Monday, 12 July 2010

Friends Old and New - plus Ghosts

Vernacular, Mrs Acular and the Twins Aculae are now back from happy holidays.

We are at that happy stage in life where we can go on our jollies without being robbed by the tour operators and the hotels 'simply because it happens to be a school holiday'! Glady, we can toddle off just before the greatest volumes of red-scorched white man-flesh goes on display, the myriad snot-and-ice cream kids dig their endless sandy holes and the plethora of organised mums and their 'packing lists' descend on every coastal haunt known to civilised humanity. We went to Newquay where we avoided the other visitors and spent our time in a wonderful hotel  - the Sands Resort - that caters for families like us: parents with toddlers. Granted, to be a guest at this hotel you have to be earning squillions a year (or bag a really neat offer which is how we managed it), but it was a great place away from the naked navels and blond tresses of the Newquay surfing set. 

Part of the reason for the choice of timing was the Ordination to the Priesthood of my bezzy mate, Fr Simon A. Bone and his First Mass (about eight minutes after we left the wonderful Truro Cathedral). Five hours of good liturgy in one day - marvellous (isn't Jesus awesome?). Even the Twins Aculae sat through every minute happily, such is the quality of their up-bringing and the resilience of their excellent mother! Both services were emotional and finely done, and I pray that Simon has as good a ministry ahead of him as he clearly deserves. If you want to meet a good man, look this guy up. It was my pleasure, at the ordinations to sit next to a wonderful Australian bloke who liked wandering around taking pictures during the service (not just me who likes to do that then). He had a wicked sense of humour and we had a right good laugh. That he was the Archbishop of Wales' Chaplain made this interesting - but finally, another collar wearer a bit like me in terms of outlook - bloody marvellous! Nice to meet you, Chris!

Well, my face and arms burned as they do; my gut is somewhat larger that the week prior; I am bankrupt; I am happy. We had a wonderful time, I did lots of good pondering, I successfully won the World Cup (iTouch App version) and ploughed through most of a hitherto unread Mario Puzo novel. I got to watch the world-class 'Rev.'  in my hotel room (oh my word, how I identify). The kids were happy, Mrs. Acular was happy - we didn't divorce despite the close proximity that we enjoyed for a whole week. And I thought of ten (yes, ten) blog posts - not including this one - that I can scribble down in the days ahead!

Then a funny thing happened. A ghost, an apparition emerged - one that was born of my former retailing days. In carpet retail of a particular brand, it was the habit of the Inquisition to visit the store of a given manager during his holiday - to dig the dirt, the discover evidence, the build a case. I knew many managers who were relived of their livings two days after coming back to work (I merely attracted a demotion in the mid-90s for a policy oversight) - so in the later hours of yesterday, the old paranoia re-emerged. It wasn't very nice - and wholly irrational, but a surprise nontheless. In the end, Monday morning was the same as all Monday mornings (mostly), and so it is that The Vernacular Curate remains.

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