A wet and windy start to my journey into the Vale for Sunday duties in Llanbleddian and Ystradowen this morning. The surface of the A48 was strewn with leaves and twigs and I saw one large tree close to the edge of the road that had fallen recently. There was a safety vehicle in attendance and a long traffic queue in the Cardiff direction. I was relieved not to encounter any delay on the westward carriageway, to eat away at the extra time margin I've learned to give myself on these journeys to ensure I enjoy a leisurely start to the morning's worship. Having to drive against the clock to get from Barry to Llanbleddian last Sunday was a rare and unpleasant reminder of how much my preparation to say Mass now involves properly pacing myself to arrive - something I could have benefited more from thirty years ago when I drove the length and breadth of Wales Sunday by Sunday preaching for USPG.
It was still raining when I got back to Cardiff, to collect Clare from Riverside Farmers Market, and then collect Owain as he was set to join us for lunch. It was necessary to go by car to collect him, so that he didn't get soaked riding his bike over from Gabalfa. He's still unemployed after a year, despite success in getting interviews. Competition is very tough. He looks for suitable work diligently, and so far is undaunted his situation. It helps that he puts a great deal of the time on his hands into making digital music and quietly, persistently promoting it to techno fans across the internet. He sees it as 99% hard work and 1% luck, and the act of creation itself preserves him from despair. In my chosen vocation I have never lacked work to do, even now in retirement. I can't imagine how I would have coped with the circumstances he finds himself in, and I admire him greatly.