Today - church in the morning. It's always nice when we go together and sit together - we managed the former but not the latter, as the organist for the day arrived distinctly under the weather and too unwell to play. I took one look at her and suggested I stand in - or rather sit in. 'What hymns have you chosen?' - she was too flurried to remember and no-one else knew anyway.
With the help of a nearby member of the congregation I chose;
Praise my Soul the King of Heaven - because I know it
O come, O come, Emmanuel - because I like it, and haven't had a chance to sing it yet this Advent
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - because it is my absolute favourite and I would have it every Sunday if I were in charge.
I also made the discovery that my glasses work perfectly for reading and playing if I wear them upside-down, like that snooker player. However, they wouldn't stay on, so I turned them back the right way up, pushed them close up against my eyes and peered hopefully at the music. I found I could read most of the notes and make quite sensible guesses at the others this way. at least I now know what to ask for when I go back to the opticians.
Next, we met Son and Daughter for lunch at a place which is conveniently located for them and for us. We arrived an hour and a half early! Plenty of time for a toasted tea cake, coffee, and quiet relaxing morning.
I tried my hand at drawing people;
Imroving, I'd say. I don't think any of these faces are recognisable - portrait artists have nothing to fear from me!
Then it occurred to me it would be useful to spend the time writing Christmas cards. The shop had no boxes of cards for sale - just individual art cards for £3 each. Brainwave! I bought a sketchbook, and started making my own cards.
Quick suggestion of a Christmas tree on half a page, and write the message on the reverse (this took a bit of thinking through). I used up about half the book before the others arrives and we had lunch.
Once home, I finished off the cards using inktense pencils and water;
and wrote the envelopes. Oh. Forgot to photograph a tree after applying the water. They are all stuck in envelopes now. It's going to be tricky to complete my-Christmas card list; the printed list is in alphabetical order by surname, but I was using the contacts list on my phone, which sorts them by Christian name. However, I have now got another 20 cards randomly selected from the printed list ready to be posted.
I had a tricky phone call this evening - we've left a message on my god-mother's phone directing people to call our number for news, and tonight the first of her relatives called. My God-mother wouldn't tell anyone she was ill - her thoughtfulness has back-fired rather, because her death is now coming as a complete and unpleasant surprise to her friends and relatives, who are all now in their eighties and nineties. Tomorrow's task will be to go through her address book and send letters to anyone who looks likely to be friend or family. It's alright for us - we saw it coming, and the circumstances leading up to it so death has come as a mercy, not as a shock. But I do feel very sorry for people like tonight's caller.
Right. On to the next post - Pause in Advent #3 - Journeys - the Magi