I was just thinking this morning that I've been a bit quiet on my blog this past week or so, and that it's time for me to emerge from my shell and share some thoughts on some of the recent happenings. However, when I got to the office, things started getting a bit chaotic, what with people dropping in, telephone calls to return, and the usual goings-on of a normal church office.
At 11 this morning Bill (my superintendent) and I took part in a funeral. I felt quite nervous, and I'm not quite sure why - after all, I have done numerous funerals in my two coloured congregations. Perhaps this was because it was only the second time that I've taken part in a funeral in a white context, and although the English order of service is virtually identical to the Afrikaans one, the cultural practices are different and I didn't want to make a hash of things.
Anyway, the funeral went reasonably well, and after a cuppa and a couple of sausage rolls, I was raring to go again - what with this Sunday's service still to finalise, as well as an HIV / AIDS workshop I am due to conduct tomorrow.
But when I walked into my office, I noticed that my desk was looking a bit emptier. While the funeral was on, and with the two secretaries working in the front offices, someone had slipped in the back and helped themselves to my laptop, wallet, and carry-bag which had the power cables for the laptop in it.
What's stressing me a little is not the physical items stolen. Sure, R250 is a fair bit of cash to lose when you earn a Phase One stipend. And I'm a bit sore about losing the bag, which was a gift from my wife. I'm even more hurt that I've lost the One Year Bible that my previous congregation gave me as a farewell gift. Granted, these items can be replaced, but it's the sentimental value that's irreplaceable.
There's also the pain of stopping all my cards, having to apply for a new driver's license (please have mercy in the interim, Mr Traffic Officer), and the usual bits 'n bobs that one carts around in one's wallet. But the biggest inconvenience is the loss of all the data that was on the laptop, including two partially-completed assignments, every sermon I've ever preached, and all the notes, slides, videos, etc. for the HIV / AIDS workshop. Not to mention all the other data of various types that I had on there, including a fairly sizeable electronic library.
And, of course, while some of the most critical older stuff has been backed up, most of the newer stuff has not been. I suppose I should know better, but these things happen.
So I join Pooh in expressing my annoyance - "Bother..."
(PS: I've hijacked my secretary's PC to type and upload this post. I may be "missing in action" until I manage to replace my machine.)
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