There was just one church service in the benefice this morning, in our smallest church in the six parishes. It stands alone in a field, with a track leading to it, a mile or so from the village it serves. It has no electric supply and is heated and lighted by gas and candles, and someone pumps the organ by hand*. It is warm and welcoming and a pleasure to visit.
The Sage expected that I’d cycle. It’s three or four miles away, I suppose, which may not sound a lot, but bear in mind that I am fat and unfit and it’s winter. However, I clambered awkwardly into the saddle and set off, promising to bring the papers on my return some three hours later.
And so I did.
I have rewarded myself with a slice of toast and Patum Peperium – Gentleman’s Relish, if you prefer. Not quite so rewarding was the soup, which was made from six carrots, two sweet potatoes, a red pepper, a chunk of ginger and two oranges, quartered; all cooked in ham stock and then liquidised, the oranges having been removed. I think it was those last that didn’t quite work. It’s all right, but I suspect will prove a little unusual for the Sage’s taste, and I’ve at least four pints of it. Still, no need to wonder what I’ll have for lunch for the next week.
I think, since I am unusually free for the time of day, I’ll pop down to the pub for a pint of John’s home-brew.
*Look, please read no dodgy meaning into this at all. I am not being crude or suggestive here. A church organ is powered by bellows, usually electrically operated, but in this case manually worked with a lever.