As I gaze through the window of my ‘office’ I can see workmen rushing around putting the finishing touches to the play area where they have installed a splash pad for the local kids. The ribbon cutting will be this afternoon but I’ll be at a liturgy meeting!
The park is a great amenity for me and since it is just over my back yard fence I can wonder through a gate and do several circuits of the half mile circular walk. Unfortunately I don’t get much time to do this as often it is either too hot or dark when I am home. The temperatures have dropped this last week so maybe this is the moment?
On the evening of my last blog (12 October) there was a concert in the park. It was attended by only about 20 folk but I caught the end of it.
The following weekend the neighbourhood held its annual community garage sale with many driveways transformed into sales areas. After a few minutes I decided to put my treasures out on the roadside marked ‘free’ and everything was gone as quick as a flash. In preparation for this sale I opened an airline carry-on wine kit … yes they did exist way back … and discovered a 2010 bottle of portuguese reserve red. It was a great way to finish the day!
October 18 will stick in my memory for a while. This was the day that my troublesome contractor ‘completed’ the job and left the premises. It took him 10 months to complete the work. The last stage was the installation of new french doors and sidelights. I am not convinced that he has put the sidelights in the correct way around but at least it is better than the boarding he left me with after trying to install a month ago doors that were the wrong size! Isn’t it remarkable that contractors drag their feet to complete work but are able to issue an invoice almost immediately? I sense another dispute over the bill since it includes a tidy sum for work that was not authorised by the insurance. Later that evening I popped in the Local to celebrate life without builders and discovered that Stella were doing a promotion which meant free beer for the night!
Mid-term elections are upon us and people become vociferous over them. One guy at the Local, having attended a rally with Joe Biden earlier that day, was at full tilt but unable to listen to differing views. In the event I asked him to speak more quietly and, somewhat taken aback, he left feeling insulted.
Over the last two weeks I’ve been working on a new composition, a setting of a text written by Revd Jan Berry which reflects the scandal of sexual abuse whether it be clergy or family related. I had met Jan through various previous ecumenical engagements with CTBI and Hallam University but the discovery of the text came from a number of resources sent me by Kathy Galloway of the Iona Community. I have since been able to establish contact with Jan directly and have received her permission to proceed. The melody came very quickly indeed and the harmony followed when I had time for it. Being a member of the Liturgical Composers Forum I was able to share it with a couple of comrades whose generous comments were both supportive and insightful. It’s now almost complete, I think, although I have yet to add a french horn part to the final verse. I’ll be submitting it to the scrutiny of fellow members when we meet in January in St Louis.
In almost 10 days I shall be flying to England. I haven’t begun to think about that as we have a flurry of liturgical feasts over the next few days and then I can start compiling the music for the cover musicians and for those who will deliver it all! It would be easier to remain and do it myself but I do need to see family and friends and to visit my house in Sheffield. I’ll be back in Tampa in time for Thanksgiving!