The tourists don't know what to do with themselves today. It is cold. It is windy. It is rainy! We are all trying to use umbrellas but they keep turning inside-out in the storm. And this morning before the shops opened, everybody had to wander around out of doors like lost sheep. It was sad.
But I wasn't sad. There was a purpose to my step, for this is a Day of days. It is Palm Sunday! When we were little, Palm Sunday always had a feeling of expectancy about it, because we knew what what coming Next. This was only the beginning.
Today as I entered St Ia's Church, the organist was in great form with a splendid prelude. His foot pedals were always right on, powerful, supportive. And the place was full! I chose a pew 2nd from the front, with a view of the choir dead ahead.
Soon the robed Vicar entered and asked us to kindly come forward and into the Lady Chapel. We should bring our hymnals and our palm Crosses, as we were to be a part of the processional. Something unexpected! We all squeezed into that small spot companionably - the young and old, the ever-present visitors and the weekly faithful.
Soon the hymn struck up, the organ taking the lead. The Processional followed the choir and the Cross, around the inside of the church twice, and set the service in motion. Sometime during the 2nd reading a gentleman slipped into the front pew. I didn't really notice it, but after the service he turned around. "I was late," he began. I set my clocks ahead one hour, and then arrived here at 10 only to find the service had already begun!" I told him they had changed the service time to 9:30 today. He was clearly disturbed by this. "I did so want to be here for the whole of Palm Sunday. Was there a processional?"
"Oh yes," I explained. "It was lovely. We started in the Lady Chapel and followed the Cross around..."
"I missed it, then!" he interjected. "Now I shall have to wait for another year!"
And on that sad note, out he went. I felt terrible.
I wanted to tell him about the Sunday Carvery at The Castle Inn, but his exit was too swift and I, too slow. So I took my own self off to it, indulging in the beauty of foods perfectly cooked. The Chef was clearly delighted to see his first customer, and began vigorously slicing away. I just have to show you:
The SconeLady's eyes are bigger than her stomach..
This second time at the Carvery really did make me wish there were Pubs where I come from. Pubs with dogs, and cheery fires, and music, and friendly locals all chatting with each other. There are no politics in Pubs, I think. No one would take them seriously if there were. It would all seem rather silly. Why fight when you can be inside such a cozy and congenial space? Why spoil it?
And you should just taste the roast parsnips. An absolute dream.
See you along the way!