A few of my friends have regretted some of the more personal blogs that especially characterised my Sabbatical ‘Journal’….. well I agree but in this different stage and time of my ministry I have tried to take some space to listen and understand people, places and what I hope to learn and share. In case you need reminding here is a picture of the front of my home – number 6 The Cloisters:
and just to explain – the door is in the arch on the bottom right
the window on the right is the kitchen
the window on the left is a wonderfully light breakfast room
my study is at the end of this floor hidden from sight
Saturday Mornings take a different shape here. This morning I woke early at 5.45 am and opened the curtains to see Windsor below – number six is high above the town. From the side window in my bedroom I have a wonderful view down across the River Thames. Another early riser – a small boat was making its way up the river disturbing the swans. A train pulls into the station – though I cant see any possible passengers!
Coffee and a quick look at my work priorities for the day lead into Chapel – I arrive in good time for Matins and sit in the silence. The sun shining through the East Window offers the promise of a bright day…. I resolve myself to take a walk. After Matins a reflect a little on the week that is passing before vesting for the Eucharist in the Rutland Chapel. I am especially moved by the forty or so prayers that have been written on small pieces of paper – and the obvious distress and need written out in all the worlds languages. We are here to pray steadily and faithfully day by day – participating in that prayer is a deep gift.
I catch up with a colleague and we share tips on our recent investment in an iPhone – boys with toys and all that!! I pick up my bag and wander down into town – the armed police and stewards are getting ready for a busy day of welcoming what may well be thousands of tourists. The planes fly over – making their descent after hours of flight – Air Iberia, Virgin, BA, and American Airlines silver plane glide over…. one can only but imagine what kind of activity and expectation fill the cabin.
Windsor Castle is a city built on a hill so I enjoy the walk down know that it will be harder walking back with my shopping. A few other early birds have the same idea. The dining room in the Harte and Garter is full – probably American tourists tucking into a full english. The coffee shop has a group of soldiers enjoying their coffee and chat, a mother comforts a child and the morning deliveries equip restaurants with all they need for the hungry (is anything cooked from fresh anymore?)
Waitrose is empty – the manager gathers round a group of staff delivering instructions – encouragement and warnings. My basket fills up – and I wonder if it is possible ever to go to the supermarket without spending £25! I catch a copy of the Guardian and an over priced Almond Croissant and climb the hill to the Castle. The sun is shining and the face of the Chapel is glowing. There is little sign of life in Horse Shoe Cloister despite the splendid sounds of the organist practising the art of music.
You get the picture! My thoughts today – well I should do my tax forms – read the TLS – pen a couple of letters perhaps – or do some more work on a new book I am embarking upon. People ask if I am settling in – steadily is the answer – of course I miss people and the familiar. My thoughts are especially with my friends in Temple Balsall and their annual Heritage weekend – the sun is shining – Praise Be!! I hope Kathy is keeping all in good order.
Thank God for Saturdays…
and by the way – this was worth the journey!!