It's been an eventful couple of weeks. Ada was rushed to hospital and kept there for a few days but she is now perfectly, wonderfully fine.

In the course of all the coming and going to and from Christchurch  Clemency's car needed replacing so I researched and bought a new one. Well, not so much a car, as a travel appliance. I looked around amongst the plethora of available Corollas and Swifts and Polos; all of them mass produced boxes which do everything well but nothing very well; the sorts of objects you could no more get excited about than you could about a blender or a vacuum cleaner or a fridge, and chose a Nissan Tiida. It was spacious and comfortable and quiet and frugal. It was red and shiny.

And on Friday night while driving alone to Christchurch, to attend Noah's second birthday party, Clemency crashed it. We found out, although we would rather not have, that actually it was also pretty good at keeping its occupants alive.

At the time I was driving back from Invercargill. My daughter Catherine phoned from London and told me just before I reached Balclutha. I diverted home, sorted out the cats, had coffee and drove to Timaru, where Clemency was in hospital, arriving about 2.45 am. Catherine had booked a motel and texted me a Google map of how to get to it. After briefly visiting Clemency in her ward and conducting a relieved conversation in whispers I got to bed around 3.30 am.

We had a long weekend in Timaru, she coming to terms with a fractured sternum, and the overwhelming knowledge of how much worse it might have been; me talking to panel beaters and police and hospital and insurers; both of us thinking about the pace of life which had led us to this moment.

We both work hard at what we are called to do. We have a mortgage late in life because in previous decades various parishes got all of our time. We both have jobs at which, no matter where we set the limits we are never ever giving enough, and there is always something else crying out to be done. Neither of us regrets any of this, but when the odd family crisis gets thrown into the mix it is very easy just to increase the hours vertical, decrease the hours horizontal and get on with it. But how easily all of it could end. How close we are to the edge of all things. And when we look at all the things which take up our time, how much, really, does any of it matter?

So for the last week I have been home, continuing all the negotiations begun in Timaru last weekend, looking after Clemency and doing a little diocesan work whenever it fits into the schedule.

Noah's birthday party was, despite the absence of his adored Amma, a rip roaring success, by the way.

And I am back, once again, shopping for transport. I've seen this on Trademe. It might be just the thing. It certainly looks safe.


Kate said…
Oh what an eventful life you guys are leading just now! Whew, that must have been a scary crash, and the front of the car is much more impressive than just a rock could do.
My fond regards next time you are talking with Clemency.
The party looks like fun. Hope you took lots of pictures to compensate for her lack of presence.
Merv said…
Wow! You certainly lead an exciting life. I'm so glad that everyone in your family is OK(-ish).

[Looking at the pictures on TradeMe, I think I might know what happened to your new red Nissan]