Friday, 25 July 2008

A bit of catching up.


Somewhat predictably, the change of scenery hasn't actually inspired me to blog more, or rather, it probably would, except that getting married involves lots of little piecemeal jobs, so it's easy to get distracted from the serious business of posting my every thought for the benefit of mankind.

We've got wedding rings! That's exciting. Monica's been able to daydream about her wedding dress and what shoes she'll be wearing for approximately forever, whereas I only have a hire suit. We got two sacramentals ready to go, ready to signify our love and faithfulness in Christ - s'great. Apart from the material, there's nothing fancy about them, which suits me fine.

Yesterday I went to confession. Now, confession was pretty strange the first few times I celebrated it (though I think I looked forward to it from the beginning, because I could see the practical need for it, and the blessing of it from before my conversion) and then one gets more used to it, but confessing in a foreign language is pretty wei-ord. But it was good; I kind of cheated and wrote it all out on paper first, but I think that's understandable in the circumstances. The priest was Don Luca, a bit odd because he's a friend of Lorenzo, Vane's husband (Vane is Monica's sister - maybe I'll do a diagram so I don't have to keep saying this stuff) but he seemed to me to be a good confessor.

I'm really pleased to be so close to a church which is basically open the whole day, and I can easily go to daily mass while I'm not working. I might be able to manage it even if I were, as it's at 18:00. That's a big improvement on Sacred Heart, where you had to be retired or unemployed to get to a daily mass. At the moment there's morning prayer every working day, so Monica and I have been going and praying together. Don Luca is very singy, so we're getting to sing the liturgy too, which is great. However, the music group, such as it it, is on holiday, so I can't really get too involved in the music right now.

I was only able to go to confession yesterday because we're in the triduum. "What triduum?" I hear you say (that is, I hear a lone voice potentially say). I'm glad you asked; there's a crucifix in S. Lucia that's been venerated in the village since the 1500s I think. It's been associated with various miracles, I understand (I have no details), and in Offagna it gets not only it's own liturgical day, it gets a whole triduum in preparation. With it's own readings too I think, we had the Passover from Exodus and the Last Supper from one of the gospels yesterday.

The medieval festival is good. It's hard to find a lot to take pictures of, but there are people continually wondering round in medieval garb, trumpeting and drumming and generally making a medival nuisance of themselves. Monica likes the flag waving people a lot, and there's a trio of jugglers who are very good too. They spend most of the time doing jokes though, which is what performance is all about. We saw a fakir yesterday, who burnt himself and trod on broken glass, allegedly. I have a vague idea how all of it that I saw was done. Usually I haven't a clue how magicians do what they do. They had a bit of falconry too, which I enjoyed and which made Monica shrink into her seat. We saw this great performance the other day with period instruments. Unfortunately the loud drumming people were doing a less subtle performance nearby, so much of the nuance was lost. Especially impressive was the percussion - you have to be very skilful to make a tambourine sound good, but they managed it. There's a market in the town as well, and there's a stall were you can buy medieval instruments, and I wanted to buy all of them and give them a good home, but no can do.

The jousting was a bit disappointing - it's basically for the kiddies and is horrendously staged - it's worse than wrestling. Also disappointing is that there's a not inconsiderable number of "fortune-tellers" and tarot people that come for the festival, and they're all set up in the back streets by Monica's house. It's sad.

So I hope that was informative for you. Ta-ta for now.