Saturday, 15 April 2017

A low key start to Paschal festivity

This morning we drove over to Bristol to visit Amanda. It was marvellous to see her in good form, in spite of her physical disability. She'd cooked a delicious quiche for lunch. No wonder her everyday carers enjoy working with her and admire her efforts to remain as creative and independent as she can. The last few years of coming to terms with her limitations have been really difficult for her, but what I find amazing is the way she's re-engaged with her Christian faith, tackling a Lenten study programme, and she's receiving Communion monthly, thanks to the Parish clergy of St Stephen's Southmead.

We get back home with time to spare, for me to prepare for the Easter Vigil at St German's and travel there. I was annoyed to drive along Cowbridge Road East to the junction with Cathedral Road, only  to find that transit of the the city centre via Stuttgartstrasse was blocked by road closures. I was obliged to make a U-turn and drive south around the city centre to get to Adamsdown. Fine. I know the route. But what about any out-of-town driver unused to negotiating their way around the city centre due to closures occasioned by sporting events in town? 

All that was required of the team implementing road closures was a Diversion notice at the previous junction with Neville Street, to avoid traffic chaos at the next intersection. Not a big ask, but sadly typical of the disregard for those having to cope with disruption caused by sporting road closures. The municipal alibi is that these events are good for the economy, but no account is ever presented publicly on the cost to the economy from pollution, traffic disruption and shoppers deterred from entering the centre any time there's a match on whether they're aware of this in advance or not.

Anyway I had allowed plenty of time to get to St German's, as I usually do. We were just eighteen for the Vigil. I can remember being less than half that number when I was at St John's city parish church. It's not a popular service. Perhaps most potential attenders are simply too busy getting ready for Easter to make the effort. Unless you're a member of an Orthodox Christian congregation. For them, this is one of the year's greatest events. And this year unusually our dates of Easter co-incide. Will we ever agreed on a common date for Easter I wonder.

I arrived after home after the start of the BBC Four episode of 'Department Q', an altogether dark and violent affair, pointing the finger at pathological behaviour among the ranks of those who are rich and powerful. It's not an unusual theme in contemporary drama,  but social reality seems to catch up on fiction somewhat more slowly.

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