This morning, another funeral at St German's, another full church, another occasion to put my digital sound workaround through its paces. The fact that it worked fine wasn't as important to me as whether I can officiate in a calm and relaxed manner and operate the devices without feeling under pressure. Sure it's always possible to involve someone else to work the sound system, but the acid test is operating on one's own. It doesn't happen to me here in St German's, but I recall times in the past when I've had to cope single handed with a church funeral - 'Be Prepared' - old Boy Scout motto still holds good for me.
At the crematorium there was a music and photo presentation of the life of the deceased during the brief committal ceremony, appreciated by all present, from the reactions to it. The display screens used are positioned well enough for the congregation, but not for the officiating minister who is left looking at a sharp uncomfortable angle, once positioned, close to the front row of mourners. I mentioned this to the crematorium manager, who just happened to be on duty this afternoon. She thanked me for my feedback and said that the Bereavement Services team was reviewing the layout prior to refurbishing the chapel. The last makeover happened in 2000 at the time the smaller Briwnant chapel was added to give more capacity, so it was all new to me when I returned to work in Cardiff in 2002. The video screens were added around the time I retired, if my memory serves me well.
I was home again in time for lunch, and then went to Motorpoint to collect Ashley for another trip to the RadioNet suppliers in Chepstow. Once again we had pleasant weather for the journey, and despite it being a Bank Holiday weekend, little delay either way. In the evenings this week I continue to watch episodes of 'Inspector Borowski', learning new things as I go about life and social issues in Germany today. Apart from visiting Connie and Udo three years ago and Leipzig in November 1989, we've spent little time there since we were first married, as our connection with Clare's teenage pen friend faded away. All that would change if Owain were ever to move to Berlin to work. Still, in the meanwhile, it's comforting to discover that with a little concentration spoken German still makes some sense to me.