On the 6th of October 2016, I moved into the Passionist Community house in Bishopbriggs. Now, you might imagine that, as the newly appointed parish priest, and the incoming rector of the community, there might have been some slight privileges involved. However, the words of Jesus held sway, that the first shall be last, and the greatest shall be least, and so it was that I ended up with the smallest room in the house, and the only one in the community not to have an en suite bedroom. I was also the only one to have a single bed, rather than a double, but that was just as well, as there wouldn’t have been enough space for anything any bigger. The inherited furniture in the room took up all the available space and, every now and again, since then, I have looked at it and wondered if there was any possible way that I could shift things around, and organize the furniture in a different way, but it just never looked as if it was a runner, everything seemed to be in the only space that suited it, and where it fitted.
But then, at 9.10 p.m. last Friday, after a tandoori special from the local Indian restaurant, I decided that enough was enough. I needed to freshen my mind and get a new perspective on things. Around that time, Father Antony came out of his room and found me standing still at an open door, and wondered if I was okay, or if I was perhaps going a bit odd. But no, I was gazing into my room with the intense eye of a spatial engineer, trying to formulate a plan. I think I knew, even before I began, that half way into the task, I would be asking myself what madness made me do this. And so it was, I took drawers out of two tallboys, one of which was much bigger and heavier than the other, and managed to manoeuvre them into a different place. I then had to relocate a very heavy recliner chair that had been gifted to me by Father Justinian’s late brother. I shifted my desk to a more central position at the window, and moved a couple of smaller items to different locations. There was a bookcase and a CD rack that had to remain as they were, no other space was possible. All of this was to try and enable a new position for my bed, also very heavy, as it had storage drawers underneath. Until now, the bed had been tucked away neatly in a corner of the room. Now, however, I humped it into a central position, coming out from the back wall towards me as I enter the room. The best I can say about it, is that it is different, but I do have be a bit of a limbo dancer to get from one item of furniture to another, now that they are no longer in their optimal space.
Around 11.30 p.m., when I was just about getting there, I applied myself to the task of putting the drawers back into the tallboys. Needless to say, some of them slid in easily, while others resisted. By now, utterly exhausted, I resigned myself to two of the drawers sticking out a bit. I finished up by putting on new bed linen, having a shower, and donning fresh pyjamas. My last thought was that I was actually too old now for this kind of exertion, and, as if to affirm this, later in the week, the local health centre phoned me to offer me a shingles vaccination. Why, I asked, seeing as how I had never been offered such a thing before, or had any trouble with shingles? To which I was informed, that this is only offered to people between 70 and 79. Oh joy! How true it is that old age doesn’t come on its own. At least, when I have aged yet another three years, I won’t need to take the bowel screening test.
Anyway, the job is done, my room is reorganised, I have a new perspective on things, and I am getting more used to it by the day. In fact, I think I’ve done an okay job, so long as I don’t look at the sticky-out drawers. And I can tell you, I won’t be shifting it back again in a hurry.
As ever, protect yourselves, protect your loved ones and others, and protect Christ in your lives