I’m glad to say that the Bishop was awfully nice and gave a good sermon (and not too long into the bargain). There were, disconcertingly, more clergy in one country church than I’ve ever seen before. Whole piles of them. No one was wearing their most elaborately embroidered vestments; the Bishop himself was in a tasteful shade of maroon, topped with black, then white – all this would not be for me as I’m far too vain and that many layers would make me look Fat. When shaking his hand for the second time, I was holding my stave which is about 7 foot long and since I am little (heightwise, at any rate) it wavered and nearly came to blows with his Crook (I guess there is a proper name for it but if I ever knew it I’ve forgotten. Unless it’s a crosier. Which it could well be). He looked momentarily alarmed, as well he might.
I redeemed myself later, when he arrived at the village school where food and drink were on offer. No one else hurried to meet him so I bobbed up greetingly and offered to get him a drink. He brightened considerably as he noticed the glass in my hand and asked for red wine; I used the opportunity to get a refill.
We had a list of guests for whom we had reserved seats as they had to say a Few Words, so each of us looked out for the ones we would recognise. I had the pleasure, after my lamentations the other day about an inability to remember faces or names, of greeting several people by name, who looked startled because they didn’t know who I was until I told them. This included our local Member of Parliament, but I spared him by saying “we have met, but you won’t remember me, I was the governor who showed you round *my village* school a couple of years ago.” Mind you, decent bloke though he is, he has a little way to go yet to match our last MP John M@cGregor, who remembered everyone to a disconcerting degree. Once – he was Secret@ry of St@te for Educ@tion at the time – he quizzed me about my opinions and then, rather gratifyingly, used them in his next House of Commons speech. I’m not sure what they were, it was a long time ago.
By the end of it all my legs were not working very well, as I wore entirely impractical shoes and stood in them for rather over five hours. The first two times trolling up and down the aisle were not too absurd, but self-consciousness kicked in on the third occasion and I felt entirely foolish.
Today, I remembered – with more than a week to go, yay! – to ask a suitable person to read the Roll of Honour at the Remembrance Sunday service tomorrow week. And check that someone has ordered a poppy wreath.*
A bonfire party tonight. We’ll have a few fireworks tomorrow I expect. And make a guy. The Sage’s father’s name was Guy – we always celebrated his birthday on Bonfire Night, though after his death we found his birth certificate and found that wasn’t his birthday after all, it was the day before!
*Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall. I checked around to see if there was anything else I should do. “Bugler?” asked Sue. I know no bugler. I hope someone does – or has a CD. I just don’t think the Last Post will sound the same on a clarinet. Or a saxophone.