In Jerusalem people talk to one another. There is no room at all for English social reticence with strangers.
I’ve taken to having lunch at a rather good restaurant called Amigo Emil in Al-Khanga Street. At a nearby table this afternoon was a ‘properly dressed’ clerical gentleman who turned out to be Fr Michael Sellers, the former Dean of St George's Anglican Cathedral. We had a most interesting conversation and he is a mine of local information and of good stories. At the lighter end of the spectrum I’m grateful to him for the following:-
A black cat arrived at the pearly gates and St Peter asked her if there was anything he could do to make her stay more comfortable. ‘Well’, said the cat, ‘my owners never did seem to be able to provide me with a comfortable cushion’. ‘No problem’ said St Peter and found the most comfortable cushion available in heaven.
A little later a group of mice arrived. ‘And what can I do for you’ asked the Saint? ‘Well’, said the leader of the group, ‘we never seemed to be able get up enough speed when being chased by a cat. If you have any cats here, could you please lay on some roller skates for us?’ So St Peter rustled up sets of mouse-sized skates and all seemed to be well in heaven.
Time passed and St Peter thought he’d check up on his new arrivals. He found the black cat and asked how she was getting on with the cushion. ‘It’s absolutely wonderful’, replied the cat ‘and, by the way, thanks for the extras.’ ‘Extras, what extras would those be,’ asked St Peter? ‘Well’, said the cat, ‘I didn’t know you had Meals on Wheels in heaven.’