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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Bloomsbury and St Paul's

I decided this morning to take advantage of the improved state of my knees to walk around Bloomsbury and Covent Garden. I have decided to spend my limited time locally rather than heading for major attractions. I regret missing the Natiinal Gallery and Tate Modern this time - but I can't do it all and it's a shame not to explore the precinct.

My walk took me around the British Museum to Russell Square, down Bury St, where I stopped briefly at the impressive London Review Bookshop (no, didn't indulge, I'm travelling light with ebooks!). Its attached foodcourt was full of hopeful Cordon Bleu chefs.

This area has several Scottish outfitters. I loved this patchwork tartan bag.

I was hoping to visit St George's Church, but it doesn't open until afternoons. It's interesting to see the interfaith support declared by churches in this area.

I headed down Drury Lane, with its barber shops, of varying degrees of sophistication.

A few costume shops have survived the invasion of eateries 
along with regalia shops.
Around the corner in Queen Street is the monumental and seemingly impenetrable Masonic Building
and not far away, Aviation House, with its odd injunction to "Enter, Rest, Pray" over the door. Perhaps that could also be inscribed over the doors on long haul planes!

A fashionable hat
and a ceramics display caught my eye before I took a rest in Bloomsbury Square and headed back to put my feet up for a bit.
In the afternoon I caught a bus to St Paul's. As the bus stop was outside the now open St George's Church, I popped in to have a look. It is a lovely square shape with a new chandelier acquired from the Netherlands and an interesting lectern.
Many readers are aware that today is the first anniversary of Jim's death. I'm grateful for and sustained by all the messages of support.

We both liked St Paul's and attended the choral Evensong there last time we were in London. I spent a bit of time time today walking around St Paul's.
I lit quite a lot of candles - enough for all of us -in front of the Holman Hunt painting "Behold I stand at the door and knock". Jim was one for opening doors, so it seemed fitting. The candles made steady and bright light for a long time.

I had a drink and ice cream in the cafe, then sat under the dome and stitched for about 45 minutes until Evensong - still, I think, my favourite Anglican service.

Photos are not allowed so I don't have a lot to show. The music was lovely. I'd have preferred more chance to join in the singing of the responses, but I understand the notion of a choir responding on our behalf - and it fits with the statement of the architecture - the colour of the mosaics,  the gold, the words, the music and the depicted stories lifting our spirits to the light. I'm very glad I went. It worked for me. 
When I returned to my hotel the bar music was loud, so to preserve my centeredness I ate at a pleasant local Greek Taverna. I hope others were as blessed today.


  1. I am just lucky I stopped by before the email came! It looks like you had a beautiful, sunny day. Here too, spectacular weather. I did not realize that today was the anniversary of Jim's death, or that your trip co-incided with that anniversary. I think you were in exactly the right place! It all looks lovely, connected and peaceful. I have not seen that part of London at all, so it is nice to see some new places. I really love that image of St. George! Modern Roman? And the taverna looks very pleasant too. Sleep well!

  2. Thanks Monica. I'm sure I will. I feel very at peace.i hadn't planned the day in advance.
    I need to find out more about the St George - obviously modern - another story there.

  3. I am so pleased you found peace on such an incredibly important day. I knew it was going to be while you were away but didn't know which one. My thoughts are with you. Off to the house today to drop off some things and do as asked.

  4. I like the tutu in the sansha shop from vk

  5. Looks like you have had another busy day. It must have been very strange for you visiting St Pauls on the first anniversary of Jim's death, and attend the Evensong which you both went to on your last visit together to London. I hope it enabled you to reflect on many happy memories.

  6. Glad you are enjoying your time in the City. I can't believe it is a year since you lost Jim.

  7. Love the candles. What a lovely symbol. glad you had such a varied and peaceful day. I'm really enjoying the pictures. Thank you for doing it as a blog. It's more satisfying and connected reading than the odd Facebook photo post.

  8. This moves me a great deal - I was texting from St Paul's. Walsingham is buried downstairs (well, he's one of the tombs buried somewhere in the older version of the church, no actual surviving tombstone). And I think it is a place of great serenity, a testament to our ability to create a space to think about things that are bigger.

  9. What a wonderful walk and I love St Paul's too. My father visited there in the mid 80's and it was one of the attractions that they visited at the time along with Westminster etc, etc. Evensong is such a wonderful service and I attended one in Adelaide in the early 90's and it was just so beautiful to hear it sung in such a beautiful cathedral too. Not a patch on what you have experienced though.