Thursday, 11th August, 2022

[Day 878]

Today being a Thursday is my shopping day so I got up in plenty of time in order to arrive at the supermarket before it opens at 8.00am. I was there at 5 minutes before opening so myself and another ‘early bird’ spent some time chatting about how we were coping with the extremely hot weather and the uses of vinegar as a home made weedkiller. I mention this because the acetic acid in the vinegar acts as a dessicating agent and the hotter the sun, the more the leaves will shrivel and die at minimal expense. After I had done the shopping and then whizzed around for the newspaper, I got home and had a delayed breakfast. By the morning’s post, some pre-odered SIMS arrived for a couple of ancient mobile phones that I am going to use as backups. I have found through bitter experience that one of the best low-cost but reliable providers is Tescomobile and as I already have an account set up, it is easy to add a couple of ‘Family and Friends’ into my account details and then adding a little bit of credit to each becomes a breeze. I have also discovered over the years that this provider has a top-up number which repeats the number of the SIM back to you and this is particularly useful just to ensure that the newly installed SIMS are working as intended. Another reason for using this service is that they do not necessarily cancel the account if it is left unused for a period of time (as backup phones typically are) and although their terms and conditions state that one should make at least one chargeable call every six months, I think that in practice this is often as much as a year. After extolling the virtues of this, I also have ordered a spare SIM for Seasoned World Traveller who I will probably see in the park over the next day or so. After that, Meg and I made for the huge M&S store at Longbridge just ‘down the road’ where we were shopping for underwear. Bewildered by the range of choice in ladies undergarments – I will not be more specific at this stage – we got the assistance of a very friendly shop assistant who managed to direct me to the correct style, size and colour of the garments in question. We treated ourselves to cups of coffee and a dainty little sandwhich which I figured would be better for us than filling ourselves full of cake and so we made for home. It was so hot today that I made ourselves a very light lunch based around a tin of tuna which I always keep in stock for such occasions and it certainly sufficed. We knew that our chiropodist was due at 3.00pm so we made sure that we were all lunched, washed up and tidied up before she arrived.

This evening, Meg and I had scheduled for ouselves to attend a special church service which was the ‘official’ induction of the new priest. We got there in plenty of time and in no time at all, the church was absolutely packed. As well as the ‘normal’congregation there was also delegation from the cathedral and other members of the church hierarchy, some members of cognate congregations and quite a fair number of relatives. The only similar event I have ever attended was as a guest to the inauguration of a distant cousin of my mothers to the bishopric of Liverpool in the Anglican church and this was held, as I remember, in York Minster for some reason now forgotten. This occasion was marked by a profusion of ritual but I was quite touched by the emotional appeal of it all as the responses of the congregation was quite heartfelt and vociferously expressed and the congregation joined in the singing of the hymns, and the occasional sung response, with a gusto more redolent of Methodism than Catholicism. Afterwards, there was a magnificent buffet and Meg and chatted with people some of whom we knew a little by sight and some of whom recognised us from the park. We were delighted to meet up again with a doughty Geordie lady who is in her mid 80’s but who, after a bad episode of COVID and quite a long stay in hospital, now preferred to worship ‘on line’ rather than attending Church in person. She was very sweet and kindly when I updated her on Meg’s ailments and whilst Meg was chatting, I circulated a little and told some of my theological jokes (such as the Desmond Tutu story mentioned in the blog a day or so ago) to anyone I thought I would appreciate it. I was very touched to see the warmth with which members of the congregation came to express their congratulations and support for our new priest and Meg and I were practically the last to leave. Tomorrow morning, we have no pressng commitments so we might allow the luxury of an extra few minutes in bed after all of this excitement.