A sad day with the funeral service in Northampton., UK for a friend & ex-colleague of almost 40 years standing. Fellow friend & Bliper Nogbad was keeping me informed from the early hours as he set off from Kent to attend the service. During the day messages came in of the progress.
Nigel mentions in his Blip many of those special thoughts but in addition for me was his love for Northampton's Rugby Team, The Saints, who he would follow all over Europe to games and also in complete contrast, his love of classical music. Many times we had talked of him visiting Bavaria again after the 2015 visit Nigel mentions.& especially the possibility of attending some of the concerts held in the Ottobeuren Basilica each summer. There have been some notable events in the past, probably one of the best known being Leonard Bernstein conducting Haydn's The Creation.
And so it was that this afternoon I set off to Ottobeuren with Luna for the dog walk but first went into the Basilica to light some candles from Nigel, friend Phil, Angie & myself & wrote a remembrance note in a book placed on a side altar alongside the Northampton Saint's cap Paul gave me in 2015 & which I often wear.
As I was writing the note, a choir started practising for a service that was about to start. Quite unexpectedly as they started singing, I broke into tears. I can't think of a more appropriate happening. I can't say that Paul or any of the rest of us are notably religious but this did hit home.
I sat & listened for a while but eventually had to leave as Luna was still in the car. Our walk behind the Basilica continued the theme with lots of things Paul would have liked including the distant Alps & then a visit to the town's market square & the Hotel Hirsch with its glass-fronted microbrewery. If I wasn't driving I would have lifted a glass to Paul today.
I think the Facebook links works even for non-Facebook users of a video I made of the visit that explains better than my words.
RIP Paul & Cheers.
PS The Blip includes the burial vault stone for Abbot Paulus Alt (1802-07), who was in charge when Napolean secularised Bavarian's churches. Following that, the head of the Basilica was known as Prior until 1918 when the original title was reinstated.