Yesterday the upstairs toilet and sink came out, prior to renewal of bathroom tiling and the installation of a new eco-loo. ('Bog standard', as the man in B&Q said, but with dual water saving flush). It'll take several days to complete. At the same time the guys who came to fix a leak under the kitchen sink did so at the expense of creating a further waste pipe leak, rendering the whole ensemble unusable. To add to the disruption, gas engineers from Transco turned up, and dug a hole in our usual parking place outside the house, fenced it off, then left without saying when they'd return.
All this has somewhat disrupted our comfortable routine. It's a bit like we're camping out at home just now.
While builders and tilers came and went, I had a session with my financial advisor to sort out what I hope will be the last of my financial affairs for the coming year, apart from the dreaded tax forms of course. Then after lunch I spent a couple of hours in Southgate House on the never ending task of getting CBS admin affairs into order. I like General Petraeus' description of sorting out Afghanistan as being 'like trying to build a plane while it's already up in the air'. Sorting out any business on the move is much the same experience.
Then I had the pleasure of an evening trip to St Martin's Parish Church Caerphilly to attend the first Eucharist celebration presided over by Sarah Rogers, ordained on Saturday. There must have been a couple of dozen clergy colleagues there, and a congregation altogether of around 150. Her father, formerly Dean of Llandaff, preached reflectively about the gift of priesthood in the life of the church, and started bravely by remembering his dear departed wife, who was in her day a zealous opponent of women's ordination. But we all felt she would have been thrilled and proud of her daughter.
At the end of the Eucharist, Sarah made a personal procession half way down the nave and into the south aisle, where there is a beautiful modern stained glass window of Mary, and Christ's nativity. Here she laid flowers in memory of her mother, lit a candle and said a prayer, before proceeding to bless individually everyone present, making a second trip up to the communion rail to do so. A truly joyous occasion with great singing and an inspiring sense of solidarity.
I don't think I had the courage to ask my first Vicar if I could have such a special first celebration. Rather, I compensated by insisting that doing an ordinary Sunday Parish communion on my own for the first time, with the community I served and lived among, would be the best thing for me. I'm not sure many of my family would have understood such a grand ceremony, as things clerical were so unfamiliar to our shared way of life. But if I remember rightly Auntie Celandine my godmother was there for me, and received communion. How blessed was I to be able to minister the last rites to her when she was dying in hospital 37 years later.