an old priest (2) communion mass

My grandmother said that she would love to come. But she asked if it would be all right if she her great friend, Monsignor Dunderdale, with her? What was I to say? He was 75, and she was in her eighties. The trip didn't promise to be much fun. But actually, it was. He was a friendly man, who kept my grandmother on her best behaviour. He was the most wonderful - clever, understanding, a great lover of food and wine, and constantly by life.

Two memories remain in my mind. The first is of a Communion Mass that he in his hotel bedroom, with just the four of us. He had brought a travelling Communion kit with him, and I was terribly . This was because I had not been to confession since I was 13. As a , I was not allowed to take part in the Mass.

Anyway, I refused the Host, and for a blessing. That made me realise that I was not a total non-believer - because if I had been, I would have taken Communion to be polite, and wouldn't have .

My second memory is of the deep of the customs officers when our strange little group arrived back in the car at Dover - one old lady, one elderly priest, one heavily pregnant wife and suspicious-looking me. I seem to remember that only one of us was actually trying to anything – the absent-minded Mgr Dunderdale was bringing in more liquor then was allowed.