Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Relocation Day

Time this morning to get the chaplains' apartment cleaned up and re-organised ready to welcome my successor Canon Bruce Duncan. But first we had to go up to Porta Catania to get our new boarding passes printed off at Edicole, not to mention a new info sheet for the church notice board advetising the correct contact details for the British Consular Service in all Italy. Clare waited half an hour to be served in the Post Office, to obtain a top-up for the re-chargeable phone card, having waited even longer on New Year's Eve to be served and be told that the electronic system for effecting this had already closed down.

Then there was all the cleaning to do, three loads of washing to run, then hang out to dry, but today was not good drying weather with lines on a shady terrace, so some clean bed linen had to be left to finish off drying on an internal airing rack. When Kath Anto and Rhiannon came up for a last look around and farewells, we walked our packed luggage down to the Sisters' house of hospitality, on the bend in via Pirandello overlooking the Guardiola, and showed them where we'll be staying for the next three nights.

After we'd waved them off from the Convent, there was some food to transfer and our rucksacks to remove before handing over the key to a spic and span house to Salvatore, making our goodbyes at three thirty. He'd been a little exercised earlier, wanting us to leave at two thirty. He'd been told to send a taxi to meet the incoming flight at that hour, but the flight left Gatwick at two thirty and the error wasn't been picked up until after the taxi had gone. A little more concrete interest in Chaplain's travel plans wouldn't go amiss here, I think.

By four were were enjoying the afternoon sun and birdsong in the Convent garden with a cup of coffee in hand, putting for the moment all anxieties to one side and enjoying time to think and breathe. We then joined the Sisters for Adoration and Vespers and cooked rice pasta with chick peas and stewed veggies for supper. Two days ago Suore Sylvana the community Guardiana handed Clare the keys of the house and said with a warm smile: "Vous ĂȘtes libres!" What a great Gospel gift from people who really know what freedom means.

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