Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday was as wonderful as I anticipated. Mass in the parish as usual, followed by Exposition for the Holy Hour and finishing up with Benediction, then a mad dash to a local school to pick up one of the servers, and drop him and Jonathan (who was to be Assistant MC at the Requiem) off at the station.
As usual, I eschewed the inconveniences of public transport, and opted for the inconveniences of personal transportation: being Saturday, there wasn't much traffic on the route I took up to Victoria (I carefully avoided many of the shopping areas by opting to travel via the Blackwall Tunnel and the Embankment) and there wasn't a congestion charge to worry about either.
However, I nearly fell foul of Murphy's Law: two lorries crashed just beyong the Limehouse Link, which meant that what was normally a five minute journey through the Link actually took 25 minutes. Despite this, I still arrived in Victoria with half an hour to spare, and even managed to locate a free parking space (thank you, St. Joseph!) just beside the entrance to the Cathedral!
Blackfen was well represented at the Mass: both in the congregation and on the Sanctuary itself. I had the privilege of meeting Alison Davies afterwards, as Colin (I think that was his name), a friend of hers, introduced me. Alison has spoken out on many pro-life issues which affect disabled people.
Colin said he recognised me from the blog: I found this amazing, first of all because I am always surprised to meet people who read the blog (other than friends I've sort of blackmailed into reading it), secondly, because my profile picture only has the back of my head with a mantilla (and there was hardly a shortage of mantillas in evidence at LMS events), and finally, because I was actually wearing a completely different style of mantilla from the one in my profile picture! Spooky!!
Quite a large crowd of us found our way to the Buckingham Arms, a rather nice hostelry in Petty France. The main recommendation for this pub appears to be the Real Ale available. Alas, having the car with me meant that I was restricted to Coca Cola... at least I was spared any teasing about drinking Novus Ordo Eurofizz (aka lager!)
Later on, a few of us decided that we needed to eat, and we went to the Ha Ha Bar & Grill in Cardinal Place. There's a trendy (and noisy) bar downstairs, a swanky restaurant bit upstairs, and a more informal bistro-pub bit (also upstairs, but round the corner from the restaurant bit.) This strikes me as a very sensible arrangement: not everyone wanted to eat, but we wanted to have drinks available and to be able to chat in comfort.
All in all, a very enjoyable day.