A fairly typical masonic month leading up to today's blog, having attended a mere 19 masonic meetings of various sorts (Craft, RA, Rose Croix, various committees, rehearsals and Provincial Duties etc.) in the last four weeks.
Looking forward to a quiet weekend, but then....
The Provincial RA website needs an edit to show the two latest holders of the M.E.G.S.' Certificate of Merit. Find the email from the companion who pointed this out to establish the names of the recipients. Open the website for editing and notice that all the other recipients' Chapter names and numbers are listed (which is information I don't have). Add the information I have got to the website, publish it and email the companion back to see if he knows the other information.
A 'News' story needs to written about the RA Chapter of Improvement Exaltation Ceremony last Thursday. Find my camera to download the photographs of the event (I was DepPrGDC and Photographer) and edit the photographs to make them useable. Write the article, add the photographs and publish the article.
Notice that a number of the dates for the 'Upcoming Events' on the website have already passed. Therefore I need to trawl through the list of articles, open each one and, where necessary, edit them to move them out of the website's 'Events' Section and into the 'Archive' section.
Realise that the 'Events section on the provincial Craft website also needs to be updated to remove out-of-date 'Events' articles. Find even more than on the RA 'site and edit each one.
The Provincial Communications Officer has sent me three emails containing information about recent events he feels are newsworthy. Write, illustrate and publish three new articles.
Saturday 12:00 midday
Time to start Thursday's Table Plan. Search through emails, lodge bag and jacket and assemble lodge members' responses for the forthcoming Christmas meal. Some members have responded with completed forms and cheques by post, others handed their forms to me directly; others have sent emails.
Some haven't replied at all.
Identify members who haven't responded and send out a last-minute request-for-information email.
Open 'Table Plan' software and begin to enter Christmas Meeting attendees' details, such as Names, Spouses' Names, Menu Choices, Payment Status etc.. Without the missing members' replies I have to suspend any further work on the Table Plan and cannot give any useful information to the caterers.
Noticing it's the Masonic Motoring Club luncheon tomorrow I realise I haven't finished editing - or started printing! - this year's members' Christmas Cards which I had promised to do. Firstly it keeps the postage costs down if we hand as many cards out as possible at the lunch and secondly the card contains a reminder about the Subscription and it's been found that most people pay their subs on the day of the luncheon.
Search my emails for the 2019 Schedule of Events for the club and add it to the back page of the Christmas card.
Go to start printing and realise that we don't have the right paper size in stock. A full and frank discussion with the current Mrs E ensues, who - when she has accepted full responsibility (phew!) - offers to drive to a shop, on the strict proviso that every ten minutes I will stir the food she's preparing for tonight's dinner guests.
Having temporarily abandoned the Christmas Cards, I set about writing my report to the PGM and Festival 2022 Chairman as I'll be unable to attend the next committee meeting as it clashes with the Lodge Christmas meeting.
This could be tricky as I want to persuade them to do certain things in a different way and it's important to choose my words carefully. Furthermore I have a fellow committee member who I need to be in agreement with me so I arrange to meet him and his wife after tomorrow's WMMC lunch to show him a draft of my proposed report.
Start printing WMMC Christmas cards whilst continuing with report to the PGM.
Check emails from lodge members to see if any more bookings have come in for Thursday's Christmas meeting. Those who have replied today are mostly not going to be attending.
Printer runs out of ink. A second full and frank discussion with the current Mrs E ensues, who - when she has accepted full responsibility again (phew!) - offers to drive to a shop, on the strict proviso that every ten minutes I will again stir the food she's preparing for tonight's dinner guests.
Start to design the flyer for the WMMC's lunch in January
Re-start printing of the Christmas Cards.
Try to finish the WMMC January Lunch flyer and realise I don't have the menu. Email a fellow WMMC Committee member for the details
Christmas Card printing is finished and we start to fold them and put them in envelopes so that as many as possible can be handed out at tomorrow's lunch and the rest can be posted. This means we need to know who will be at the lunch tomorrow and - more importantly who won't be there - so that we can sort out address labels. Email the WMMC's secretary for the dining list.
She doesn't have one so we email the WMMC's Treasurer's wife who does!
The current Mrs E suggests that a captive audience at tomorrows WMMC lunch might be a good time to hand out some flyers for the Festival 2022 'Bournemouth Event' next February. Find the file and print 20-odd copies which, as they have four pages, all need collating and stapling.
Suggest to the envelope-stuffing Mrs E that she might want to have her shower and get dressed as our evening guests will be arriving in about 90 minutes. Turn off ceiling fan as the room suddenly feels quite frosty.
Having received the menu for the January WMMC lunch I add it to the flyer. Print 30-odd copies to hand out today. Sort out laptop and camera to take to today's lunch.
WM 'phones to see if I have had replies from every member about the Christmas meal. Tell him who hasn't responded and he offers to make the necessary 'phone calls and get back to me.
During lunch the chairman of the B&M Committee for one of Worcestershire's Masonic Meeting Places approaches me to discuss some problems he's having with managing the building and asks me if I can find him a specialist consultant or two.
Another diner asks if I'll write an article about his classic car for the WMMC website.
Meeting with fellow Festival 2022 Committee member and his wife to discuss my draft report to the Committee.
Received email from RA Companion giving me the 'Certificate of Merit' holders' details to add to the RA website.
Check emails and WM's messages for last-minute responses for Thursday's Christmas meeting.
Start to create table plan and realise we don't have our widows' Menu choices. Three 'phone calls later and we can complete the plan.
Send the Table Plan to the WM for comment.
Still no reply from one member of the lodge but I have to send the Table Plan and list of meal choices/allergies etc. to the Caterer.
Discussion starts with the current Mrs E about buying the widows' gifts for Thursday.....
Publish light-hearted - and hopefully amusing! - blog entitled 'Diary of a Busy Freemason' on the Lodge Website
Caterer emails on Monday morning to say they should have been given the Christmas Meal information last Thursday.
Begin internet search for flights to other planets....