Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hymns, messages and coincidence

Found in a skip in the Inner Temple (close to the Church) after the Roderick Williams concert last Thursday: two hymn books and a psalter. Cannot resist taking them home.

The numbers of three hymns are marked in pencil in the front of one:
216 Jesus, still lead on
159 Most ancient of all mysteries
329 O thou who camest from above.

Perhaps some sign or hidden message here? I think not.  Talking about my finds at breakfast the next day, I mention that 'male - treble' is written in pencil above one of the hymns.
I am making three jellies (a virulent crimson and orange  - back to the colour of the autumn?)  and  - in the confusion of early morning  - someone thinks that I said that I am inviting three men to dinner.

No: and no signs or coincidence here.

Somehow refreshing to read in English Society in the Early Middle Ages that the idea of a 'pilgrim's way' is a modern fantasy.  (Have been reading some New Age-y books bought from Amazon. The trappings and perceived romance of 'pilgrimage' seem in danger -  sometimes - of obscuring its true purpose.)

"The medieval practice ongoing on pilgrimage to a near or distant shrine was the contemporary parallel to a modern holiday and pilgrims, like holiday-makers, used the same roads as other  medievall travellers than whom they were certainly less numerous. The idea of special pilgrims' ways is a modern fantasy."

The brisk tone of an elderly don: Doris Mary Stenton (1894-1971). I thought I caught a whiff of St Hilda's and indeed on googling find that Lady Stenton was an honorary fellow.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy