Seventy two years old today, and feeling grateful to be fit and active, blood pressure notwithstanding. After a lazy start to the day, I spent a long time on the phone with my sisters - Pauline 88 and June 82 - still their younger brother, with lots of memories to share. Then I drove to Dinas Powis to collect Clare from her study group, and then go to B&Q at Culverhouse Cross to buy compost and bedding plants.
As we approached the junction at which one turns off into the superstore's car park, a car crash happened about 20 metres in front of us. I didn't see the collision, only the immediate aftermath. One car stopped in the land ahead of me with pieces falling off its front end, and another car in the adjacent lane a few metres further on with a smashed rear end, including its rear window. A woman emerged from the car carrying a child in a safety seat, heading for the central reservation where the other car was, rather than the roadside. It seemed nobody was injured, just very distressed. At that moment, I didn't see there was anything I could do to help except drive very carefully around the cars and out of the incident zone, to make way for police and emergency services to arrive, and relieve the congestion.
Thankfully, that busy area is well covered by Police traffic cameras, and I knew the incident would have been picked up on very quickly, perhaps even before a 999 call was received. We heard sirens about ten minutes later. By the time we emerged from the store, an ambulance was on the scene, as well as a police car, and traffic was moving past the incident zone. The stretch of the A48 from Culverhouse into town is almost always busy, and the speed limit is mostly 40mph, and mostly monitored by radar controlling cameras. I think this is rather too high for the traffic flow through a built up area, and tend to stay at 30mph as a precaution, but there's no guarantee that someone behind overtaking won't misjudge their position and rear-end my car, but I'm grateful it's not happened to me so far.
After a late lunch, I visited Fr Mark our Vicar to go over the outline plans for the coming months, when I'm here and able to help him out, after Fr Phelim moves to St German's. Until there's a new bishop, the thought of a replacement parish priest is not on the agenda, the same as Fr Phelim's licensing. It's a most unfortunate consequence of the failed election process and subsequently stalled appointment by the Bench of Bishops. It may be nothing will happen now until after the Church in Wales' Easter meeting of the Governing Body in Easter Week. Under the circumstances, the bishops may feel the need to report back publicly on all that's happened in the full glare of the publicity surrounding events. Well, we'll see. The Church in Wales is in uncharted waters. There have been failed electoral processes followed by episcopal appointments in the past, but not in a world where social media and citizen journalism have powerfully voiced concerns over accountability.
When I returned home, Mary from across the road came over bringing scones for tea. Clare had bought a chocolate cake as an interim birthday cake. I get the official one on Sunday - an Eastertide Simnel Cake, one of my all time favourites. After an early supper I drove over to St German's to celebrate the evening Mass of the day, for half a dozen. Then, an hour's telly, and bed earlier than usual, to make up for early rising these past few days.