Saturday, 14 November 2009
The Arrival Of Winter...
The weather, for some strange reason, is considered to be a very British conversation piece. I hate to encourage such stereotyping, but sometimes one just has to bow to the inevitable...
The first major storms of winter appear to have hit Britain this weekend. They are slightly later than usual - in 1987 we had "the Great Storm" in the middle of October, which took everyone by surprise (most famously the weather forecaster, Michael Fish*... poor chap!) and ever since then, we seem to have storm warnings and severe weather warnings each October.
Today, I wanted to go along to the LMS Annual Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral. I was really looking forward to it, and had originally planned to drive down to Westminster and leave my car in Petty France near the Buckingham Arms. Then I heard that the Lord Mayor's Show was on.
Plan B was also quite enticing: take a cab to North Greenwich, and then the Jubilee Line up to Westminster... almost as easy as Plan A, with the added advantage of being able to indulge in a glass or two of something bracing to keep out the damp.
This morning, as I got ready for the usual Saturday morning devotions at Blackfen, Plan B began to look distinctly unappealing: the wind was howling and the rain was really lashing down. There was a brief point at which I thought the weather might clear up, but it didn't last long.
Happily, the UCM had arranged their annual Winter Warmer event. I popped in to the hall to buy some cakes (I was still intending to go to Westminster at this point) but, as I was returning to the car, the heavens really opened. I beat a hasty retreat back inside the hall, put the cakes somewhere safe, and settled down to a delicious lunch.
Maria was on the cake stall: I had already snaffled the Dundee cake and a rather nice-looking lemon sponge, but there were still plenty of others for sale.
The ladies of the UCM were serving homemade leek and potato soup: I understand that it was really scrumptious, but, having a severe aversion to greenery in my diet, I refrained from trying any, and stuck to the sandwiches and mince pies. This was definitely another wonderful parish event.
*In case any of you are puzzled by my reference to Michael Fish, this is what I'm on about...