Emerging From Hibernation
I guess it’s probably a bad time to be emerging from hibernation just when the snow is thick on the ground and the wind is whistling round SE10 making it feel like, according to Peter Cockroft, the Ancient God of London Weather, a Baltic -10°. But if I don’t do it now, I might never get round to it, so here I am, blinking into the dull grey light of the 1st December.
It’s only been a couple of weeks but it feels like months. I have no real idea what’s been going on, I’ve hardly been out, I’ve taken no photos and I’ve not even been Twitterising. My mail has been piling up – watch out in the next couple of days for a bumper Parish News as I finally get around to listing a load of stuff people have been telling me about.
I think I’m looking forward to the festive season. I’m going to ease myself gently into Greenwich Christmas after a very odd time. My advent calendar today had a surreal picture of a penguin dressed up as a choirboy, in a fancy medieval-type outfit. Presumably one of a team of crack Arctic mercenary ninja penguin choirboys employed by the Vatican for Papal security.
For something a little more close to home, St Alfege’s Church begins its fourth annual Advent Windows event today. It’s a bit of a splendid week for the church – they celebrated the first (and probably trickiest) phase of the renovation on Monday with a peal of bells, exactly 300 years since the hideous storm that felled the first church. After the storm finally did for the medieval building the parishioners sent a petition to Parliament (yup, we were petitioning even then…) to get a new one built. They managed rather more than they’d hoped for – it was the start of a massive new church building programme in London.
Of course the tower, which is slowly re-emerging from the scaffolding, isn’t as old as that – Hawksmoor’s original design was too pricey for the good burghers of Greenwich and he eventually palmed it off on St Georges in the East. Personally I actually prefer John James’s version, built 25 years later when they’d saved up some more cash, though sundry architecture critics have been sniffy about it in the past.
That’s the one that’s just been restored, but inside it there are still the remains of the medieval church, which sort of feels rather good.
But back to the Advent windows – today’s, Voice, is at 2-4 College Approach and will be unveiled at 6.30pm, when the traditional mince pies and mulled wine will be doled out. My favourite windows are the ones that are listed as ‘best seen after dark’ – and this is one of they.
Good to be back, folks…
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