Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter, Lent's end 2011

Last night Moni was singing at the Dominican Abbey for the Resurrection Mass, which started at nine o'clock and went on until the early hours. The culmination of the Triduum, three nights in church, starting on Good Thursday. Yesterday, the church was packed solid. I had to leave the car half a kilometre away, such was the traffic. I was hoping to get a photo of Moni in the choir, but I could not even get in through the doors, such was the size and density of the congregation. (Earlier photos capturing the atmosphere of worship inside the Dominican Abbey here, here and here.)

Disappointed by my inability to see Moni sing, I returned home to celebrate the end of Lent with Eddie. First thing I did at the stroke of midnight was to tuck into some Cheshire cheese (from Leopolis), then Eddie and I shared a sack of tortilla chips with hot salsa dip and a tub of Grycan lemon sorbet (Grycan undoubtedly make Poland's best ice cream).

At quarter to three I was awoken by Moni, who had left her house keys at home. Yes, the Resurrection Mass had just ended ( a five-hour marathon). And then at six am I was woken yet again by the sound of church bells and explosions; it took me a while to work out what was happening (at first I thought someone was lifting, then dropping heavy furniture downstairs). Opening both of my bedroom windows, I could hear the continuous pealing of bells from St Peter and Paul's church in Pyry, and explosions to the north and east of our house. To explain why, here's my translation of a paragraph from the Polish Wikipedia page about Polish Easter Sunday traditions: "[the Resurrection mass at daybreak is] heralded by ceremonious bell-ringing. At the same time, one can hear a cannonade from guns, petards, cannons and mortars, and this entire clamour has to wake the world to life."

And now I'm up, time for some exercises. 150 sit-ups in one go and 36 press-ups in one go. A personal best, suggesting that I've never been in such fine condition! Weight - I've shed half a kilo /one pound, but then weight loss was not my goal; more importantly I've reduced the circumference around my stomach at the fattest point from 94.5cm to 92.7cm (18mm) or 36 and half inches down from 37 and a quarter inches. Looking back to the end of Lent last year, when I reduced my waistline to 38 inches (98cm), I can see great progress, the more so when I look back further to early 2009 when my stomach measured a massive 40 and a quarter inches (102cm). Now that, reducing girth by over 10%/9cm/nearly four inches, ladies and gentlemen, is quite an achievement for a middle-aged man. I need encouragement to keep it up, as there's still some fat to turn into muscle.

After the exercises, the weighing and the measuring, time for my first real coffee in months. Not too strong, not too much (I clearly overdid it on Easter Sunday last year). Wow. Even in moderation, coffee does have quite an effect on the body. No anxiety attack this time, but a sense of things being speeded up; fingers moving swiftly over the keyboard as I write, tapping my foot in a hurried rhythm. Moderate intake of coffee has been proven to have a good effect on the brain, warding off or even reversing Alzheimer's disease (see articles here and here).

And now back to the kitchen to make myself some home-made hamburgers (prime minced beef, shallots and seasoning, served in a bun). No alcohol yet - have not felt the need. But I do know that moderate evening intake of red wine is good for the heart and for my creativity.

Wishing all my readers love, peace and happiness this Easter.

This time last year:
Eyjafjallajökull sunset

This time two years ago:
The beautiful historic town of Toruń

This time three years ago:
One swallow does not a summer make

1 comment: