...is an elegant Square in Pimlico, with an attractive garden in the middle, scented at present with its glorious lilac bushes. I have long wanted to enter, but couldn't, because it's restricted to local residents, who are given keys.
Why was I in Ecclestone Square yesterday evening? Regular readers of this Blog will be aware that, with a friend, I have for the past nine days been engaging in a Novena for our Bishops. What I didn't put on the Blog - because I didn't want a lot of nutcases turning up - was our venue. We've been standing outside number 39 Ecclestone Square, headquarters of our Bishops' Conference, saying the Rosary each day at 5pm. (yes, I know that makes us nutcases too. But there are only two of us).
Yesterday being Pentecost Sunday we met to celebrate after our Novena and - joy of joys - the garden was having an open-day. It was enchanting inside - lots of lovely little paths going in and out around intriguing flower-beds, tiny mazes made of box-hedges, sudden vistas of cool lawns, a gravel walk. I enjoyed myself. When P. arrived, I ran to the railings: it was most gratifying to greet her from within them. Only problem was how to get out. I didn't want to interrupt one of the dwindling number of family groups gathered round barbeques on the lawn by asking for the neccessary key, so had to clamber out over the railings. Inelegant, but it was worth it.
We went back to Patti's for a supper and talk. I had brought a DVD of the John Paul II film starring Jon Voight. It was late when I set off for home and I had missed the last Tube, so I cycled all the way back to the Surrey suburbs in the cool silence of the night. It was superb.
Now, why can't our tiresome public authorities give us back our proper Whitsun holiday weekend?
Instead of the clumsy muddle of Bank Holidays that we currently have, with May Day and Early Spring and I know not what, why can't we just have what is logical and fits with our traditions and heritage: holidays at Easter and Whitsun?