The downside of unmasked faces

 We got back Tuesday evening and a happy and full week of activity awaited us. Wednesday was Bible study and prayer at the home of a couple who live in one of the suburbs - Mérignac. It's quite a hoof from the tramline, so you switch to the bus and the journey, though not long, takes up to an hour. Sometimes I reserve a pool car but it takes just as long because of having to get around the city centre, then negotiate a maze of different routes. The evening was good, however.

Wednesday morning we had met up to work through the statutes for the association which will run the café-style centre in front of the church building. We met in one of the local coffee-shops and I drank a great flat white to kick-start my little grey cell.

Then it was preparation. We changed our preaching schedule a while ago but, still high on San Sebastián, I totally forgot so launched into reflexion on Luke 3, instead of the end of Luke 2. Luke 3 is a fascinating chapter and Rory will preach that this coming Sunday.

I also needed to prepare for our Saturday afternoon on Worship. I was covering the sections entitled "How we got here" and "How do we do this". Sylvain had the central section "what do we do, then". Powerpoint slides work really well as an aide-memoire, but I also attached notes to them just in case.

On Friday Catrin, Froim, Pat and I met up in town. I had the beginnings of a sore throat, and so did Catrin and Froim. By Saturday morning I was concerned.

I did my webcast to North Wales (on Luke 18:15-17) then hopped off to the pharmacy.

I described my symptoms and said my voice had to last through the weekend, then I could flop. 

"Do you have anything to wash up your nose?"


"OK you need this. It's often because of nasal infections that your throat gets inflamed. Also this, it's essential oils that are anti-bacterial and anti-viral. You aren't asthmatic are you?"


"hmmm. Here we are" It was a herbal syrup for singers.

Should I do a covid test?

"You could"

Could or should.

"Well, perhaps if the symptoms change...

Now I am not convinced by herbalism or by homeopathy or by flower therapy. Basically if it isn't produced in a massive petrochemical plant somewhere I can't see how it can have any beneficial effect on the human body. But at the same time the pharmacist is the expert in this exchange, so I paid my money and went home to squirt sea-water up my nose and to drink the sweet syrup of elderberries and thyme.

And I added Olbas oil, Potter's pastilles and aspirin gargles.

I got through the weekend, and before setting off for the worship gathering I did a negative covid test. 

Saturday afternoon started with a delightful meal in the sunshine of the courtyard, then our time of discussion, explanation, review and exploration.

Sunday was also a good day, with Jesus in the temple amongst the teachers, 

Incidentally, were the teachers in the temple amazed at the precocious 12 year-old, or was it something else? Was it the fact that he thought the whole Bible was about him (like in Luke 24), AND that he thought the temple was his Father's house...

But Monday came. 

Well what do you expect if you've been wearing masks and keeping away from people. I had a raging sore throat that was rapidly developing into a nasty hacking cough. 

Bring back masks, that's what I say !


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