Blessings be upon you

So I had a really crazy day yesterday in which I cycled 34 miles (I just mapped that. I had thought it was 25. No wonder I’m so exhausted today), viewed 8 properties, made a rental offer on one, bought presents for my sister’s confirmation and a birthday party, went to Mass, went to birthday party and ate my body weight in schnitzel and mushrooms, and went home.

Re the house – yay! Hopefully the landlady will accept our offer on Tuesday and we can start shelling out absurd quantities of rental deposit.

But what I wanted to talk about was Mass. I try not to talk about church much so bear with me. I went to a church I’d never been to before because it was in the right place at the right time, and it was very pretty and a devout service with a good sermon and no singing and generally at least 8/10 on the church scale.

The priest is clearly used to tourists and visitors because he asked the (30/40-strong) congregation to introduce themselves on their way out – he had a few questions or a quick remark for everyone, which I found touching – he actually made it quite hard to be anonymous.

I thanked him, wished him a pleasant weekend and took a newsletter. He could obviously tell from my fluorescent jacket and helmet in my hand that I was a cyclist, and as I passed through the door, I felt a hand on my shoulder for a fraction of a second; a blessing in passing.

It really struck me – this priest had never seen me before in his life, but felt that if I was to face the streets of London, I needed a blessing to protect me.

Despite the fact that the LondonersonBikes’ choice (Jenny Jones 1st preference, Ken 2nd preference because he would have installed Jenny as his cycling guru) was not elected and we are stuck for another four years with a man who claims Elephant & Castle is fine to cycle through as long as you keep your wits about you, which is a flat out lie, may we soon have streets where no blessings for cyclists are necessary.

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