mid-March 2018 Update

After being switched to hospice care, my dear Aunt Florence died within 24 hours. If she had not fallen on Christmas, she would probably still be with us. She leaves a void. One forages on, but I talked to her by phone every week and much more often since she became hospitalized.


The Focus

We had attended the Nonsuch Singers’ Coronation Anthems by Candlelight concert in St. Martin’s in the Field just before learning from my cousin Judy that Florence had passed. Two days later, it was a Heathen ritual to Thor at Conway Hall. Our next event, apart from online computer sessions with Scott, was having Penny and Hamish and neighbour Peter over for dinner. At the LSE, Eileen Barker, looking quite good, gave a very fine talk entitled “Is God Really Dead.” For Nova Stellar this time it was Pete Jennings. I found him difficult to understand. His presentation was reasonable but not the most exciting. The next evening, after an afternoon cinema with Penny and Hamish, Richard and I went to the Kensington Library for Antony Clayton’s enjoyable talk on “Secret Tunnels.” I bought two of us books. And at the British Library, we heard a panel discussion consisting of Vivianne Crowley, Ronald Hutton and Phillip Carr-Gomm on “21st-Century Magic.”

The cinema had been The Phantom Thread. Fine acting and engaging enough. I thought Vicky Krieps was excellent. Other films we got to included The Shape of Water, which for us was a thoroughly gripping joy, Lady Bird that was purely fun, and Fantastic Woman – Almodovar-esque and moving. For the theatre, Liz took us to the Donmar Warehouse for Peter Gill’s The York Realist. This did not engage me, felt slow, and I remained indifferent to the situation. And further, at the English National Opera, Richard and I have seen both Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe – a long time favourite for me, and Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream – strange but wonderful. But were superb, and the fairy world of Iolanthe became a total creation. Perhaps slightly less so for the Britten.

I have been reading Alfred Gell’s  Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (1998) and Brent Plate’s Key Terms in Material Religion (2015) – both of which I found enjoyable and helpful for my ‘Pagan Mysticism’ manuscript which I have now completed. I have also just finished Tom Steel’s The Life and Death of St. Kilda that Carol’s friend Brigid had given me. It could not be more of an opposite to Mary Lovell’s The Riviera Set, but I appreciated reading both.

We’ve had an enjoyable meal at Carafini with Patrick and Sue. Ten days earlier, we had Jonah, Mitch, Rosemary and Kasia over to us for dinner. We also had lunch at the Tate Britain with Serena before visiting the museum. She was staying with us for a night, but with the arctic weather and snows & ice, there was no transport for her back to Glastonbury, and she had to stay with us a second night. And finally meal-wise, if I’m not forgetting something else, James and Eamonn had us over to Brockley with their friend Michael for the most magnificently scrumptious brunch. I had to have my online Cherry Hill Seminary class chez eux with the American time change while we have another two weeks to do ours. In all, I am thoroughly enjoying my five students and the discussions we have been having.

Beside Tate Britain, we have managed a brief visit (as well as lunch) at the British Museum (I wanted to purchase Jill Cook’s Living With Gods) and also attended the vernissage of the “Mum Before Me” exhibition at the Jeannie Avent Gallery in which Gin had a stunning photo of her mother.

Richard has been continuing with his driver’s license lessons. His next test itself is this coming Friday (16 March). Medically, I’ve been to the Royal Marsden twice and will begin the radiation therapy on 3 April. This will continue for 37 days (work days only). Last week I ran out of my Rivaroxaban for stroke prevention and went to my NHS surgery for a renewal prescription. My usual pharmacist was out of stock and was unlikely to get more for several days, so I went to Boots, but when I got there, I had somehow managed to lose the prescription itself. After returning to my surgery and waiting, our doctor refused to write me a replacement. I realize finally that I need to find a new doctor. Further, we have both been to the dentist. Richard’s bill came to £1500!

On Margarita Day (22 February) and during the Roman epagomenal carnival, we took Chloe and Matt to the Long Bar at Sanderson’s for a very expensive dinner and drinks but a lot of fun and including some intense but lovely exchange with my daughter. And with them again last night we had dinner at the House Restaurant at the National Theatre and afterwards saw Network on which Chloe had worked for the sets. The play and Bryan Cranston were superb – a standing ovation from the whole audience. The work though – what? – twenty years old is as relevant today as ever. I think it should be mandatory viewing in every school.

After hearing James and Eamonn’s friend Michael expound critically on the cinema and other performances, I realize that Richard and I like almost virtually almost everything. Well then, so be it! Life is still good.
























please click:

HERE to return to the Bibliotheca

HERE to return to the Atrium

Back to the front page

















Back to the front page