Among the things it is probably best not to attempt while fighting a Serious Cold (I'm mainlining lemon, honey and ginger, spend my days in clouds of steam and am following as much advice as I possibly can, honest guv) going on a coach trip for the express purpose of wandering around in the dark on a December evening probably looms fairly large.
However, the Friends of St M's had arranged this trip, a friend (small f) and I had agreed to go together and (crucially) I'd paid the whole sum in advance, so I thought I'd better get on with it and stop whinging. And, in the event, I was glad that I did. After all, I'd wanted to explore "The Enchanted Wood", an illumination of some of the oldest trees in the rather wonderful arboretum at Westonbirt, ever since the offspring were small. When they were young enough to really enjoy it, we were too poor to take them. Now, of course, none of them had any desire to troop around with their mother and assorted parishioners, so this seemed like my only chance. And it was beautiful, in a very Middle Earth sort of way.
The impact on the throat is uncertain, but after manic garglings and copious quantities of hot liquids I did manage to celebrate the Eucharist this morning. It felt a bit ropey, but I'm assured that even the sung portions sounded OK, so thank you for all your wise advice, encouraging words and prayers. I'm being sensible this evening, and coming home after Evensong, rather than going carol singing with the Youth Group. They're due to finish here for soup, sausages and mince pies in any case...Sad not be out with them, but you see, even I can be sensible occasionally. Just not often.