Sunday, a day of rest

Morning sunrise over Praia da Luz

I woke up a little earlier than usual today. In fact, after my shower I went into the kitchen — and was there alone! Hmmm… Where was Marylou? Usually she has already researched about 12 things and completed 4 of her 8 daily tasks by the time I show up in the kitchen. And Dave? He must surely be ill or he’d be in his usual place on the couch in front of the TV, peering into his phone and working his magic on one of his online Scrabble games — bloop, bloop, bloop, BRRRNG, BRRRNG — his phone sounding like a Saturday night at the casino. But no, I’m here alone. So I make coffee and watch the sun rise over the beach below us. And I savour the quietness of the morning.

But I’m not ahead of the Driedgers by much — and soon we are all drinking coffee and planning the day ahead. Not a lot on the agenda today. After all, it IS a day of rest. I clean out the dishwasher and gather up the bottles and pizza boxes from last night and take the garbage downstairs to the recycling stations across the street. After breakfast we decide that we will go to the lent service in the church across the way at 11:30. It’s the least we can do to try to make amends for all the heretical church talk around our dining room table last night. Nothing like a good old basic liturgical church service to get us back on track. (You’d think I’d get some credit from my mother for going to church while on a ‘holiday’, but since this service wouldn’t be Mennonite and/or German, I’m sure she would say ‘Daut meint enivay really nuscht.’)

The warm morning sun was enough to get me to switch to shorts instead of jeans. I figured since we are ‘tourists’ in a tourist area, I could get away with wearing shorts to church. When we arrive at the little church just before 11:30 the benches are already mostly filled. We sit near the back. Four people to a bench, twenty benches plus a few chairs in the back and a small ‘choir’ in the front. We are here to sing the Eucharist. It is an Anglican service in a Catholic church. The minister walks in and we begin with some ‘gentle music from the organ’. When we join in to sing the first congregational song, the sound is remarkable. It’s LOUD and it sounds pretty good. I was convinced that there was a choir singing above and behind us, in the balcony. But no, the sound that filled that little rectangular brick building was created by about a hundred old mostly British ex-pats. It is the first Sunday of Lent, as the pastor informs us. A few members of the congregation are wearing purple to celebrate the occasion (and there are more than a few old ladies sporting purple-ish hair-dos). We have little booklets so can read along with the pastor. It’s all scripted out for us. Oh, the pastor DOES give us a little ‘personal’ story in the middle of it all about the trials and tribulations of trying to mix up the ash for Ash Wednesday so it has the right consistency and ‘stickiness’ so it will stick to foreheads when he plasters it on in the shape of a cross. I guess you had to be there.

Well, we stood up and sat down quite a few times, and sang songs from the hymn book that only had the words, no music, printed in it (but everyone sang heartily!). But then, about halfway through, it was time for communion and the three of us slinked (slunk?) out of the church. It’s not because we weren’t enjoying the service (we weren’t), but I was getting pretty cold sitting there in shorts and sandals, and besides, we were not all that excited about this whole ‘Anglican’ thing — why should take part in a service in a church founded by a king of England who got mixed up in the whole church business because he wanted permission to annul marriages to wives he’d lost interest in. So we shook the dust off our sandals and headed back to our (nice and warm) apartment and had lunch.

Rudy the hiker

Lots of leftovers in the fridge, so that was lunch. After lunch I changed into crappier shorts and a t-shirt and went for a walk on the cliffs. It took me about an hour and a half to walk to the little beach cafe on the outskirts of Lagos and back. Some great views, and lots of walkers on the path today.

Rudy the artist

When I got back to the apartment I had a short FaceTime with Alex and Max. Dave was watching a movie on TV and Marylou was sketching in her art book. Marylou says drawing is good exercise for the brain; since I’d now exercised my legs, I thought I might try a little brain exercise myself. So I selected a fine HB2 pencil from Marylou’s collection and doodled a portrait of the Driedgers in Marylou’s art book.

After another shower, the three of us hopped into the car and drove into Lagos to do some grocery shopping. There are TWO smaller SPAR supermarkets within a block of our place, but we’ve driven by some larger grocery stores a few times and thought we might go check them out. We came back home with the back seat filled with bags and bottles — and it was all we could do to carry all that stuff up to our fourth-floor apartment in one trip.

Happy hour in the kitchen. Then we watched an episode of ‘Alias Grace’ on Netflix before Dave fried up burgers and beans for our supper. Another episode after supper. And then our ‘day of rest’ ended — all three of us headed off to bed at around 10:30 — all that ‘resting’ had made us quite tired. Tomorrow we plan to take a picnic lunch with us as we walk to Lagos, and out to the lighthouse at the point there. So I’d better be off now, and get some rest.