To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

about me
photo of Dave Middleburgh
Hong Kong

blogspot visit counter
  powered by BLOGGER

St Pauls

Just upstream from the Anchor (& our Hotel) is the Millenium Bridge. I suggested, half seriously, as we crossed to St Paul’s at 7.30am, that the policeman loitering on the bridge was probably waiting for a body floating down the river. Coincidently the local newspaper headline when we visited mum a couple of days later referred to the police pulling a body out of the local River Roding. Maybe British Waterways could develop a marketing campaign around the concept of “Fish and Stiffs” (well just an idea). When we crossed the bridge later there was a plain cloths policemen stopping someone. Mum suggested the elevated police presence on the bridge was probably to do with a security alert (?). What a comforting thought!!

There is a memorial outside St Paul’s to the fireman who had died during the war. St Paul’s was basically untouched during the Blitz and was a symbol to Londoners of resistance and hope. At 8.00am we were one of first to get inside. Becca was right when she said that it was a 'neat' church not fussy like continental churches but she was disparaging about the statuary; It’s true - the statue to Nelson isn't about art and is not comparable with anything in Florence or Venice . It’s a cipher full of symbolism about the nation’s respect for a hero. Discussing it made me realize why I prefer St Paul’ to Westminster abbey. It’s because it’s a hero's church and although I see myself as a European, this church makes me intensely proud of my "Britishness".

The crypt contains

These men were lions who fought for and defended the country.

I wonder what the tour guides tell the French and Germans tourists when they show them around the crypt ?

I went up to the top of the dome (to very top): last time I did this was with Anne. Although there are lots of new buildings since I was there last, only the “GHERKIN” merits comment. (As far as I am concerned the "eye" is about as worthy as a back wheel on an upturned pedal bike with a flat tire.) The “GHERKIN” on the other hand is so outrageous that it’s gorgeous. Little did the IRA realize when they blew up the “Baltic Exchange” that when rebuilt it would effectively be giving them the finger in keeping with the spirit of St Paul’s during the Blitz.

It is instructive to visit the small exhibition showing photos of the royal family in the treasury in the crypt. There are lots of recent photos of Charles, his sons and other members of royal family. There was however only one photo showing Dianna in the distance from the back in her wedding dress (a faceless white blob). Remember this is the church where Di and Charles got married – Forgive me for thinking she is being expunged from the public memory and long live the Duchess of Cornwall .

| More