|Somehow I knew this was Robert Dudley|
from across the room!
I was intrigued to learn its primary Sunday Mass is celebrated in Latin with a professional choir so set off on Trinity Sunday and slid into a second-row pew. I felt as if Vatican II never happened but I enjoyed it, although a missal would have helped because I do not remember all my high school Latin. We even knelt at an altar rail to receive Communion. The priest invited everyone to coffee hour in the basement so I went and chatted with strangers for half an hour or so. I accepted tea and a biscuit and explained I was on a course. The Rector, Father Christopher Colven was very friendly and turned out to have stayed with Cardinal Law in Brighton, so was interested to hear of our family connection. I did not learn how the Latin Mass became a tradition at this church but they are very proud that people stream it from many different countries. I also spoke to a friendly young Portuguese graphic designer who suggested several special collection libraries that would be interesting to visit. On the way back to the dorm, I passed a Farmer’s Market and bought delicious raspberries.
It seemed the perfect afternoon to visit the Wallace Collection, which is one of London’s lesser-known gems. It was the home of the Marquess of Hertford but inherited by an illegitimate son, who continued the family tradition of adding priceless 18th and 19th century art. His wife left the house and its contents to the British Nation and it is now a lavishly furnished museum with a beautiful courtyard that serves high tea. My friend at church had raved about the Sevres porcelain but the paintings and furnishings appealed to me more. Jess and Dr. Steele joined me for a wonderful tour and I was especially intrigued to learn about French painter Francois Boucher and his 1759 painting of Madame de Pompadour which was intended to include hidden meanings to Louis XV. One of the other highlights of the collection is a Flemish painting called The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals. I always have a weakness for Civil War heroes. After the tour, Dr. Steele and I had high tea in the courtyard. The services was very poor but the atmosphere was pleasant and I do like Coronation Chicken sandwiches.
I had missed the group’s departure but one of my cohorts thoughtfully texted the location so I headed for the Globe Theatre, then wended my way down to the water’s edge. I kept thinking how pleased my Latin teacher, Miss Cox, would have been had I found a Roman coin but obviously, that didn’t happen. It was funny watching the 40 or so USM students wandering around looking eagerly for treasure. There was an expert mudlarker who had been recruited to help us, so we kept bringing him our finds. I told him it would be easier with a metal diviner and he said they were illegal. I did find a bone (animal), a piece of flint, a small bit of porcelain, and a pretty speckled stone. I kept thinking if it were the first chapter of a book, I would find part of a recent human body. But I got some funny looks when I shared this thought!
Miles walked: 5.1
|The Laughing Cavalier|
|Artifact in foreground and St. Paul's in background|