Saturday, August 09, 2014

...and sunshine and storm...

...and prayer and singing and fun.  Along the pilgrim way to Walsingham, Auntie was invited to give a talk about St John Paul, and it was an extraordinary experience to be doing this to the line of pilgrims as we made our way along by great fields of sugar beet and banks of fern and bramble. People picked the lovely blackberries - they are so huge and juicy this year, and have arrived so early - as we walked along.

A good number of seminarians among the pilgrims - some for various English dioceses, some for France, one already in the white robes of a Dominican friar.  The pilgrim walk on this first day is 20 miles, and finishes at Swaffham. Here, we rested at the convent school in the town centre - buckets of cold water for sore feet, a young Dominican sister opening a great box of ice-creams for us all,  much talk and laughter. Evening Prayer, and then a hearty supper of  pasta-n-cheese. One of the pilgrims was marking a birthday, and we sang "Happy Birthday" to her, and then the French pilgrims struck up again in French, and then followed Polish, Czech...

As we finished singing, the rain fell. Then it came in torrents, and TORRENTS. We had been sitting under the wide porch of the school sports hall, and fled inside as the storm arrived. I  was due to be taken on to Walsingham, for a meeting of the Ladies Ordinariate Group (LOGS), and the indefatigable Wayne, organiser of the travel/maps/etc for the pilgrim group, saw no reason to change the plan, so off we set in his jeep, water bucketing from the sky. A jeep is a great vehicle for weather like this. I arrived as the rain was lessening, and the LOGS were there, in the lovely peaceful shrine, with wine and a welcome.

2 comments:

Malcolm McLean said...

My John Paul II clematis has been attacked by snails. Twice. They ate it. Being a biochemist, I kidded myself that it would make what we call secondary metabolites in response, to make itself inedible. No, it grew back nicely, then the snails ate it again. I thought it was dead, but there was a tiny bud. A snail ate that.
Following advice, I bought two copper brackets for plumbing pipes. I've made them into a circle and place them round the stem. Apparently copper is highly toxic to snails, and the won't cross it. A tiny leaf has appeared at the base of the stem.

Now it raining again, and the snails will attack. Let's see if the copper ring will hold, and the JPII clematis survive.

Unknown said...

Only you could make a downpour sound so much fun.