Ogston, Rev. David

Nae day is the same as the een afor't or the neist day. Bit some things dinna vary. Ilkie mornin I takk ma wife tae the skweel far she teaches. Back hame, the kettle's on an I'm yokit intae coffee an the letters that hae come in. Fyles wee notes fae a quine I've merried sayin foo they enjoyed their waddin, or somebody writin tae say wull I baptise their bairn fan they come up tae Perth again, or reminders aboot meetins I should be gyaun till, or it could be muckle screeds o bumph aboot the kirk's heid quarters, news aboot conferences, information, braw an brezzy invitations like 'Revitalise your Sunday School in 10 weeks.'

I'll maybe try tae sort oot some o this boorach o paper, bit the chunces are that I'll be ambushed bi the phone. Ae call can chynge nae juist my day bit my haill wik- say it's a funeral that comes in, an the undertaker tells me the femily wint a service in the kirk for their father, maybe fower days hence, at sic an sic a time ... I dive tae get the diary, tae check if I'm free tae takk on faat they're speirin. The diary's teem, so we can fix the time. As seen's the undertaker's aff the phone, I'll hae three calls o my ain tae makk- straicht aff, there's nae pint in leavin it ... First ava, the organist. Can he play for this funeral? Syne the session clerk- could she sort oot some details, like an elder tae work the microphones, elders tae be stewards on the day o the
service, stuff like at. The third call is tae the beadle, tae warn him tae hae the kirk ready, heatin on if it's caul widder, can he come in early faan the coffin is brocht, can he pit 'reserved' signs on thirty seats for the close relatives etc...

The shape o the eftemeen his juist been altered- I ken noo that I'll be wi the bereaved femily for half-an-oor, maybe langer. Bit I'd promised tae meet anither minister at fower o clock tae gyang throwe wie her faat we wis gyaun tae dee at the High Skweel's Junior Assembly come Friday. I phone her, an she's nae in. I phone the office faar her man works. Her man tells me she's in Glesga bit she's comin back for fower o'clock. So I'm stuck because I dinna wint tae lat her doon.

I come hame at half-sax. There's five messages on the answer-phone. Mags an I hae wir supper; the phone rings twice faan we're ettin. I've gotten eesed tae caul mince. Oot again at a quarter past sivven for a meetin... come nine o clock it's time for a lang caul Guinness an a news wie a frien. At a quarter tae ten I'm hame for the nicht. My wife says 'There's a bride phonin ye at hauf past ten tae book her waddin for neist August'; I sit doon an try tae watch
the comedy programme (repeat) which I missed first time roon. The phone rings ......