So my day was all mapped out neatly.
"Café readers" 10 - 12
Find a sandwich in town
Bookshop committee 14 - 16 in Villenave.
But how often have you looked at a map and found that it doesn't QUITE reflect reality?
We were nicely on time for Café Readers, though Catrin being off school meant that our morning wasn't quite as energetic and disciplined as it would normally be.
There ensued a lively and wide-ranging discussion. If we had used theological words we would have said that we were discussing the nature of sin, I think.
Then home, where at 13:55 my phoned buzzed to remind me that there was the bookshop committee.
AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH I F-O-R-G-O-T!
Now for the last bookshop committee I tried to get to Villenave by public transport and failed because a late bus sabotaged all my connections. This time I had quite simply forgotten to go.
So I quickly booked a Citiz car (formerly Autocool) and hopped on the bus to Pessac Centre.
On the way I looked at the agenda for the meeting. Ah ! So that's what's going on !
I contemplated turning back, but no, I had to be there.
Into the Peugeot. Down through the campus to the rocade exit 16. Off at 18 Villenave. Quickly, quickly. I arrived 40 minutes late.
Into a discussion of accounts. Do we stay in the MB grand centralised accounting system in Switzerland or do we paddle our own canoe. Though there would be advantages in going it alone, for the moment we're holding back. I proposed that some competent person from one of the churches audit our accounts.
Needy people who come to the bookshop for support. Well it isn't a day centre, though we want to welcome people. Basically our folk are doing well at this.
Volunteers. What about folk who want to help but who don't share the basic evangelical convictions of the shop (who come from churches like "The School of Praise" or the "Prophecy Center (sic)". What about a trial period to see if it works out?
Future chairman of the committee. Having missed the last meeting (see above) I wasn't sure how far this discussion had gone, but it now became clear that there had been a conspiracy to choose a new chairman, a Welsh one. After a brief discussion during which we agreed the desirability of someone called something like Pierre Dupont, we agreed that I should insert an apostrophe in my surname for correspondance purposes. To be honest, I am the best candidate, maybe even the only realistic candidate at present. So, fearing Pat's reaction, I prayerfully accepted.
All business being concluded I talked with a chap who is a pastor in one of the churches in the city. There's been upheaval in this family of churches. One new guy lasted about a year because of personality clashes. It's a pity. He was young, tall, gifted and good looking. (Probably doesn't help!) Another pastor is leaving to take up a post in the north. As for my friend, his congregation had voted not to renew his contract, so he's taking a leave of absence to try to set up an odd jobs business. I told him we had lots to occupy him and I'd be in touch! And also that we'd meet up for a coffee and to pray together. Another one bites the dust.
Back to Pessac in the car, then bus home to face the music.
Pat went rather quiet. Asked for clarification about the weight of duties involved, I made light, as anyone would. She reflected. And said, "Yes, that's good, that makes sense."