But I have had a rather busy month or so.
I had a rather nasty attack of pancreatitis, which saw me in hospital for the best part of a week, and which was painful to say the least. Thankfully I was dosed up to the eyeballs with painkillers (who says modern medicine is a bad thing?), and slept for the majority of the first two days. I also had an ultrasound exam, and an endoscopy: not the most enjoyable experience of my life, but it was somewhat fascinating to see what my insides looked like. It turns out I have neither stomach ulcers, nor gall stones; and since I haven't been near any scorpions this only leaves one reasonable option, which is alcohol intolerance, which is somewhat upsetting, as I do enjoy the occasional Gin: I have been told not to drink for at least the next six months, possibly never again. This is something of a shock, but is emerging as not a bad thing.
The other thing which has happened is that I have moved house, job and city, all in one go. I have returned to Leicester, where I spent many formative years, to take up the post of Sacristan and cleaner to my home parish. I had an e-mail from Fr. Prior, offering me the post, as their Sacristan has gone on to pastures new, for whom I was very pleased, as he has been a wonderful inspiration and example to me.
I was somewhat shocked to be offered the post: it is a very difficult job to do well, as I'm discovering; but the community have been very kind and welcoming, and understanding of my mistakes &c, as I settle in.
The days are quite long, and fairly hard work- both physical and mental work, as well as prayer: as well as three- four Masses a day (at least one in the Extraordinary Form) there is Office twice daily, and also there is an active devotional life in the parish, with exposition on Wednesdays, and perpetual novena on Saturdays. I am also taking some getting used to the change in timetable and having to get up and got to bed two or three hours earlier than I'm used to. However, once I'm up, and have sung the Office and served Mass and it's not even 9am, it does feel all very constructive, and very worthwhile as well.
This is also where the not drinking comes in handy, as it means I'm less inclined to slip out for a pint or what have you. I am working to the principle that God has created me for some definite service, and, since He knows what He is about, has decided to remove this particular pleasure from me, for one reason or other, which I may not like in the short term, but he knows what he is about. It also means I'm more likely to make it to Lauds.