Sunday, 14 February 2010

Lunch, Generals and Ash.

I went out to lunch yesterday in salubrious Stockbridge (Embra's Pimlico) and discovered that my hostess was a relative of the man who could have finished the North Africa campaign before Rommel arrived, if only Winston had decided not to go and try to rescue the Greeks from the Germans - General Sir Richard O'Connor, KT, GCB etc. He famously tried to escape from the Italians 3 times, on one occasion legging it with another General who was half Belgian and who had lost an eye and a hand in WWI. With such an inconspicuous looking colleague, the surprise was that they nearly made it to Switzerland before being recaptured! The one eyed bod (Carton-deWiet) was allegedly the role model for Brigadier Ben Ritchie-Hook in Evelyn Waugh's "Sword of Honour" trilogy. Life is full of little surprises!

It suddenly struck me that after 16 years of never having to think about what I was doing on Ash Wednesday (say Mass, ash people), I had to work it out a bit this year. Where will I go? (Rather than: "I'm on duty at St X's") When can I go? (Working 9.30-4.30, so an evening do is needed.) I'm suddenly back where a lot of members of congregations are: fitting Church into work and life, rather than fitting life into Church and work as I have done for years. Coo, it looks different from this angle! Luckily, my local Pisky incense shop is 4 minutes walk away and has High Mass at 7.30pm. Problem solved!

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