Friday 4 December

Winter in Florida is a fleeting thing. For about a week now I have had my cashmere coat out of the wardrobe where it generally hangs neglected until I return to England or join fellow composers for the Liturgical Composers Forum in St Louis in January/February.

This year has been remarkable in that earlier this week I awoke to a temperature of 73F and three days later it was 38F! The cold becomes a talking point and then this topic disappears from the agenda although I do note that a further cold front is due next week. This is unusual.

President Trump is less on my mind at this time. His successor has been acknowledged in a veiled manner but the transition has begun, albeit delayed. It seems clear that Climate Change and the Paris Accord, Health and the WHO are both back on the agenda. Numbers infected by Covid-19 continue to rise to an alarming extent and the President-Elect has today given notice that he will be calling for 100 days of mask wearing from Day 1 of his Presidency and Dr Fauci has been retained. At this stage these signals are positive (though not to so many whose voting did not elect a President).

I spent Thanksgiving with 5 friends. We ate well, drank well and played an assortment of games. Dominoes and Left-right-center were the predictable favourites. Unfortunately the celebrations ended early as drink prompted anger in one player and departure in us.

I awoke the following morning feeling fine and so decided to go kayaking. I entered the garage and to my horror the side door was open. Worse than that the gates were wide open and the kayak and trailer were gone! I discovered that the buggers had even removed all the kayak accessories from the shelves. I returned inside the house and was about to call the police when, looking outside I saw my car on the road with the kayak and trailer already attached! Clearly the Thanksgiving drinks affected my memory as well as the mood of one of my friends!

My lodger, Maurice, confirmed a few days ago that the apartment he was holding out for had become available early. Therefore he is set to leave my place on Monday. He has been so quiet that I will barely miss him! I am hoping to begin hosting with a new agency in the near future.

After 3 years being contracted to ADT security services I have decided to change my alarm system. At $65 per month it is just too expensive. Another provider will give a similar service for only $24. It’s a no-brainer, I hope.

Due to Covid this year’s Christmas Children’s Play before the 4pm Christmas Vigil Mass has been abandoned. I have seized the opportunity to put something different in its place and have chosen MICHAEL MOUSE published by the Iona Community. This should be an amusing and thought-provoking alternative to the script we have used for the last many years. There will be 6 more mature children playing the parts of animals, a narrator and two adults providing the voices of the animals. I’m hoping to download animal noises from the internet as holding auditions for adults who can perform animals sounds might be too challenging!

The inaugural organ recital at the neighboring Catholic Church went well and was attended by many despite the safe-distancing required. I played Louis Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster as the finale of the Recital.

I continue to compose a psalm setting each week and next week will put to paper a less ‘meek and mild’ version of the Magnificat psalm.

Some of you will remember that I’ve suffered a few whiplash incidents in my time. The worst was when I was still in Sheffield and free-wheeling downhill on my new cycle when a driver cut across me blinded by the sun. This induced considerable trauma to my neck and much physiotherapy followed. in my early days in USA I was twice stationary at lights when a car hit me in the rear. This must have aggravated what was already diagnosed a severe pinching of the nerves. I have not had any treatment for four years and now am suffering considerable pain. The good news is that I can visit a doctor (from the parish) who will give treatments over three visits and this will either ease things or force me to look for alternatives.

Getting old is not for softies!

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