Friday, August 05, 2005


Where to start...Last week I was in the south of France doing voluntary work for Liverpool Archdiocese. It was a bit of a saga just getting there as my EasyJet flight from Liverpool was delayed 6 hours meaning my flight took off 30 minutes after my train left Paris. This made a straightfoward day very stressful but eventually I managed get myself on another flight and get down to Lourdes.

Once there I spent my days pushing wheelchairs round and generally making sure Liverpool's sick pilgims are comfortable and don't get lost while visiting the Catholic shrines.

It's busy work but nothing too taxing...there are people who work a lot harder than me (but then again I've only been going for 4 years, there are people who are working there on their 50th).

We spent the evenings and the early hours of the mornings drinking lots of Stella Artois (Do you think that's quite wise sir?). The mornings where a bit hazy (I learnt the hard way : only drinking late with people who are getting up the same time as you). I was staying in a 10 bed dorm with some of the other workers...I think it was actually Great Britain's Olympics snoring is truly astounding how much noise someone can make without waking themselves up.

Lourdes is a bit an enigma...some people are dead set against it before they ever get to the shrines...It is surrounded by a nearly inpenetrable barrier of tat & tack shops (Glow in the dark Our Lady statue anyone? St Bernadette Water feature? Sacred Heart Picture complete with fairy lights? it's all there). The Rough Guide to France was scathing about the place (a lot more scathing that they are about the equivelant 'amazing' Hindu shrines in India). This is a shame 'cause once you get through that and into the actual churches it's all pretty each there own I suppose.

Anyway a good time was had by all I think.

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