…etc, etc, yeah, yeah.
I only received the hymns for this morning at 6 o’clock last evening. I hadn’t been due to play at all, but the first Sunday organist’s wife is just out of hospital, so of course he doesn’t want to leave her. It was also my turn on the coffee rota.
I had a phone call at 9 o’clock this morning that added to my worry level somewhat, and I didn’t leave for the papers until 9.45. Quickly whipped into Londis for some milk (for the coffee), into the papershop and I was in church just after 10. I didn’t know one of the hymns, but I sightread – that was all right. Practised them all, went and filled the urn, put out tables and chairs, spooned coffee into the cafétères, fetched mugs and plates, put out biscuits, unlocked back door (fire exit), then did various bits of churchwardenish duty and looked out music for the voluntaries (the music played at the start and end of the service and during Communion). It was ten to eleven. John arrived. He looked puzzled to be the first in the congregation – the sidesman had arrived, but that was all. However, by 10.59, there were 19 people there.
I played good*, you know? The first hymn, the one I’d had to learn, had eight verses. Eight!!(!) I counted and sang “One one one one one one one one. One-one oneone one one one one-on-one” etc (imagine the repeats until eight, when I stopped counting). Second hymn, a favourite tune, though tricky, went with aplomb. Another good one for the third. A slurp of wine and a wafer and lo! My sins were forgiven (because, of course, I truly repented) and then the fourth. I played, and it was a long one, with six verses of eight lines. I finished with a flourish … but the congregation didn’t. Bugger. I’d relaxed a verse too early.
Oh well. The coffee was good, and strong. I didn’t eat any biscuits – would I? I have eschewed biscuits. I’ll tell you when the first stone has gone, but not quite yet. Maybe next month.
Bank Holiday tomorrow. Have a splendid one.
*No, to be grammatically correct and say ‘well’ would give the wrong impression. I bluffed well, but I’m not a good organist – so I played good.