Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday sadness, and an act of auto-kindness

Yesterday afternoon we drove to Bristol to see Amanda and James. He secured excellent results in his HND exams, and secured a place to do a Computer Science degree in UWE, the University of the West of England in Bristol. After being Amanda's carer for the past seven years, he is now moving out and into student accommodation. His departure from home at 20 makes it necessary for her care plan to be overhauled, possibly with a move into sheltered accommodation. This she looks forward to, as the house they presently live in, although adapted for a disabled person's life, is really unsuitable, since she now finds it impossible to use a chair lift to get upstairs. But, this is a difficult transition for them both to make, and some problems are unavoidable.

We returned home in time for supper, and, now there's a brief respite from Olympic TV broadcasts, BBC Four has gone back to showing a Saturday night Scandi crime drama. This week another episode of Beck, about religiously motivated anti-gay extremist violence, in which the team's police chief is murdered. Colleagues are deeply affected and work relentlessly to uncover a conspiracy. It's the team's maverick burnt-out sleuth who hunts down the perpetrator, then tortures him to extract a confession, before locking him a morgue cold storage unit and ringing colleagues to collect him.

It's quite a bizarre expression of vengeance, and clearly suspect abuse, for which he just gets a telling off from Beck. No effort is made to show any real life consequences of such an action. There are no scenes with the defendent's lawyer, no portrayal of how an entire police department could cover up the lawlessness of this cop's behaviour, even if it was in pursuit of justice. I've come to expect a less superficial portrayal of the Swedish police force than this 'successful' conclusion offered. This was too much like wild west frontier justice, not the human and sophisticated view of Sweden we usually get. 

This morning I celebrated the eight and ten thirty Eucharists at St Catherine's. Friday, Betty the church's oldest member died, just a few weeks short of her 95th birthday. She was baptized in the church and attended her entire life, serving as church warden several times. She was one of the first to greet Clare and I when we came to live in the Parish and worship locally. She was there greeting me when I went to celebrate these two services a fortnight ago. I think I may have been the one to give her Communion for the last time. The end of that week she was admitted to hospital, and died a week later.

At eight, I preached a short extempore sermon reflecting on her life and great capacity for hospitality, reflecting threads in both the Epistle and Gospel readings for the day. When I returned for breakfast I revised for the ten thirty, the sermon prepared to include these reflections. I also used some prayers from the funeral office, aware Betty's death was fresh news to most parishioners, some of whom may not be free to attend her funeral, any more than me, since I'll be in Malaga when it takes place. I felt this was the right thing to do, as I did in the Costa Azahar Sunday services when Janet died, knowing that many wouldn't attend her funeral. The church needs to make its own farewell and appreciation of much loved members who played key roles, setting the right tone for developing healthy congregational life. Shared mourning is as important as shared rejoicing in the life of prayer in common.

On return from Bristol last night, our car indicators stopped working, a blown fuse. The same happened in May 2014, and Kwikfit on Cowbridge Road came to the rescue. The problem was fixed within the day, although they had to research and sent out for the fuses for such an old car. So I rang up to ask if they could help, and how long it would take, and then I could arrange to leave the car with them, aware that Clare might need to pick it up after the Bank Holiday instead of me. When I explained to the guy I spoke to on the phone, he said "I think I've got some of those fuses in my took kit." So I went around there straight away, taking a route that would involve the least number of right turns across traffic, for safety's sake, to get there. Within minutes, the burned out item had been retrieved and replaced, and they refused to charge for doing so, like last time. Both of them expressed affection for our old Golf Mk II, "They go forever", was the consensus about this particular edition. So relieved to get that job done, and overjoyed at their kindness.

After lunch, we went for a walk across the fields and down through Bute Park, and had a cup of tea in 'The Secret Garden' cafe, still going strong. It drizzled while we were there, and on the way back. Washing left out on the line in our back garden, including my alb, and a jacket, was a little damper than it might otherwise have been if we'd been there to bring it in and avoid the rain. It was good to get out and walk, and it's been a while since we did that route together.

In the evening we watched the first Episode of the new series about the young queen Victoria, said to be based on researches into her extensive lifelong collection of personal journals amongst other things. Costume dramas aren't usually my thing, but I found this of great interest, even if the CGI versions of Buckingham Palace and other London landmarks in that period looked artificial, unless resemblance to colour picture book style imagery was a deliberate narrative ploy. Fortunately, the interiors were much more authentically depicted, and the acting was superb. Amusing to see Peter Firth as the Duke of Cumberland. I kept on thinking of him as Sir Harry Pearce in 'Spooks'.

1 comment:

  1. Just for the record... Looking to be moving into a 2 bedded bungalow with a "buddy carer" in Weston-super-mare. All welcome
    love, light and blessings xx