Monday, June 25, 2007

Blog Road Trip: London

[Today's post comes from the fabulous Sara, who has an affinity for surreal situations. The saintly talk continues as we nip over to London...]

Was yesterday a day for religious experiences?

Yesterday, the doorbell rang as I drooped around my home: ignoring the many chores that were somewhat overdue; feeling somewhat morning-afterish (well, more afternoon-afterish - it was 4pm); dressed in clothes appropriate to the mood and the day (tired, gritty eyes, grey skies, pouring rain outside) - clothes of the aged comfortable variety, liberally daubed with silicone sealant from a previous attempt at DIY (N.B. silicone sealant does not wash out, which, as it is water-proof, should hardly come as a surprise).

I rather tentatively went to answer, half-expecting my neighbour, who has a habit of borrowing things on weekends. Instead I was greeted by an unknown, soaking wet woman holding a plastic bucket. She asked if she could take the drooping rose petals from the rose bushes in my front garden. She admitted that it was a strange request. They were for the Holy Redeemer procession: they were very short of petals this year.

I must have looked a little blank and so she continued, "You know, the annual Holy Redeemer procession that progresses down this road? This year's takes place today and will be coming along in a couple of hours."

Light begins to dawn as indeed I remember previous years. Me, a little bewildered, looking out my kitchen window on a June evening to see what appeared to be a full-blown Catholic procession on foot trailing down my rather quiet suburban back street, complete with bishop, priests in full robes, banners, altar boys and girls, lots of nuns and children and various other people.

Living in London, of course I have never actually enquired about what this was, but now I know. My Catholic childhood conditioning kicked in, so of course I agreed. The very polite but rather damp lady took my very sodden rose petals and went on her way... and I went back to the sofa.

All a little surreal, but a nice image of rose petals in the rain.

[Love it! Thank you SO much Sara.]

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