Today I have that sense of pleasant panic, if there is such a thing, that tells me I'm off on my hols. Yes, I've got loads to do before I take off tomorrow, first for time with my family, and then some time off away for myself. In the last few years I've gone back to a habit of the 1990s when I was also in a very busy parish, and took off for a week on my own. This year I'm going to Munich and Bavaria.
As priests we so often come across as a collar first and a person second. I know that's how it is, but it's good also to just be nobody, melt into the background and relax. Some priests go so far as to claim another profession if asked on holiday what they do. I don't go that far, but I don't offer the info unless directly asked. All clergy know that opening line "I know you're on holiday, but do you think I could just have a little word....?"
So I won't be around for a fortnight. Thanks to all readers for your support. Visits continue to rise - roughly 700 a month a year ago, and over 1,000 now. UK visitors far outnumber everyone else, but other top nationalities in descending order are USA, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, France, Russia, Italy, India, and the Philippines.
See you soon.