Friday, 6 January 2017

Epiphany Day

I slept well, but having woken up early, went back to sleep again, listening to the news on the radio, and was still in bed when Clare left to go swimming. Some minutes later, she returned to retrieve her house key, rang the doorbell, but I wasn't awakened by the doorbell, so she had to borrow the spare house key kept by one of our neighbours. I'd had nine hours sleep by the time a got up for breakfast, and tree tidying, fortunately with no appointments or deadlines to meet.

After lunch, I walked into town, and visit the temporary National Express coach station in Sofia Gardens to renew my discount card and book a ticket for a day trip to London on Monday, to see my sister June now that she's nearly recovered from the nasty long drawn out cold she didn't want me to catch from her. Actually there's more risk of me catching a cold or 'flu on public transport. It's difficult to steer clear of all ailments at this time of year. I've been very lucky so far.

From there, I walked into Queen Street, looked in a few shops and eventually headed for St German's to celebrate the Mass of Epiphany day at six. I didn't want to take the car and risk getting stuck in the Friday evening rush hour traffic, and walking is what I need to do. Even so, that 10,000 steps a day target set by Google Fit is still eluding me.

There were sixteen of the regulars for Mass, and no organist, so I led the singing of two hymns and the Ordinary of the Mass unaccompanied. Although we'd set out with the idea of it being just a Low Mass, as there were a couple of servers, we decided to have incense, and then I decided to launch the singing. It's something I've not done much of at St German's, except at the Wednesday school Mass, but I used to do it regularly for a Solemn Weekday Mass at St Agnes. People sang well and heartily, as all the music was familiar. 

What was remarkable was to sing in that environment without benefit of organ. When it's switched on but not in use, though it's not noisy, the low level sound of pumped air is there in the background. Switched off, the pure beauty of the building's acoustic is more noticeable, and the reverberation just perfect for unaccompanied singing. No wonder it's a favoured venue for broadcast recording and choral concerts. I think everyone sang their best tonight because we could all hear the difference. We must do this again - what am I saying? We'll have to do it again, as the organ will be out of action for some weeks in Lent (a most suitable season for this), to install a new organ bellows. That will be an opportunity to make a different kind of joyful noise unto the Lord.

Angela brought me home by car, to be welcomed by a big dish of veggies and pasta prepared by Clare for supper, and there was time to watch an action movie, 'The Taking of Pelham 123' on Channel 4, one I'd not seen before, with lots of high speed rushing around and violence, with insane baddies. Another melodrama in which frenetic New York townscapes and NYPD incompetent driving (or is it rubbish cars with bad handling?) clog up the dramatic thread, and dialogue which struggles to work amid all the sound and fury. I don't know why I bothered really.

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