Monday, 7 November 2016

Early preparation

A clear bright and windy day with a touch of autumnal chill about it. I woke up thinking about the week ahead, my last and perhaps busiest here, with two Remembrance Sunday services, one on Thursday and another on Friday for Armistice Day. For each occasion the readings are different, there are four different sermons to prepare, so after breakfast I put my thinking cap on, and started work. 

After I stopped for lunch, there was an afternoon play on BBC Radio Four about a man who suffered from agoraphobia, dramatised with the afflicted man speaking in the first person, about his efforts to overcome his fears and live a normal life, not confined to living at working at home. It was very well conceived and allowed the listener to enter into his experience and feel his distress, and it helped me to think about something from a pastoral perspective that I'd never considered before. Now that is truly powerful radio theatre, so well able to make use of initimacy with the listener.

By bed-time I had drafts of three sermons, feeling pleased I'd made the effort, and got into the flow of creative work. Daily exercise consisted of nothing more than a walk to Mercadona and back to get a few items to tide me over until I can take the car out tomorrow and shop for the rest of my time here. 

The sunset sky was remarkable. A cirro-cumulus cloud formation would usually be called a 'mackerel sky' but as it was orangey pink during most of the walk there, it would be best described as a 'salmon sky', wonderful to behold. Sadly, I hadn't bothered to carry a camera. It was still windy, and I regretted not taking the extra chill factor into account and putting on an extra layer.

The United States goes to the poll tomorrow to elect a new President. The campaign has released so much poisonous resentment and hatred, just as the Brexit affair has in Britain. Farage is promising to rally a 100,000 followers outside the building where the Supreme Court will review the  Law Lords' judgement. Is this an attempt to influence an objective reasoned examination of a decision based on agreed established fact? Or is it an attempt to intimidate the judiciary under the same alibi of free speech used by the tabloid press to justify its hate speech and (in my opinion) contempt of court. It has the same dynamic as the politics of a Nazi era, and the British government has lurched to far to the right in its crowd pleasing efforts to maintain its hold on power, that its effort to defend constitutional rule are too little and too late. The tail of the politically extreme right is starting to wag the Conservative dog. Worrying.

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