Off to a spiritual social gathering tonight – Mass followed by a reflection and then wine and food with good company. Get a cab there as I’m bringing the wine and the dozens of scarlet tulips splashed along Park Lane make even eight lanes of traffic seem springlike and bearable.
I sit quietly in the chapel and become aware of the woman on the end of the row, who I don’t know, stage-whispering her prayers. Try to concentrate on my own prayers and not let her get to me, but she’s disturbing everyone.
She gets up to come past me, but then sits down next to me. ‘Would you like to come to a charismatic healing service in Birmingham in May?’ I stare at her in astonishment and then say thank you but that I’m not here in May, which is a pretty lame response, but all I could come up with. It’s delivered in the frosty tone that would freeze any British person at fifty yards. Not our whisperer though. She goes on to tell me about the website, where I can list my name for healing. Repeats the name of the website and then asks me if I know how to spell it. Another, frostier, thank you and she retreats back to her whispering.
Where to start? The patronising, ‘I know what’s best for you, even though I’ve never met you and don’t know what’s wrong, though I have spotted your stick.’ The interruption of my prayers and the refusal to take no for an answer. Meant kindly no doubt, but REALLY.
I’m as likely to go to a charismatic healing service in Birmingham as I am to fry my own eyeballs.
Other than that the evening was delightful.