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I should start my taxes. Really, I should. Have run into complications, though. I'm using a copy of TurboTax Deluxe for my desktop. In the past, I've done this online. The process for transferring my previous year's information from online to the desktop should be simple. It isn't. So, I've got some time to kill while I wait for a live chat with an online representative.

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Today is the second most important date of the year, as far as I am concerned: Good Friday. So, naturally, churchgoing has been on my mind.

For the past three Sundays I've attended mass at St. George's Cathedral, only a 10-15 minute walk from here. I really did not like the service there. It seemed cold and impersonal. The readings were done by a Scottish fellow with an impenetrably thick accent. And to say the music was bad is to give it too much credit.

Last night I decided to find English Martyrs Catholic Church, a 10-15 minute walk in the other direction. What a difference! The service was warm and accessible. The accents, whether Oxford English, mild Irish brogue, or West Indian, are all intelligible. And the music, while a bit of a mixed bag, is at least enjoyable. (The congregation actually sings along! So, while I'm still the strongest voice, I'm by no means the only voice. I hate feeling as though I'm soloing in church when I'm singing from the congregation!) Whereas not one person said a single word to me at the Cathedral, four people have introduced themselves to me already at English Martyrs.

Attendance was decent for last night's Last Supper celebration and for today's Stations of the Cross at 2. It was absolutely jammed full for the Good Friday service at 3. I can't imagine what it will be like at the Easter Vigil tomorrow night at 9 or the Easter Sunday service.

There are still a few things that bug me, but I get the sense it will be the same throughout England. There is no missal, so I cannot read along with the readings and Gospel. And the hymnal contains mostly text, so if I don't know the melody I'm screwed. There are also a few minor variations in the text of a few prayers ("He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man" in the Creed is worded differently, for example) and in the service itself (last night they did a washing of hands instead of a washing of feet). But overall, I'm okay with this church.

After service I swung through the Elephant & Castle mall to get some salad dressing at Tesco. I detoured through the used bookstore because I'm suddenly in the mood to read the next of the Prydain books. (The owner of the store had never heard of Lloyd Alexander. "What's he written?" "Oh, you know, The Black Cauldron, The Book of Three…," I responded, and then, upon seeing the blank look on his face, added, "young adult fantasy." No luck, and that doesn't bode well for my reading adventures in England.) The woman who sat next to me in the pew last night was in the bookstore, so I said to her, "So, this is what people do after church around here." We introduced ourselves and, after a brief chat, she invited me to coffee. I declined, because I really wanted to get home to do laundry, but it was nice of her to ask, especially considering not a single person so much as acknowledged my existence at the Cathedral.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ayelle
Apr. 14th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
The British are still convinced they are the only people on the globe who can write fantasy, and tend to scorn things written by Americans.

And ack! How many times must I say it! The Prydain chronicles aren't young adult fantasy. They're children's fantasy. Holly Black's "Tithe" is YA fantasy; Nancy Farmer's "House of the Scorpion" is YA fantasy; Garth Nix's "Sabriel" is YA fantasy; Francesca Lia Block's "Weetzie Bat" series is YA fantasy. They're all intended for teen readers. Prydain is intended for middle grade readers. Nine-year-olds are not "young adults," at least not in the language of children's publishers and booksellers.

/pet peeve
spwebdesign
Apr. 14th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
It's all the same as far as where in the store I got pointed. "There's the children's section. Sorry, not alphabetized. Got tired of trying to keep up with the kids. If it's not there, try science fiction/fantasy, back in that corner."
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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