Essential holiday reading: Good Beer Guide, Ordnance Survey map, the lady’s new novel. Again I’ve forgotten the Oxford Dictionary of Saints: in Pembrokeshire, where we’re staying, St Jude the Obscure seems A-list by comparison.
The cottage is at St Twynell’s, which is next to St Petrox. Further west, most memorably of all, is St Elvis. That the Preseli Hills are nearby is, presumably, coincidental.
The admirable David McKie included St Elvis – “Parish in west Pembrokeshire, population 10” – in his delightful 2008 volume McKie’s Gazeteer, wondered why it was so unexploited,. “If I were the Pembrokeshire tourist board, I’d think it was worth a punt.”
We also have a dander around the ruins of the old Bishops’ Palace at Lamphey. The wine cellar, says an information board, was three times the size of the chapel. Those guys knew how to live.
The Rev Canon Leo Osborn, the Northern League’s long serving and greatly valued former chaplain, probably isn’t a saint. Charlotte, his wife of many years, certainly deserves to be.
We’re headed homewards via Peterborough, last visited on the occasion of Dunston’s unforgettable FA Vase quarter-final in 2012, where Charlotte is being ordained a deacon in the Church of England and with the expectation that this time next year she will become a priest.
The great cathedral took 120 years to build and is where Katharine of Aragon lies interred. An information board records her part in Henry VIII’s “Great matter”, pointing out, perhaps mischievously, that the king had developed scruples.
So it has often been supposed, of course, and in those days they hadn’t even discovered penicillin .
The cathedral’s thronged, another nine to be ordained deacon and to serve in gloriously English parishes like Woolaston with Strixton, Bozeat and Easton Maudit or Higham Ferrers with Chelverston or Pottersbury with Furtho and Yardley Gobion with Cosgrove and Wicken.
We have a printed invitation, are directed by a steward to seats fairly near the front, and are thus a little discomforted when, 15 minutes before the start, we’re asked to move again.
We only have white invitations. These are folk with blue invitations. Those who know their Bible will recall the parable of the wedding feast, in which a humble guest is bidden “Go thou higher.”
This is the very opposite: “Go thou lower.” Even when viewed from outer darkness, it’s a wonderful and a joyful occasion, nonetheless.
We’re finally home by 6pm. Even before the PC’s coaxed back into action. I’ve consulted the Oxford Dictionary of Saints. Poor old St Elvis warrants not so much as a mention.