Friday, August 31, 2007

To London...

...for coffee with Josephine Robinson, chairman of the Association of Catholic Women. She will be among the people I am interviewing for a new series of Catholic Lives on EWTN this Autumn. Her book Marriage and Gift, published by Pauline Press, is now available in America - warmly recommended. The Association of Catholic Women has some busy months coming up - annual meeting on Sat Sept 22nd, St James church, Spanish Place. Speakers are Mgr Mark Langham of Westminster Cathedral, taking us behind the scenes in the life and work of the Cathedral, and Anne Vail on "Shrines of Our Lady in England". The Association is a sponsor of The Towards Advent Festival which is on Sat Nov 4th at Westminster Cathedral Hall (you can buy some of my home-made jam there, at our Refreshments stall...)

Parliament Square looks a mess at the moment. They've put up a big fence around the green at the centre of the Square, to try to deter the anti-Iraq-war campers whose tents and makeshift shelters, banners and placards, give the whole place a shanty-town appearance. Winston Churchill is behind the fence, and his belligerent stance looks a bit sad there. The Middlesex Guildhall is under scaffolding because of some work being done on it (Oh dear - I do hope it's restoration, not demolition? The building must be listed, surely? It's not that old, about 140 or so, but it's v. pleasing and its facade has some beautiful sculptures...)

Then further along the road has been blocked off and the traffic lights covered, to stop terrorists being able to get near Parliament. Thus traffic can no longer go along down that stretch by the river towards Millbamk - this actually makes the road between the Palace of Westminster and the Abbey rather nice, because for the first time in (??) about 170 years it is free of traffic, and one can walk there and enjoy the glory of the Abbey's Medieval gothic and the Palace's Victorian gothic-revival - there's 1,000 years of history between the two of them as you stand in the middle of the street, and yet they match most gloriously.


Administrator said...

I suspect Winston may feel sadder about the ban on protests outside Parliament and the re-introduction of ID cards he abolished in the 50s than the general untidiness.

Anonymous said...

The Middlesex Guildhall will become our new Supreme Court, at some point in the next two years, when the Law Lords become detached from the House of Lords.

The outside of the building will be cleaned and restored. What happens inside has been the subject of some debate - the original furniture was thought not to be suitable for the Supreme Court.