07 February 2019, The Tablet

St Anthony is not fussy about the people for whom he intercedes


St Anthony is not fussy about the people for whom he intercedes
 

I got out of bed, helped myself to a Gaviscon and put on my overcoat. It was 4 a.m. I needed a Gaviscon because the honey and menthol lozenges I’d been sucking had given me indigestion. I needed an overcoat because the curtains had fallen down and awaited a new rail, and cold air was making itself at home indoors, where a radiator had conked out.

I was grumpy after a brief bout of flu, but other people’s flu is as dull as other people’s dreams, so enough of that. Yet I was comforted by a piece of providence that may sound meanly selfish. It is to do with St Anthony’s involvement with my tax affairs.

St Anthony, as I may have mentioned, is not fussy about the people for whom he intercedes. Only a couple of weeks ago he had done me a double favour in the empty quarter of Extremadura. I was in Zafra, a curious market town with a station half-an-hour’s walk away. As the old joke has it: “Why is the station so far from the town?” “We thought we’d build it near the railway.”
I’d left time to buy a sandwich and get a taxi before the lunchtime Sunday train – the train of the day. No shop was open, no taxi to be caught. By necessity I lolloped off, with a painful knee and a heavy bag, hot and bothered in the cold wind, with, perhaps, enough minutes to make the train.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading


Register for free to read this article in full


Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £19.99 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login