ‘relegated’ to there as the English continue in the Church. In the event nobody died and I heard no complaints. A shortened choir practice followed in the adjacent library.
I was able to take Thursday as a day off so I went kayaking to Caladesi Island enjoying the improved weather.
Monday 19 February was President’s Day which is another excuse for a day off. It was already my day off so I can save this for another day. I started the day by joining Sam’s Club, an upmarket warehouse sore run by Walmart. I went to buy a deck box which was on promotion and even with the membership fee worked out cheaper that elsewhere. I spent the rest of the day by my pool.
Tuesday 20 February began early and I had planned to get much done but in the event these plans were thwarted a bit by having to meet with the contractor who had announced his intention to start work on Monday! Later I got a call from the Civil Surgeon to attend for completion of the documentation for the Green Card medical. While all this was going on I was having my trees trimmed. When I dropped by on the way to the medical the guy was on the roof blowing the leaves off. These guys were real professionals and took great care of the property. By 3pm I was back at the pool. The evening was spent watching Chelsea draw with Barcelona and typing this blog.