So how do I spend my time in retirement, you ask? Very pleasantly, on the whole. Some days indeed, I am so occupied I cannot get in all the jobs I have engaged myself to do.
I play the organ in church. Somewhat like myself, it is ancient and unpredictable. Between Masses, benediction services, novenas, Holy Hours, missions, First Fridays, and so on, I am fairly often seated at the organ, which I play very ‘charitably’, for, verily, ‘my right hand knoweth not what my left hand doeth!’
Any time I meet a pretty young girl – and this town is full of them – I’ll say, ‘I’ll play the bridal march at your wedding.’ They always say, “Ach, Mr Crawford, you’ll have to get me a boy first!” I notice that they always sigh when they tell me this. In order to keep their young hearts up, I answer them thus:
“Look here, daughter, I never promised a girl that I’d play at her wedding, that I didn’t fulfil my promise.” And it is so. The first wedding I played at was in 1912. Even considering that Lent is a close season, and Advent another, have played for a brave few brides in that half-century.
I hope that, dressed in their bridal raiment, they will be waiting for me at the golden gates of heaven, as the blessed welcome the merry ‘Fiddler of Dooney’.
… more later …