Sunday, 6 February 2011

My weekend...


My parents spent the weekend in Eastbourne (they have an apartment on the seafront), so on Saturday I invited my friend Nina round for tea. She brought round her Paris edition of Vogue and we both agreed that Hubert de Givenchy's standards are slipping vis his choice of models. It was too cold and windy to enjoy our tea on the terrace so we watched Mermaids indoors instead, and ordered Chinese food. Mermaids is my favourite non-Audrey Hepburn film of all time! I first saw it when I was a boy of about 11 or 12 years, and Charlotte Flax and I were so similar it's spooky! At one point she says ''Please God don't make me fall in love and want to do disgusting things;'' I remember uttering a similar petition when I first became aware of...the way I am. Nina doesn't care for organised religion. She has seen this blog before, and thinks it's ''cute'' that I am so passionate about religion, but doesn't really go in for any of it herself. I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to have spent my Saturday with someone I love so much, and with whom I can be myself - in a way which is more ''myself'' than mere common assent to a set of doctrines, or opinions about Liturgy. We're going to see Black Swan next week - not the first time I've seen it, but I thought that Natalie Portman was so beautiful that I can't see it again without her.

On the Lord's Day I went to a leading Anglo-Catholic church for Mass and had lunch with a good friend of mine. Again refreshing, but in a different sense. It was nice not to have to put up with such topics as how the new translation is a great boon for the Church; how the Ordinariate is so wonderful, and crying out ''Most Holy Father, what a wonderful backside you have,'' etc. We spoke about our liturgical principles, and I recalled the story of Aldarion and Erendis in Tolkien's legendarium. Aldarion was the King of Númenor in the days of its glory, and Erendis was his wife. Aldarion was a mariner, but Erendis hated the sea, and their love turned to bitter hatred, so much so that in the bearing of their daugher Ancalimë Erendis said to her in her youth:

''Therefore do not bend, Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down. Sink your roots into the rock, and face the wind, though it blow away all your leaves.'' (J.R.R Tolkien, Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth).

Bit like being an actual ''traditionalist'' in Traddieland...

The above painting is a ''sketch'' by the Tolkien illustrator Ted Nasmith and depicts the Gates of Morning in the far east, which the mariners of Aldarion must have seen at some point in their travels - Middle-earth was still ''flat'' in those days you see...

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