22. May, 2015

Some Enchanted Evening

Most of us are so preoccupied with our own little worlds that we sometimes totally fail to see what’s going on around us. Mea culpa. I spend most of my time looking at the world and its idiocy that I forget that there exist around me some very nice people.


On Wednesday afternoon I strolled up to my local, The Station Hotel – an architectural icon and tribute to early C19th pub builders – for a refreshing ale or three.


Mine very convivial hosts, Keith and Dulcie, were in a high state of excitement. “Come and have a look at the lounge”, they exhorted me. The lounge is a lofty room with fans – no need for air-conditioning at the Station - decorated in classic art deco period. In the corner was a metal gazebo hanging from which was a chandelier of sparking LED lights. Under that was set a table for two, gleaming with beautiful pure silverware, lovely crockery and napkins. Very romantic. The rest of the room had been transformed with flowers, period lampstands and lights and piano. It looked wonderful. The theme: “Some Enchanted Evening”. Why?


This was the brainchild and doings of a group of volunteers in my town that I had never heard of, Audrey’s Angels, who work with the palliative care unit of our local hospital.


One of the residents of the unit is an elderly Italian woman with terminal cancer. Married for umpteen years, she and her husband had never been out to dinner together. Audrey’s Angels took it in hand. Having set the scene, so to speak, at 1800hrs the couple was picked up in a gleaming 1938 Chevrolet by an elderly driver [and owner] dressed for the part in a starched white shirt, bow tie, braces and peaked cloth cap. After a drive round town they stopped at the hotel where the couple were greeted by Audrey’s Angels and to the applause of those of us there. They were led into their very own private ‘dining room’ and escorted to their table. The piano player did his stuff, dinner included oysters, home-cooked roast lamb, Italian pastries and wine.   


I confess then to having a tear in my eye. The common Christian decency of some people can be overwhelming. We forget that in this selfish, material world, with all its international horrors and excesses, just around the corner there exist some really nice people. May God Bless them.