Newsletters are always prepared well in advance. By the time that you read this, the Parish Festival will have taken place and I hope that I will have returned safely from the trip to Venice.
A busy week ahead: on Tuesday evening there is the meeting for the parents to prepare for the First Communion classes. This will take place in the big hall at 8pm. We will explain the programme, give out the books and agree the timetable for the classes. The first class for the children is on Saturday morning in the big hall, starting at 10am.
Please come on time. At 11.30 we will move to the Church for practice of music and readings. The Mass of inscription will be at 9.30 on 22nd September when the Children will receive their crosses. It looks as if there will be about 30 children in the class this year.
The Confirmation group meet for their first Class in the Angelus room at 6.30pm. Once again Karl from St. Matthew Academy will be the teacher. The class will take about an hour.
The Wives Fellowship is coming to the Church for a service on Tuesday at 11.30am.
Friday is the feast of St. Matthew so that there will be special celebrations at the school.
On Saturday there are two weddings in the Church at 12.30 and 2.30 so that it may not be possible to have confessions this week.
I should be going to Purley for a meeting of the Children’s Society on Wednesday, but there is a meeting at the school at 12.30 and I have to be back for the Confirmation class, so I fear that I may not be able to fit it all in.
The Parish Council meeting is next week – on 25th September. I hope to have agenda papers for you next week.
In the garden, after a great deal of patience, I was beginning to produce a splendid basil plant. To my great annoyance, some birds attacked it and ate most the leaves. It is now back in the house for some tender care in the hope that it will survive. From school days, you will remember Keats poem on Isabella on the Pot of Basil.
I wonder how she managed to make it grow: perhaps the pigeons in Florence are less aggressive.
So you will need a quotation now:
Piteous she look’d on dead and senseless things,
Asking for her lost Basil amorously:
And with melodious chuckle in the strings
Of her lorn voice, she oftentimes would cry
After the Pilgrim in his wanderings,
To ask him where her Basil was; and why
‘Twas hid from her; for cruel ‘tis, said she,
To steal my Basil-pot away from me.
And now a prayer:
Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us love that which thou dost command; through Christ Jesus Our Lord. Amen.
London Streets are changing. It is curious to travel on a no 9 bus down St. James and eastward along Pall Mall. I consulted my 1953 Central Area bus map and even in the heyday of public transport, buses did not travel along Pall Mall. It is good to see the Routemasters on the 9, including the silver one. Also one now has a curious fleet number in the First Group series, though it is possible to determine its real identity from the registration number.
You might like a recipe for kedgeree. You will need some flakes of fish, possibly some pieces of salmon and some drained long grained rice. Place a buttered bowl in a pan of simmering water. Add fish and rice in alternate layers with some chopped hard boiled eggs, some small pieces of butter and plenty of pepper and salt and if you wish, some cream. Cover with foil and leave to heat for about 25 minutes, mixing with a wooden spoon from time to time. Serve with some chopped parsley.
And some more news about the great nephew: his mother has now started her medical studies. Grannie comes to look after him for a couple of days a week when he is not at the nursery. He is beginning to talk now – if he is like the rest of his family, he will never stop. Already he is moving on from wooden bricks to more advanced things: I will have to look out for a Meccano set soon, though is a risk that he might eat the nuts and bolts. There is a risk that I might be first reserve to look after him. Years ago you may remember, her mother and her sister used to come to say with me during half terms from school with the task of driving them back afterwards.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon