Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Hospital journeys

Once more, up bright and early, after a short night's sleep yesterday, to deliver Clare to the Heath hospital for a seven thirty appointment for her eye operation. I went home, to await her call to collect her and soon fell asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours, after saying Morning Prayer. Then, I walked to the bank, where I received a call to tell me she was ready. Fortunately there was no queue, so I returned for the car, and by one o'clock, had collected her and was cooking her scrambled eggs for lunch at home. She couldn't be left alone for her first day after surgery, just in case, so I didn't go out. In between cooking meals, there were phone calls to be made arranging three meetings with bereaved families for whom I am officiating at funerals in the next fortnight. These came my way as Fr Mark is on leave.

Then, another early start today, to take Clare to an eight o'clock follow up appointment at the Heath hospital. It was to be a shorter one, so I stayed with her, and we were on our way back home shortly after eight thirty. I was interested to observe the increase in the volume of traffic between starting at seven and at seven thirty. On the return trip it was even more noticeable, with ten minute slow moving traffic queue from the hospital exit slip road to the Gabalfa flyover. Something I rarely see. Having dropped Clare off, I headed for St German's to celebrate Mass in good time, as morning traffic across the town centre around nine thirty is always slow moving. Today, it was exacerbated further by the introduction of lane closures on Newport Road, for work to be done on the central reservation, in both directions.

There were fourteen adults and thirty school children for the midweek Mass. Among the visitors on this occasion was a 94 year old lady whose family had attended St German's in the 20s and 30s, when she was a child. There was much delighted animated conversation between her and 94 year old Gwyneth, who has been a regular worshipper at the church her entire life. I was amazed to discover that our visitor is the mother of Canon Ruth Moverley, one of the first women to be ordained priest in Llandaff diocese, whom we know through the Ignatian Prayer group.

Her mum was proud of the fact that last week Ruth had presided over the recent 20th anniversary celebration of the ordination of women to the priesthood in a special Eucharist in Llandaff Cathedral, and justifiably so. It's lovely to think that St German's has figured in the lives of both women and men called to the priesthood, regardless of the fact that it has been served by celibate male clergy for the first 120 years of its history. When Fr Phelim becomes priest-in-charge, he'll be their first incumbent to be married with children, a change which most will regard as a welcome change.

After lunch I walked to the first of my three bereavement visits, organised yesterday, in a street the other side of Thompson's Park. I was asked to deliver the eulogy, and returned home with biographical notes provided by the widower. I assembled them into a text I'd be happy to deliver, then walked back again to pop a copy of it through the door. By that time it was dark and the as good as full moon was rising over the hill in the park, apparently it'll be completely full just before dawn tomorrow. Tonight the sky is clear, so Cardiff gets the full benefit of beautiful moonlight. A wondrous sight, as ever.

On my walks this past few days I have been trying out a simple pedometer app on my phone, as I was unsatisfied with the accuracy of Google fit. So far, I'm pleased with the results it delivers.

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