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Getting married in New Orleans

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In spite of all the depressing fear-making material about the coronavirus, the dreadful weather, nonsense about climate change (the climate is always changing!) each day is a new day full of potential. My only problem is that when the sun comes out, the light is very bright and I’m going to have to start wearing dark glasses and we are barely into March.

Wetherspoon’s is a lively place at the best of times with the usual weekend  morning formula of noisy families, screaming children, hard drinkers having their nine o’clock pint, and the usual comings and goings of those trying to find the best seats,  I have got my order down to a fine art. “50, traditional, coffee” is all I need to say, and all I do say – with a smile I should add.  50 is table 50, ‘traditional’ equals traditional breakfast and ‘coffee’ is of course coffee.  I always swipe by credit card. I’m given an empty cup and off we go. The meal arrives within five minutes or so. I am in and out within 20 minutes if I don’t want to linger.

Next we decided to go to the local farm shop.  Françoise bought some spring flowers and I bought a bag of my favourite Maris Piper potatoes.  I have never done very well with potatoes and for what I paid, three pounds 99, I could have just as much value from the supermarket but at least if I grow my own I will know that they have not been sprayed with chemicals.

Off to Midsomer quilting.  This is a famous centre of quilting with a worldwide reputation.  Chris, the ebullient owner, says that 200 people are coming from Texas in June and they have had the wisdom to come in groups of fifty over four days.  Françoise took the time to buy small pieces of this and that while I sat at the communal social table, drunk the coffee provided with the obligatory chocolate biscuit, and have a chat with a couple who had arrived from a village south of Shepton Mallett.

We started to chat and one thing led to another. Apparently it was his third marriage and her second.  They got married in New Orleans of all places, with the marriage travel arrangements by Kuoni Travel.  Evidently not everything went to plan because when they arrived at the hotel, the hotel had no record of them.  The wife-to-be collapsed in a heap as she had been travelling for 12 hours and was exhausted so the receptionist took pity on them and found another place for them to lay their heads.

They guess that they had been ‘bumped’ because in the case of high paying delegates to professional conferences normal visitors are just deleted.  In a new hotel in the French Quarter, they had to live out of a suitcase for 10 days because such was the booking level that they could not stay in the same room. They had nothing but praise for the people who make the efforts for them. The travel company eventually agreed to pay their expenses and it was interesting that in this case the husband refused to pay direct and have the payments refunded because he had already paid the companies are why should he pay again.  I said to them that such that sometimes you have to be a stranger to your own nature which is to be a nasty piece of work and they agreed.

Whilst walking around, Françoise make contact with someone who works for CAP – Christian action on poverty.  This is a charity to which I donate. I was upset that I could not see her although we could have turned back.  However, the lady concerned gave Françoise her name and phone number and said that if we ever visited Bristol we would be welcome to come and see her. We may well do this because I have a high regard for the CAP and the non-compromising working for Christ which they display in the literature and in their example which is impressive.

Hail, rain and bright sunshine is the order of the day. Unfortunately, my eyes cannot tolerate the bright sun so I must wear dark glasses if I’m to be outside. I don’t know whether this is a side-effect of macular degeneration, my age, or other factors about which I know nothing but anyway that’s the way it has to be.

The chances of catching the coronavirus are vanishingly small never mind dying from it. See the enclosed chart published today by the BBC (scroll down). The highest death rate is for the over 80’s which comes in at 15% and that’s if you catch the virus in the first place. See further video. EXCELLENT.