Random thoughts and happenings
It’s been a strangely fractured sort of week.
On Sunday we went to church in Mamelodi as usual. It was Pentecost, and no one else was there when we arrived. Val and I started the Third Hour, and we were on the second Psalm when Grace Malahlela arrived with the ikons, and Miss South Africa (her granddaughter) strapped to her back. Gradually others arrived, including Nektaria Ramohlale, whom we had not seen for a long time because she had been living with her sister on the other side of town.
At the end we had the kneeling prayers. The kneeling prayers are really supposed to be at Vespers, but we do not have Vespers at Mamelodi, so we had them at the end of the Obednitsa. We have no kneeling in church from Pascha to Pentecost, and at Pentecost we begin kneeling again. But we are not supposed to kneel on Sundays either; Vespers belongs to Monday, however, so there we were kneeling on Sunday and pretending it was Monday.
On the way home we passed the place where there was a stretch limo with a football on top, to celebrate the World Cup. Now there are two more, one of which has a vuvuzela on top. A few weeks ago one of the players, Matt Booth, was unterviewed on TV, and asked what he thought of South Africa’s chances in the opening match against Mexico, and he replied that he wondered how the Mexicans would cope with 94000 vuvuzelas.
On Monday morning I had to take our son Simon to work in Fontainebleau, near Johannesburg, and then bring him back again to write an exam on Tuesday, so I spent the day at the Wits University library, gathering material for the research project on the charismatic movement in the Anglican Church archives which are kept there. I came across an M.Phil thesis by Philip Wetherell, The Anglican Church in Namibia: politics and priorities. I did not have time to read the whole thing, but I think it a pity that it has not been published. I’ve read various books and articles about the church’s role in the Namibian liberation struggle, but most have been a bit thin, especially on the Anglican contribution, which Philip Wetherell has rectified.
I knew Philip in Namibia. He had failed his final year as an ordinand at Kings College in London, and came to Namibia to teach for a couple of years at St George’s, the local Anglican school in Windhoek. The acting headmistress, a racist whenwe from Kenya, had sacked him, so he went to work in a local book shop for R160 a month. Now he lives in England, and suffers from motor neuron disease, which has left him almost completely paralysed.
Now it is late autumn, almost winter. But we haven’t seen much of autumn colours this year. The mulberry tree in our garden usually turns yellow, then brown and loses its leaves in the first strong wind. But this year it can’t make up its mind — some leaves are brown and falling, some are yellow, while others are still green. Perhaps it’s climate change.