-There are some distinct advantages to adjusting one’s physiology in an international airport in the UK as opposed to North America. To start with, the cubicle door reaches right down to the floor, and the edge where the lock is, actually abuts the door frame. This has the benefit of some privacy against the curious and the prurient, and the added bonus of not being able to see me conducting Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ whilst enthroned. Yes - believe it or not - you can perform all the physiological necessities whilst being serenaded with classical music; even Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’, which might be singularly appropriate for those of a costive disposition.

Perhaps I give my sensitive flock too much detail for their tender minds, but I would wish to reassure you that Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ was only accompanied by the sound of my tooth wash gargling. -It remains only less than 48 hours since we drove out of Inkman Road, Agassiz, but it seems a world away. I was reassured by a photo of Gracie and Niko waiting for me on my cellphone when I reactivated it following our flight - our friends who kennel the hounds are very good, and send updates and photos every couple of days for we owners who fret over our four-legged companions. -More excitement followed.

A piece of advice here to those of you who haven’t yet been caught out by this yet - wear your glasses before you step into the shower, and read what is in the soap and/or shampoo. In an attempt to reduce the weight and volume of my luggage, I elected to leave out shower gel and shampoo - not that I have much need of the latter! 5 Sooo, having availed myself of the shampoo without incident, I began to wash myself with the soap provided…not long after beginning, there came upon the more tender parts of my anatomy a sensation of burning. Some of you may know what it is like to be cutting up a chilli and then absentmindedly rub your eye; it is a mistake you usually only make once.

The sensation I began to feel was not dissimilar and also produced intense lacrimation along with a sudden indrawing of breath and verbal expressions of horror and fury. When, after rapid and prolonged rinsing of affected areas, I was able to restore my heart rate to something that would not cause a cardiologist too much concern, I managed to find my spectacles and see what toxic substance had been left in my daughter’s shower for the unwary, I discovered that I had soaped myself with ‘Peppermint Soap’. -I only have one word of advice - DON’T.

-The local church is a ‘standard, old-fashioned, stone village church’, with a typically ‘standard, old-fashioned, congregation’ - though probably not stone. They had 25, including the vicar (lady) and four-piece music group; they used a lot of microphones, which worked well, but had no electronics apart from that, so we were using ‘standard, old-fashioned hymn books’. You might be amused to hear that the vicar, who covers another parish as well, had come from the other church where she had preached a Remembrance Sunday sermon, but this church was not doing Remembrance Sunday!

Why? Heaven knows. So she was slightly wrong-footed, and had to adapt her sermon to fit another topic - she chose Climate Change - which it almost did. I felt rather sorry for her. -What’s the message for this week? Be ready for anything, and don’t blame God if you get surprises; they come with the territory called ‘Life’.

Philip+


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