Monday, December 19, 2005

A couple of Vicars

This year Canon Ivor Davies died. An ‘AliceinWonderland’ expert,chess fanatic and a philosophy buff,he and Tom Weston, a retired dentist and fellow chess fanatic who seemed to be possessed with the spirit of Paul Morphy , played each other for 24 hours in a shop window in Hay on Wye where Ivor was the vicar. Ivor smoked a pipe and Tom chain smoked cigarettes ; at 3 O’clock in the morning it would have been an eerie sight for some late returning town dweller to meet these two faces illuminated through the smoke . Clergymen have their own postal chess club to which Ivor belonged its magazine was/is called ‘Chess Minister”.
Then there was the late vicar of Llyswen Martin Jones. He was a good chap. Ann would drag me to Church once a year on Christmas Eve and Martin would give the same sermon every time from an old exercise book except that he would alter it by omitting different parts so that only once did I hear the full unexpurgated version. This full version was very good and I have heard nothing since from anybody else that interested me as much as Martin’s full monty Christmas Eve sermon. I wish I had told him at the time.
I went to Church on Christmas Eve but Ann went every week . One year I was doing an OU Science course and an experiment was to observe the swing of a pendulum.
I tied an old horse brass to a piece of string and swung it backwards and forwards.
The experiment called for me to hold the swinging pendulum and to walk round in a circle . This was to show that the pendulum would continue to swing in the original plane. I didn’t know what I was supposed to see and so as I circled the swinging horse brass on the end of a piece of string in the garage I began to chant in boredom.
I heard the gate go and took it that my son had come back for lunch and just continued in the garage holding the swinging pendulum and walking in a circle chanting.
It turned out to be the Vicar bringing back a plate for Ann. I didn’t try to explain because I didn’t know where to start but I think he might well have had me down as a Satanist after that.

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