Eileen, who sits in the pew in front of me at the 10 a.m. service, tells me about a recent gathering at her home involving half a dozen friends, all of whom have known each other for the best part if fifty years.
Amazingly, she says, they never stopped talking once, throughout the whole afternoon, though every so often she had to hot-foot it into the kitchen to brew up another pot
of tea. This is the thing about long-time friends, we agree, there is so much shared history that you will never run out of topics of conversation. I tell her about my sister Maggie and how, when we get together, Mr B always comments that there is no danger
of our jaws rusting. Eileen doesn't seem to quite understand the joke - but it may be just the way I tell it.
Apparently the son of one of Eileen’s chatty
friends is thinking of setting up in business. Eileen suggested maybe he establish a care home, of which she and her friends could be the sole residents. There would be no need to pay out for expensive entertainment - all they would require would be plentiful
cups of tea. Unfortunately the fella in question didn't think it was such a good idea. I wonder why?
Jane, who is one of the two churchwardens, asks me if I can
find her after the service as she has something to show me. Eileen looks at me questioningly; I try to look mysterious but it's not my Best Look. It turns out that Jane wants to check I am happy with the final proofs of invitations we are sending out to all
the couples who have been married in our Church over the last year. My main concern is that the details on the invitation card should be the same as those on the accompanying letter. Because card and letter have each had a different author, there are some
fairly major discrepancies. Are we, for example, inviting the newly-weds to a “Cheese and Wine Party” or for “Summer Drinks and Nibbles”? Will the event start at 6.30 and end at 8 p.m.? Or rather start at 7 and end at 8.30? Jane says
she is sure everything has now been properly synchronised. I, as the person whose job it will be to send out invites and letters, will know whether this is so when I come to play my part - but will it be too late to change anything at that late stage?
I am most happy to be involved in helping with this event, be it Cheese & Wine or Summer Drinks & Nibbles, because it seems to me to be an extension of my current
happy task of sending first anniversary cards to every couple married in our Church. McColls the newsagent-round-the-corner sell a particularly appropriate greetings card so every so often I buy up all the cards they have in stock. I can imagine them re-ordering
every couple of months and wondering why these cards are so very popular. I wonder if any of the happy couples will mention receiving my carefully worded cards when we meet over the cheese and nibbles?
I'm thinking (because my thoughts are always with my readers, dear as you are to me) that you may be finding today’s events somewhat mundane. Where is the sparkle? you are asking. Where’s the magic?
Ah, I have saved the best till last. I pay a quick visit to the supermarket to pick up a few Important Purchases (plus a packet of M&M peanuts which Mr B would consider
an Important Purchase, even if I don’t). On my way out to the car park I pass the pet shop - and as I pass, who should emerge from within but a beautiful princess, riding on a snowy white unicorn with a silver horn.
I know, I know, if I'd looked closely I would have seen that the princess was wearing a dressing-up outfit plucked from the supermarket shelves and the unicorn was a large toy animal, about the same
size as Shergar, a toy horse we once owned, much beloved of the grandchildren till they outgrew his undoubted charms and I took him to the charity shop to find a new Forever Home. Or Stable…
Magic is wherever you find it, don't you know? So you will understand why I didn't look too closely.
I simply enjoyed the Magic
of the Moment.