Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Oak Apple Day...

This day came in His Majesty to London, after a sad and long exile and calamitous suffering both of The King and Church, being seventeen years. This was also his birthday, and with a triumph of above twenty-thousand horse and foot, brandishing their swords, and shouting with inexpressible joy; the ways strewn with flowers, the bells ringing, the streets hung with tapestry, fountains running with wine; the Mayor, Aldermen, and all the companies in their liveries, chains of gold, and banners, Lords and Nobles, clad in cloth of silver, and gold, and velvet; the windows and balconies, all set with ladies, trumpets, music, and myriads of people flocking, even so far as from Rochester, so as they were seven hours in passing the City, even from two in the afternoon till nine at night.

I stood in the Strand and beheld it, and blessed God.

And all this was done without one drop of blood shed, and by that very army which had rebelled against him. But it was the Lord's doing, for such a restoration was never mentioned in any history, ancient or modern, since the return of the Jews from their Babylonish captivity; nor so joyful a day and so bright ever seen in this nation.
(From the Diary of John Evelyn, 29th May 1660).

Monday, 27 May 2013

Beset him round...

I will not walk with your progressive apes,
erect and sapient. Before them gapes
the dark abyss to which their progress tends -
if by God's mercy progress ever ends,
and does not ceaselessly revolve the same
unfruitful course with changing of a name.
I will not tread your dusty path and flat,
denoting this and that by this and that,
your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
I bow not yet before the Iron Crown,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.
J.R.R Tolkien, Mythopoeia.
 - A poem to C.S Lewis -

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Le Morte d'Arthur...

I would like to draw your attention to a new Tolkien publication, and one which I have awaited eagerly for some years now, namely: The Fall of Arthur. It is an English lay, composed by Tolkien sometime between 1930 and 1934, in alliterative verse and was his one and only venture into Arthurian legend. Although his friends and critics besought him to finish it, like so much else it was abandoned, probably sometime around 1937 (the year in which The Hobbit was published) and he never returned to it. Towards the end of his life he complained that he was running out of time, that there was so much yet to do and to complete, but his meticulousness renders that hardly surprising. But that's not a defect. And the irony is that I admire Tolkien for that, perhaps more than anything else, for it exemplifies his genius.

I pre-ordered my own copy from Amazon and I am expecting it on Tuesday morning. I hope I have the ability to read it.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

For the sake of the Liturgy...

Liturgiae Causa can be said to be three years old to-day (it was started at Pentecost A.D 2010). The idea was conceived during a sort of convalescence from my old blog Singulare Ingenium and I set about creating a new blog on a very hot May afternoon after I had attended a Pentecost Vigil at St Bede's church, Clapham Park. At the time I was still a Roman Catholic traditionalist, though an unorthodox one who made the Sign of the Cross in the correct, Orthodox way.

No, writer's block has not set in but I feel decidedly apathetic about matters liturgical now. The points have been made, and debated at length. I have tried to destroy delusional conviction and error but ostensibly I have failed. I haven't even managed to procure my own happiness or fulfilment.

I would actually like to go away, far away and indefinitely, somewhere foreign and remote like Japan, if just to forget and start anew. I used to argue a lot about waking memory and the connexion of Tradition, past and present and so on, but these days the very mention of the word ''tradition'' fills me with wrath; the word is used so liberally it has become a bastardised concept. And so perhaps to forget is a blessing, if only for me. The only problem is money. I feel that if I could just change my circumstances and forget the past and all my connexions I would be happier. So much for Liturgy!

Saturday, 11 May 2013


Brian Sewell has written an understandably bitter review of the new ITV sitcom ''Vicious'' for the London Evening (lack of) Standard here. From what I have seen of it I can only agree: Vicious is a well-deserved name for something that just regurgitates old stereotypes and makes the impression that homosexuals, of whatever generation, are generally catty and over the top. It's not even funny, and a lot of it doesn't make sense; for example Freddie and Stuart's aversion to having the curtains drawn. Heaven forbid that they might be seen to be living together, locked in nightly embrace, and in Covent Garden of all places! And the profanity is something else. I swear sometimes, usually when riled by something, but why do you need to utter profanities to appear humorous nowadays? Most contemporary comedy that I have seen has been either crass or ostensibly insulting, unless I have a peculiar, plain sense of humour (or none at all), and this one is no different. Bickering old dears can be funny, but I rather think that Hinge & Bracket did it better.

I must say I am very sorry for Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi, two of the finest actors I have seen. What a stain on their acting careers this must be. I think there are seven episodes and a Christmass special coming up. Let us hope that that will be the end of it.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My books...

I have lost the ability, patience, attention or something to read books recently, which means I am bored and isolated much of the time. I have a number of books in a kind of master in-pile, waiting to be read, and I have a number of books ''to acquire'' listed somewhere upstairs, but the prospects of actually acquiring and reading them are becoming more and more unlikely. I even have a few books awaiting dispatch to an old reader, now many months overdue; I hope he will forgive my negligence. I have tried to read in many different ways, at different times, even literature I wouldn't otherwise bother with (such as a John Adams essay on Canon and Feudal law), but the words go in and then go out, and there is no memory, and boredom, much like the the apathy I mentioned before, just sets in. And the trouble is I feel like I am running out of time. I have felt like this for many months already, and May will turn into September in a few seconds, and September into a new year, and that will turn into 2073 in no time at all. As Basil Fawlty adequately put: ''Zhooooom, what was that? That was your life, mate! I get another? Sorry, mate, that's your lot.'' It's almost as if I am standing at the top of a cliff watching at a safe enough distance the onset of a ruinous storm, all in slow motion, and it comes nearer and now nearer until inevitably I am swept away. Do I conceive of finding some safe place in which to hide? Of course not; what would be the point?

Monday, 6 May 2013

Our Lady of Pew...

A very happy Easter to you all. For those of you who are interested the Society of Our Lady of Pew will be having their annual Mass at the shrine in Westminster Abbey on Friday 10th May after Evensong. Like the Banqueting House I go merely to shew solidarity.

Do come along if you have a mind.