Saturday 19th August
10 a.m - 2.00 p.m
Full Gospel Church
23 Arthur Street
activities for children etc. etc."....
And that is basically it. What was printed on sheets of A5 and handed out to Saturday morning shoppers two weeks ago.
Friday night had been a stinker and by the time I got home on Saturday morning at around seven-thirty, well, the words "tired and tetchy" spring to mind. Did I really want to do this? Yes I did actually. It represented an opportunity to put myself in the company of others, who could say what might happen? Maybe even converse with somebody and I would most certainly be ready for a cup of coffee.
I got the 9.50 bus to Stugely and then, donning my bright nearly new hi-viz coat instead of my grubby sweaty parka , I'd even shaved, got off at Asda's, took a gentle stroll along the High Street to Arthur Street and within a few minutes I'd found my destination guided by balloons, three pink two green and one yellow, hardly a fanfare but hey! This was the Full Gospel and I was sure ready for that coffee. I entered the small car-park, cars were few and there didn't seem to be much going on outside but it was early yet and so I ambled nervously up to the entrance. The doorway wasn't much wider than that of the regular house and there was a short passage way that opened up into quite a large room, probably their meeting-place. There were eight or ten Round wooden tables that would easily six people, covered with what looked like plastic, for easy cleaning I suppose, green and white cheque patterned covers but there was nobody there except for a couple, in their fifties I say, seated at one of the tables.
"Morning! Hello and welcome" said the man sitting at the table. Damn! I'd been spotted. I didn't even look at him. I looked around the room slowly and calmly, over and behind the man and his companion as though they weren't there then casually strolled back out into the car-park, along Arthur and High and headed for Lidl's.
Why do I do that? Why did HE " do that " ? People! I do despair. I had been driven off by his cheery and friendly address. I wish he hadn't done that and now, with hindsight, I wish I could tell him that I wished he hadn't " done that ". If only there had been people around me, I might have gone unnoticed. Oh well, never mind, no matter, I had shopping to do.
Are all religious/godly types like that? I wondered. Maybe I'm just not suited to the "Full Gospel", whatever. It felt like hard sell to me and,far from being angry, I felt sad and disappointed.
The rest of the day followed the usual pattern of every other shopping day. After finished off my shopping in Asda's I went to the cakes section for nibbles. Having not eaten since three o'clock that morning and it now being close to lunchtime, or it would be before I got home, I was feeling peckish and so, as is my wont, I foraged. Doughnuts with an array of fillings, custard,jam, blackcurrant etc. Cream Doughnuts and Eclaires. Mini Sponges and Trifles, packs of four, Cream and Jam Scones, I hadn't seen those before. I prefer scones made with sultanas in them but cream and jam? And for £1-29 for four? Never mind the expense, toss the cat another gold fish and I wasn't disappointed as I sat scoffing them at the bus-stop. Okay, so the cream wasn't fresh , and the jam was just a small blob of red sugary gloop. It was just...... comfort food..... I guess but it was job done. Day saved.
Home James and don't spare the horses.