Daily Archives: October 15, 2012

Photos from London (and Brussels)

I got the import to work.  So . . . here are shots from my first 24+ hours in London–

My camera is dealing me fits, trying to be obstinate as I attempt to import today’s photos to the computer.  This same thing happened in Montreal.  Alas.

Otherwise I’ve been on the go all day!  And I’m weary, so bed is calling.  US residents, look for an update when you rise on Tuesday.

Here’s a shot from the iPhone today.

At Trafalgar Square today.

Morning in London

At 8.50 a.m., I’m back from Westminster Abbey.

Let me just say: there’s nothing quite like leaving your hotel, rounding the corner onto Bridge Street, and seeing the Clock Tower housing Big Ben two long blocks ahead of you.  Every day this week, I’ll walk that mile, past the old County Hall, over the Thames on Westminster Bridge, past the Houses of Parliament, and to Westminster Abbey, at least once and sometimes twice a day.

So the rhythm of the day is already set.  Up at 6, breakfast at 7, walking to the Abbey by 7.40.  Breakfast is a wonderful full English, altho I skip the baked tomato and the beans.  Scrambled eggs, potato, ham, a croissant, fruit, jam, coffee . . . this is my breakfast of champions.  And as I eat, I read the paper, and I listen to the melange of languages all around me.  No city in the world is as relentlessly cosmopolitan, and dare I say ‘worldly,’ as London.

Now it’s time to plan the rest of the day.  I’ve been here often enough that I don’t do the intense planning any more.  I purchased a 2012 guidebook to give me Web addresses and current information, and off I go.

Today, by the way, is the Feast of St. Theresa of Avila.  We celebrated her life and works and writings at Eucharist this morning.

 

The Feast of the Dedication of Westminster Abbey

I was privileged yesterday to attend Evensong celebrating the Feast of the Dedication of Westminster Abbey, an annual celebration on the Sunday after October 13.  That latter date is important because it is the date on which the remains of St. Edward the Confessor were translated to the Abbey in the 12th century.

Present yesterday at Evensong were the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayors of the London Boroughs, all in formal state garb — fur-trimmed robes, tri-cornered hats, gold chains of office, lace and finery — accompanied by chaplains carrying the mace of each borough.  Reading the first lesson was Sir David Brewer, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.

This was quite the Evensong!

The hymns were standard favorites, top 40 hits, really; the canticles were Stanford in A; the Responses, Tomkins.

For me the best single moment of the service was the introit.  Bruckner’s “Locus Iste” was sung by the choir from the west doors, and rang and rang in peace through the vast church.  I was seated in the north transept with a great view of the south transept windows.  I was transfixed by the splendor and majesty that our forebears created in that place.

It’s now not quite 7 a.m.  I’ve slept the night through and should be on London time.  I headed down to breakfast, and then on to the Abbey for 8 a.m. Eucharist.  I’ll return there today for Evensong as well.