A Weekend of Two Halves

It was a weekend of two halves, Brian. One half of me was happy, the other half was exhausted. The drive down didn’t help; the M42 felt like being in a food blender shaking all the traffic about, whizzing it up and then slowing it down; the M5 wasn’t much better and then at the end of the M50 we hit a long tailback caused by a spinning roundabout. Nor was it over then; though the last part of the drive is delightful it does seem to go on forever twisting and turning and rising and falling and doing double pikes and looping the loop until you hardly know which way is up. So I wasn’t particularly rested when I got there.

Then the next day we all drove to Newport which, though less than 40 miles, took nearly an hour (twisty-turny-shake it all abouty) and back again when I had to follow the others because my phone had died. There actually is an immensely complicated gyratory system (I remember the Hangar Lane gyratory system because it was always on the traffic news) not far from Newport, and then you have to negotiate the inevitable one-way system. But I managed to park outside the cathedral itself, so that was good. It’s not a very big cathedral – like Leicester it’s a parish church elevated to that status because of the town it’s in – but I liked it; just inside there’s a big notice warning visitors to expect ‘citizens of different colour, women bishops, gay and lesbian couples, gamblers and addicts…’ and goes on to warn: ‘This is not a private club but a public space open to all.’ I’ll try to post a pic later. The bishop (yes, a woman) was great; warm and yet also serious, not lacking in gravitas but without pomposity. There were three deacons to be ordained and three priests; I had to sit at the top behind the altar, which made me feel simultaneously like one of the elect and one cast into the outer darkness; it also meant that most of the time I couldn’t see my sister. Behind me was a woman who I later found out thought I was my sister and wondered why I’d changed my mind about getting ordained! It was a moving service but not without amusing moments; when the priests were all presented with chasubles I couldn’t help thinking of Oscar Wilde (‘Oh, Doctor Chasuble!’) and I had to suppress a laugh when it came to laying hands on the heads of the new priests – ordinarily they would huddle round and all lay a hand on but as it was only a couple were allowed to and the rest raised their arms in front like a scene from Star Wars (‘greetings, earthlings…’)

Anyway, it was a very moving service and you can watch it on youtube if you wish. Here’s the link.

And lo, having been warned by angels – or the satnav – of the dangers of the M42, I did go back by a different way. And that was my weekend. Now I wait to get the results of the blood tests and hope to god they come up with something because this exhaustion is doing me in.

Kirk out