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The Bouncy Castle of Life

Yesterday one of our new granddaughters was christened. If I make it sound as though we have new granddaughters lined up like DC10s on Runway 1 at Heathrow, that’s not far from the truth.

After the ceremony we all trooped back to young Emily’s house for lunch and there we were confounded to find the sitting room curtains tightly closed. Outside the sun was struggling through but inside we were in gothic gloom. There was a reason, of course. The unveiling of a bouncy castle calls for a certain degree of ceremony. And much as I dislike the look and even the name of these things I will concede it it was a very smart way to entertain half a dozen small children. 

 My assessment of most 21st century children is that they are lolloping whiners with the attention span of a flea. The bouncy castle animated them, thrilled them, kept them out of the house. They literally bounced off its walls with joy. Whatever it cost it was worth every cent. Put me down for 10 Euro towards the next one.

This morning I experienced Palm Sunday gridlock. I did a quick tally and there were between 1500 and 1700 people in church, all carrying long, poke-your-eye-out pussy willow branches. We were jammed shoulder to shoulder and anyone shorter than 5′ 3″ (that’s me, folks) was liable to get trampled under foot. It was not pleasant. Hard indeed to see the face of Christ in your neighbour when your head is jammed against his armpit. So now I’m kind of dreading Pascha night when the numbers will be even higher. Could this be late-onset agoraphobia?

Also today, a fruitless search for a book called (something like) Seasons of Grace. I’ve had it for years, I know it’s here somewhere, but our books are still where they were put after our move last year, shelved in haste in the interests of reclaiming the floor. They’re all over the lot and the House Librarian, aka Mr F, keeps not doing anything about it.

I wanted the book for a Robert Herrick poem, To Keep a True Lent  – yes, yes, I know I can get it off the Web. I just prefer reading it from a yellowing, dog-eared page. So far, no success. But scanning the shelves I did find a beautiful Everyman Pocket edition of George Herbert that I’d bought and quite forgotten. And really, if you want a poet for Holy Week, it doesn’t get much better than George Herbert. With a ribbon bookmark too.

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