During the night I was conscious of the arrival of high winds, not just from the noise outside, but from a perceptible change of air. That sounds odd, but the coastal plain Cardiff inhabits suffers from polluted air when weeks pass without a breeze. It's got worse in recent years with increased traffic congestion. There are times when I'm returning home from a walk in the park, that there's a noticeable difference between the air out in Llandaff or Pontcanna Fields, and the air along Penhill Road, the penultimate leg, which reeks of diesel fumes from standing traffic.
Cardiff Council's published pollution maps confirm from monitoring data what a healthy sense of smell detects. We're two hundred yards from Penhill Road and our street is very quiet. The scent of pollution isn't so obvious at home from day to day, but when a strong wind blows, the difference quite marked. I wish we lived in the country or near the sea, though I can't see us moving house again. We just need to get out and away more often, to take the air.
I went to St John's to celebrate the midweek Eucharist this morning but Fr Chris Lee turned up to take the service as well,due to a double booking error. I felt glad to sit with the congregation and worship. The only other times I've been able to do that for a long time have been on a couple of weekend trips to Kenilworth to look after Rhiannon. It's so good to be on the receiving end and be ministered to, and it was lovely to chat with Chris after the service.
Following a brief trip to the bank and to shops I returned home for lunch, and then went out on foot to make a bereavement visit at the west end of Canton Parish. As I wasn't sure of my street destination, I checked on Google Maps, which set me the quickest walking route. This proved misleading when, two third of the way through the journey, I was led into a side street, to get to the main road by a shortcut, whose only exit was closed off with a 'residents only access' security gate. One hears of this happening with sat-nav car directions leading to dead ends on country lanes, but don't expect it in a heavily built up area on a walking route! Anyway, it only delayed me by a few minutes, and then an hour later I was on my way home again.
Kath and Rhiannon had arrived by the time I returned. Kath returns tomorrow as she and Anto work this weekend. Rhiannon will end her half term and 13th birthday week with us. The Clare and I will drive with her back to Kenilworth on Sunday. I'll stay for a couple of nights, and Clare for the week to look after Rhiannon, as Kath and Anto have another busy week of Wriggledance touring gigs in parts of the country where next week is half term, not this one. Such is the life of an artistic family. We're just glad to be able to support them, and have time together with them in between engagements.
After tea we went for a walk down to the river Taff. Rhiannon walked arm in arm with me and told me all about her birthday pizza party the night before. It was heartwarming, despite the powerful chilling effect from the strong north wind sweeping through the region. The evening highlight of was watching 'Death in the Caribbean' on the telly, a rather old fashioned detective story reminiscent of another era. And despite our various efforts, none of us guessed who the murderer was.
No news of the election of a Bishop this evening from Llandaff Cathedral. The electoral college was unable to come to a consensus, nor to a 2/3rds majority vote. Nobody knows why, as participants are bound by an oath of confidentiality. Those outside, anxious for a result to gossip about, fantasise and joke instead in Facebook postings. If we have to choose a new father-in-God, this is I suppose as good if not better than any other ways. Public electoral campaigns are to my mind anathema. Discernment has been entrusted to trustworthy electors, themselves elected to office. When discernment fails everyone is bound to worry somewhat. If the electoral college fails, the Bishops meet and appoint someone. How long we have to wait for this to happen has not yet been announced, as far as I know. Let's hope it happens soon.