Thursday 29 October 2015

Taking the Slow Road

And playing the long game.

Over here in the land of fruit tea bread, the daily rhythm of getting up at early o'clock to teach, tootle and mark is brought to a brief halt for half-term.

The time has worked out well; concerts on the two Saturdays and visits to seaside friends on the two Sundays. In between, visits to my parents for Dad-sitting, mobile phone sorting for my Mum and being at home.

This half-term, I do all sorts of great jobs which include deep cleansing the house, clearing the garden, addressing all my Christmas cards and making the Christmas cake.

I have audited the small pots of stew, liver and bacon, soup and mashed potato in the freezer and calculate at three homemade ready meals a week, I have enough dinner to see me to the end of term. I have tackled my house insurance, renegotiated it down to a reasonable sum and put the savings to a far better use. ( I declined the bit where you can insure the contents of your freezer. ) If Kids Company had adopted this manner of house-keeping they might be able to talk us through what they have done with £46 million of our money. But I digress.

And then there was The Synod. Apart from spawning new words. Synodality? Don't bother explaining, it reminded me of one time on 29th June. I ran from my classroom to a church a mile from work to get to a lunch-time Mass, because there was a concert that night so I couldn't go then. When we got to the point where you might expect the Creed, the Priest asked the congregation if he thought we should do it properly and say it. We stared back blankly. Not a sound. Can't remember what happened. You could imagine that anyone who attends a Mass which involves missing their whole lunch hour, might be into trying to doing it properly. Or not. Then I ran back to work in time for pm registration, which I am legally obliged to take. Failure to take the register, which can only be completed by a qualified teacher, can land you in a formal disciplinary process. Fairly basic. Can you account for every child in the building? Not something you can be vague about. Saying the Creed on a Solemnity? Clearly lots of wiggle room.

Whilst that was going on in Rome, I have been reading a book about Padre Pio. It's about the investigations carried out in the 20s and has lots of the interviews conducted with him and other people around him at the time. It's rather repetitive, because they all get asked the same or very similar questions. The repetition could be annoying if you read it in one go, but is fine for short bursts on trains. What interests me is the nature of the questions, because it reveals what was considered important then. And what was important was how well Padre Pio lived his monastic rule, his daily life, how he interacted with other people. Interestingly, he is regarded as a good religious, but not exceptional. He just carries on hearing Confessions, saying Mass and attending the Office. Relentlessly. Whilst the drama unfolds around him.

Anyway, I shall continue to do my things, which involve reading the lives of the saints and ignoring much else. It's interesting that Christ the King EF, coincides with the clocks going back at the end of October. And yes, I know it's a very new feast. But it all ties in with the seasons.