Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I simply have to get a good raucous bunch of singers together for dinner, soon. Caroline, Jane, Joan, James - of course what I really need is my family of origin. Volunteers? Or maybe we need a campfire. I have had such good times, in Peru, Scotland, Morocco, Africa. Seems like I'll have to climb again to get into the right company.

One of the best was at sea level, when Felix and I went round the back of Tralee in a caravan drawn by Ned the horse - he was the one who knew the way, made me realise what people meant by horse sense. Anyway, we tied up in a field behind the bay, Felix went off following his girl radar, then came back with the idea of arranging a camp fire. We scrabbled together some wood and suitable stones, Felix went to every tent and caravan he could find and told them to come when the sun went down, then we sat down with ginger beer and crisps and people drifted in with their offerings. One had a flute, one a guitar, one a bottle of whisky which was handed to the person who started a song. One distinguished lady drifted back and forth to come up with good quantities of wood - when I commented, she said vaguely, "I might have dismantled a fence." We sang and ate and drank until rain stopped play; next morning I woke my boy with the smell of good Irish bacon and field mushrooms frying. When I said that was a wonderful thing he had arranged, bringing people together like that, a real gift, he thought a moment and said, "Yes. It was the gift of congregation", which ever after I regard as a charism.


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