To-day the family got together for breakfast at the First Basin café, overlooking the again-flooded Gorge (the swirling waters are over the swimming pool and lower lawn) - will it ever stop raining? - and our get-together was for a happy occasion: my Mum's birthday. Many happy returns!
Afterwards, we all headed off on various errands; I did as I do, and went to church for confession. It was as I find it ever: confession, as well as an exercise in honesty, and above all a signal instance of God's merciful ever-faithfulness ("we may be unfaithful, but He is always faithful"), is refreshing to the soul.
Later on, I recalled that this is the 26th of the month, and therefore, happy thought, the monthly reminder of the feast of St Philip Neri, on the 26th of May: I do believe his intercession for me, a stumbling half-devotee, who tried to see something of him and his Rome, has helped me now as in the past. Good Philip, pray for us to Christ-God, that He save our souls!
I had a pleasant conversation with David Schütz this morning, also, and made some varied purchases, now I've my wallet back at last:
- a new watch, with a proper Roman numeral clockface (my old one finally gave up the ghost in Rome);
- Primeval - Series Three (an entertaining sci-fi DVD set);
- John Hatcher, The Black Death: The Intimate Story of a Village in Crisis, 1345-1350;
- Kunzig & Broecker, Fixing Climate: The Story of Climate Science - and How to Stop Global Warming (I just love can-do tech fixes: man is the master of this God-given earth, so if we have unwittingly altered the climate, it is for us to assume control - take that, backward hippies!);
- Dante, Vita Nuova (his courtly love for Beatrice - for me, a memento of Florence the beautiful);
- Edgar Allen Poe, Tales of Mystery and Imagination (having just read Lovecraft's essay on supernatural horror in literature, this seemed a good choice).
I also visited my travel agent, and had her investigate the price of a trip to New Zealand in late January 2010. Scott, a friend of mine, is interested in joining me, so I hope all will work out. It will definitely be cheaper than holidaying in Italy, and I afforded that alright!
The TV is already on in the background, for the Grand Final soon begins, in unseasonably wet and cold Melbourne, with conditions that may be the worst in memory (hail is predicted). Carn the Saints!