Huge empty East End church by a Wren assistant, burnt in 1850 but apparently un-Blitzed. Nice index from 19th century clock and other curiosities. Can’t spell Betjeman. Sunday evening service: a short dozen adults & half a dozen bored infants seating under the crossing facing south (Mandela, the new Jesus Christ?) with rector & PA droning on about Jesus’ to-do list, enough to make you want to behead someone. At the back of the pews, your faithful correspondent, with just across the way from him what appears to be a gay National Front couple, and behind him an affluent- and vaguely Japanese-looking Spanish girl with a large suitcase. Suddenly one of the NFers begins weeping and then, during a rectorial pause, stands up and begins to clap loudly, shouting, “Fucking hell, you said it! Fucking excellent!” “Thank you,” simpers the rector, and some of the congregation start to applaud too as only Anglicans can. An old man comes back to investigate, and the weeper clambers over the pews to him and they return hand-in-hand to the front. Exeunt in embarrassment and fear yours truly & Spanish girl, who it turns out is staying with mum at the night shelter (dinner/bed/breakfast: civilised). Watch out for the old drunk with the pitbull in the churchyard! Still more edifying than the freaking burkas on the green. Party discussion last night: it is so unjust that there are more words for male than female genitalia.
- Christmas dinner in church
I know where I should be grazing this Christmas, thanks to the Archbishop of York: We are so lucky in this country
- Santa Maria de Siurana
With that grace alate/ which thy stool embalms/Shelter neath thy cloak/our humble homes and farms.
- Don’t mess with Chinese girlie-men, and other Sumatran colonial tales
Here, from Emil Helfferich (1878-1974)‘s Südostasiatische Geschichten (Jever/Oldenburg, 1966), is an account of what happened to another German-speaker who made light
- Esta quer siñela de undibel
A selection of Spanish Romani religious video.
- The true origins of an 18th century tomb inscription at Zennor, Penwith, Cornwall
“‘Tis glorious misery to be born a man,” generally taken to refer to a hen-pecked husband, is in fact a misquotation