This has been an interesting week, if by "interesting" you mean "phone calls that can change your life." A month from today I will be in a new community, back on the other side of the pond. In Beantown, to be precise. My year abroad will have been, instead, a half-year abroad--still not a bad deal, as far as I'm concerned! I will be assigned to the Digital Publishing division of Pauline Books and Media, doing the geeky things I've always done, but this time with deadlines. I will also continue to assist the sisters in the UK with the current website project (thank goodness for Skype!); it has been very important for that project that I have been working on it on location, so that is a grace.
Meanwhile, it is time for our Pauline prayer "the Pact," in which we ask the Lord to "multiply the fruits of our spiritual work, of our study, of our apostolate and of our poverty," so that every effort yields surprising, supernatural results. I can't wait to show you the work we've been doing--but that will have to wait until some technical snafus get straightened out (Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!).
Anyway, I went all the way to the end of that bus line (basically, Leicester Square) and then transferred to a river line bus which would take me to Tower Gate. Halfway there, about 3:00, I was feeling pretty hungry. (Aside from a caramel latte, I had not had any lunch--so eager was I to get out and see the sights.) I recognized where we were: Southwark's Borough Market! I rang the bell and descended into the throng of foodies, spotting new and interesting things as I went. A salami named Jesus? (Yes, because it looks like the Christ-Child wrapped in swaddling clothes.) I bought an amazing sandwich for lunch (pork belly with a crispy rind), stopped again in Southwark Cathedral where the choir was practicing Evensong, and then continued on my way on foot, crossing London Bridge and taking the river walk to the Tower of London.
In honor of the fallen of World War I, the Tower's moats are being filled with ceramic poppies. I'm sorry I don't have the time to tour the Tower (or see the Crown Jewels) again (I saw them in 2000 when I was here on another website project), but I am so glad I took the time to walk around two sides of the complex to see the poppy installation. Gorgeous. Continuing on, I found the path to actually cross the Tower Bridge, which I did (taking pictures every few steps). That brought me back again to the south side of the Thames just when I needed to begin working my way to the Kensington convent. Easier said than done. The roads do not simply go "east" or "west." (I needed to go west, then north.) Instead, they seemed to go only northeast or southwest, leading me farther and farther from my destination. Eventually I got to a street with promising transportation. Ah, but the promises were broken! I got on a bus that announced "to Royal Albert Hall" (not far from the convent). I didn't know where to go when it stopped short of Sloan Square with the declaration that this was the end of the line. I started walking again, but, you know: northeast or southwest--when I needed to go northwest (but more north than west). I had already notified the sisters that I was running late; thankfully, they were not worried when I tromped in 25 minutes late for supper (and the pasta was still hot!).
Tomorrow I might take in a gallery--or maybe the Imperial War Museum (right across the street from the Catholic Cathedral of Southwark, where I went to Mass last week). This week two different people recommended the IWM, so I put it on the "must see" list. I will let you know if it happens!
Prayers, please, during this new and unexpected transition, for me and for the sisters who will be most affected by it. Thanks.