18 March 2019

Two weeks since my last blog so not a lot needs to be said!

Tuesday was Mardi Gras. How should I celebrate? After a day at the office … at the start of which I was confronted by (and resisted) a table groaning with sugary delights .. I gave two organ lessons and then went to Sacred Pepper, a restaurant around the corner from me. It is posh and a tad expensive but my brother Richard and Camille had bought me a gift card for the place for my 60th so I took the plunge. It was all I expected: fine wine and excellent steak with a service to match. Thanks.

The weekend marked the start of Lent. I have always started my 40 days on the Saturday night and finished them on Holy Thursday. Many people seem to believe that everything starts on Ash Wednesday and misses out the Lenten Sundays. this is stupid! The 4 days before the Saturday are preparation days. I prepared by saying farewell to beer. In fact I’d decided to stop beer a few days earlier as a result of my type 2 diabetes diagnosis. I’d switched to drinking vodka and water which was much lower in sugar. Now that Lent had started I would avoid alcohol altogether as well as cereals, rice, pasta and bread. The weight was coming off steadily so it seemed a good idea.

Tuesday 12 was a stressful day, all self-induced. In doing the final checks for the music for the following weekend I realised that the psalm setting I had selected, whilst popular, did not actually include the verses prescribed for the Second Sunday in Lent Year C. So I decided to write one.

This was a daft decision as I would already be under pressure to get ready for the rehearsal the same night and in addition I had a few other meetings and organ lessons which would further take my time. I got in at 7am and the rehearsal as at 7.15pm. Enough time, I thought. I finished at 6.45pm and then rushed to print out the music. I was exhausted by the time I got to choir practice which would not take place in the usual venue owing to a clash with another event. Well, the choir were understanding but I was ratty and felt the usual signs of stress descending and the need for some relaxation. During the rehearsal I discovered that the setting had to be transposed into a lower key if the basses were to consider joining in! That would be a job for the following day!

The school mass went well and I was able to get away soon after it trying to claw back some overtime from the previous week. In the evening I returned to attend the Mission given by a parishioner who really is a prophet in her own country. This was the first time she had spoken in Florida yet had been engaged elsewhere for years!

The following day I got up according to my body clock and loaded the car to take out the kayak. It would be a lovely day so I chose to visit Caladesi Island near Dunedin. In fact it was so relaxing that I returned the next day when I also enjoyed a fine sunset.

Saturday morning was the Community Yard Sale. I had put out the disassembled pieces of a corner desk but nobody was interested so that would need to go to the dump. I visited my neighbours and bought a tent and a treadmill.

Later that evening after the Vigil Mass and an earlier funeral I answered an ad about a laptop. My Lenovo Edge had been damaged at St Louis Airport in February and I needed to find a replacement. I met the guy in a parking lot which seemed a bit shady but it transpired that he and his mates had clubbed together to buy a pallet of returns from various computer retail outlets. They then upgraded the computers and advertised them at very competitive prices. So I bought a Dell series 7 Latitude Ultrabook for $550 when it is usually over $1500. I went back to meet him again on the Monday so that he could upgrade both the running speed and the hard disk.

At Masses over the weekend I introduced my new setting of Psalm 27 which was well taken up by the congregation … a good barometer of success!

Earlier today Monday I had taken delivery of some HC13 speakers for the organ, which had been overlooked when they delivered the organ 3 weeks before. I was also able to visit the doctors to try to sort some problems regarding supplies for my diabetes treatment.

I’ll spend the rest of the evening getting used to the first pair of specially made organ shoes. After all these years of playing I’ve finally succumbed.

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