Sunday 14th April 2013.
I hope that you enjoyed your Easter break. Gradually a hope that the Spring is coming at last after weeks of cold.
Good progress with the works: you will have seen that the decoration at high level has been completed and the next task is to attend to the floor. Also the new railings have arrived at the entrance to the Church.
No feast days this week as we are continuing to celebrated Paschal tide – the days after the Resurrection. On these days the first reading at Mass is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
Not long now until the Confirmations. The young people have completed their course and there will be a rehearsal on the morning of the 27th. One or two adults have asked if they could be confirmed as well and I would be grateful if they could contact me to ensure that they can be included on the day.
Today I have put out a consultation booklet for the young people to obtain their ideas on things that we might add to the garden. Please add young ideas and maybe a drawing: I cannot promise that we will be able to do everything, but your ideas will be helpful.
On the Bank Holiday it was most interesting to arrive at Waterloo station and find the Great Western express to Penzance about to depart. It had been diverted from Paddington because of works at Reading. After Salisbury it was taking the route through Westbury to Taunton. There was a Southern pilot man in the cab to show the route to the Western driver. It could have taken the old Southern Route all the way to Exeter St. David’s but this would have been too much for GW – which saw the Southern West of England route as a rival.
Some familiar lines from Eliot which always appear at this time of the year:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dead tubers.
In Spain in mid-April, the weather would suddenly change: cold and damp to the middle of the month but then the sun would come out and we would begin to look forward to the warm days. A few weeks to start revising for our exams which would be at the beginning of June.
Here is a recipe from Andalusia. Fry a chopped onion gently with some olive oil. Add a cup of rice and cook for a minute or two and then add two glasses of sweet sherry. Then move to a bigger pot and add some chicken stock. Towards the end add a knob of butter and seasoning to taste. This goes well with cold meat or fish.
A prayer for today:
Teach us, O Lord, to fear without being afraid: to fear thee in love that we may love thee without fear, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Diana Lau has asked me to say how much her family appreciated the presence of so many people at Joe’s funeral Mass on 22nd March and also for their very generous contributions to the British Heart Foundation – a cause that was very dear to him.
In spite of the cold weather, I am pleased to see that the roses are starting to bud once again – the olive tree is still there but is hoping for some warmer days. The daffodils have not done very well this year and some have not made it at all. There is a bit of rhubarb, but this is quite slow at present. I look forward to seeing some blossoms on the apple tree. The monkey puzzle tree at the end of the garden is still there, but progress is slow. Also the first buds have no appeared on the hydrangeas.
At the moment some stressful days as exams are due to start within the next few weeks. Prayers and best wishes for all who are taking important exams at this time. I hope that the A level papers will not be too obscure.
The great nephew was on his travels over the Easter period: he went to Prague (with his parents). I will have to ask him about this. I was last there in 1980 and I suspect that a few things may have changed since then.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon