Thursday 31 May

As I type it is over 5 weeks since workmen put the new porcelain tile floor in the house. After so many promises to finish the work they arrived this morning at 10am and I was able to get home at 2pm to see their work. They had not done much because the compressor for their nail machine had broken. Their boss authorised them to get a replacement and now at 3pm they are back to work.

So what else has happened since my last post? Work was more or less the same except that on Friday 18 we had the School graduations. This year some of the departing students offered themselves as instrumentalists. They’d hidden their lights before and now on their last appearance they wanted to play! So I did an arrangement of ‘Lord, I need you’ for the unlikely combination of piano with trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, violin and percussion. No graduation is complete, it seems, without an excerpt from Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March. Normally musicians play only the Land of Hope and glory theme several times over as the graduands arrive in procession. This twit decided to play the entire thing … including the tricky bits! I’d worked on it last year and realised how amazing muscle memory can be!

On Saturday 19th the Royal Wedding was a must watch as was also the FA Cup final which followed it. I’ve supported Chelsea since I was 9 so it was good to see them walk away from a somewhat depressing season with some silverware.

In the evening I played the vigil Mass and then relaxed before the onslaught which is Sunday.  It was Pentecost Sunday so the choir sang Oomen’s ‘I shall be living’ and the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ by Handel. They certainly rose to the challenge as did the members of the congregation who stayed to join in the song.

The following week followed the usual pattern with the last school Mass of the academic year. We would not see the cherubs for another 2 1/2 months!

On Monday 21 was Memorial Day and a public holiday. The whole weekend had been miserable with torrential downpours blotting all hopes of fine weather. It had been like this for 10 days.  In the late afternoon I managed to catch my twin brother Andy by phone to wish him a happy birthday. He was surprised to hear from me, I think! The following day my arrival in the office was greeted by the decorations all of which suggesting the fact that it was my 60th birthday too! My day was spent working and then I went for a meal with my music colleague, Marty. Later I quaffed a few beers. My brother Richard and his wife had suggested a record some interesting moment for every year of my life so far. I rose to the challenge and with the single exception of one year I have it all done. This will be appearing soon no doubt. During the day I had received a request to use my setting of Psalm 46 for the Diocesan 50th anniversary Mass on 16 June. Since I would be away for part of June it was essential to get down to work sooner rather than later. An arrangement for string quartet and flute in addition to the organ was required. Just as life was beginning to calm down a bit up sprung a serious challenge!

I spent much of Friday enjoying my day off at the house before going in for a wedding. After this I dropped in to O’Brien’s where I enjoyed a few glasses. There was a lady there who had the most strident voice which cut through all the noise the people in the bar could create.

The Memorial weekend weather was terrible as tropical storm Albert wreaked its vengeance on Florida.

On Sunday 27 the choir excelled themselves with a fine rendering of ‘The Deer’s Cry’. The choir provided the backing vocals to Vivian Padron’s solo.

On my day off on Monday I waited for workmen to arrive to do the baseboards (skirting boards). They didn’t show. well, who would work on a national holiday? They would come the following day.  But they didn’t show then either.

On Tuesday I paid my first visit to the cinema to see ‘Pope Francis – a Man of his Word’. What a powerful docu-film this is! I was also delighted to be one of only four people in the theatre and to be offered a seniors discount now that I am over 60!

On Wednesday I awoke to learn that the Diocesan Director of Music had mistakedly asked me to use my setting of Psalm 46 for an anniversary Mass. He had forgotten that they’d already selected Psalm 98. So hopes dashed somewhat I worked during the morning and then came home for a bit before returning later for the choir practice. It was the last of the season so we did some reminiscing once we’d learned Frisina’s ‘Anima Christi’ in my own arrangement.

On Thursday on my way into work something hit my car windshield and so I had to seek out a repair. It turned out to be beyond repair so I fixed an appointment for the glass to be replaced on 11 June. My phone has an app which allows me to monitor my security alarm at the house. I was pleased to find that workmen were in my house. However when I got home at 2pm I discovered them doing nothing … their compressor for the nail gun had broken. After contacting management they got permission to find a replacement. They expect to get it all done today and will return to repair the hole in the ceiling tomorrow. I’m not counting any chickens!




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