Monday, 17 September 2012

Power outage

Somewhat lacking in sleep, after Saturday's late night out, I summoned enough energy to preach on a favourite theme, the mystery of the Cross at Vinaròs yesterday, as Friday last was Holy Cross Day. Then drove to L'Ampolla to celebrate the Eucharist and preach the same again. I enjoyed it more the second time around, not least because the Parish Church of Sant Ioan Bautista has a life sized crucifix in mediaeval Spanish realist style mounted behind the altar, and I was able to turn to this when I referred to it, so my preaching perhaps contained a little more footwork than usual. 

In conversation afterwards I discovered that one of the worshippers knew Ty Mawr Convent in Gwent because an aunt of hers had been a nun there all of her adult life. Sister Sheila Mary, someone I'd known and taken communion to in her cell, during my visits there when I worked for USPG 25 years ago. Ty Mawr also has a life size crucifix on its east wall, but no other decoration, unlike the frescoed Sant Ioan Bautista Parish Church.

We picnicked in the Sant Jordi campsite after the service, then I made my font farewells to this kind and welcoming group of faithful people who had made me feel at home with them. Then I drove up into the hills below El Perello to visit Isa and John, drink tea and talk spirituality with them one more time. It's always stimulating, and time passed effortlessly, despite my sleep deficit.

I woke up at three o'clock in the morning to a buzzing sound which was hard to locate given how sleepy I was. I discovered that there was an electricity outage, stumbled around the house in the dark, learned that no fuse switch had been thrown and concluded it was an external fault about which nothing could be done. The buzzing I discovered was emanating from a socket mounted electronic device which broadcasts inaudible sound waves repellent to mosquitos. Its internal battery was draining without a power source, reducing its emission to an audible sound, which woke me up.

Power had not returned by the time I got up, so I consulted neighbours John and Maureen. They had power, but knew of a problem which has afflicted groups of houses in this vicinity in turn, kicking some of them off-line. He checked the distribution box to confirm it, and then very kindly rang the supply company on my behalf. They also boiled a kettle for me so I could make a pot of coffee. Thankfully I have not had occasion to use the freezer for food storage since I've been here, so there was no anxiety about food melt-down. 

By eleven thirty, the repair crew had arrived and were on the job, sparing me the worry about how I would charge my mobile phone. I brought my solar charger with me, but not the proprietary USB cable to connect it up, only the plug charger. I'm puzzled about why I left it behind, having fussed so much over the bits and pieces of tech kit I did bring with me. If only there was a single universal standard for such equipment - but that would reduce the money making potential for all these gadgets which now rule our lives with their not so convenient conveniences.

Quiz night again tonight at Vinaròs camp site. I hope I don't return to find the 'leccy has gone off again.

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