And what a bizarre kind of evening it is weather-wise with Aberdeenshire - where I used to spend many a happy hour in the mid '80s - shivering under a traditionally imperial 6 inches (rather than the modern metric 15 cm) of snow whilst other parts bask in Spring sunshine . . . here in the Wigwam it is somewhat grey and darkling with the ever present possibility of brighter later seemingly more probably a wetter sooner !
So what has Yours Truly been up to since last we met? Well, I went along to the Stephen Armstrong event (see picture above) and met not only the very charming man himself but another author named Danny Dorling with whom I chatted statistics - and yes, it was very interesting thank you, oh doubting ones! - along with the very lovely and talented soprano Jane Collier . . . I have a copy of Stephen's book "The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited" which I will be reviewing and of which I shall say more later. The event, which took place at Sunshine House in Scholes a mere stone's throw from where Dear Old George stayed when he came to Wigan in the '30s, was very well attended and there were so many familiar faces there that I could have spent an entire evening shaking hands and kissing proffered cheeks; especially those of my dear friend and artist extraordinaire Poppy Fields with whom such social collisions are always so pleasurable!
Today was spent on a variety of tasks involved in the process of trying to be grown up and professional - which, as fellow 11 year olds will vouch, is a tad difficult not to say boring - and a more pleasurable set of activities involving not one but both of my sisters. First and foremost it was off to Costa for the initial visit where Vicky, Sally and Shoana (hope that's the correct spelling) went out of their way as always to make us feel welcome. The Sisters sat scoffing - cake, not in derision - whilst I tried once again to explain to Cate the theory behind the correct fitting of a toilet seat; this included demonstrating the eccentric nature of the seat and lid fastening which allows for adjustment along the length of the toilet by use of the also-eccentric Costa saucers . . . fuelled thus we set off into the less than pleasant climes and popped over to the Parish Church of All Saints which, this being Holy Week, was open for visitors other than on a Saturday.
It really is an amazingly beautiful and often over-looked church, the present building dating for the most part from around 1840 but the first mention of the church being in the Doomsday Survey of 1086. As well as enjoying the beautiful peace and tranquility and gorgeous architectural features, it was also good to revisit the scene of the Sisters' baptism (many years ago!) and to remember the Old Duchess who 'belonged' to the church as she would have said; a real pity she couldn't be there in person to enjoy today. It was fascinating to chat to the very friendly helpers who were there to meet and greet visitors and, in the ensuing conversation, I learned that the Church has been successful in bidding for Heritage Lottery funding to allow the restoration of 15th century altar pieces and the Chancel reredos; the project will also provide an opportunity to learn about the importance of the church in the history of Wigan.
If you're free this week I would urge you to pop along and have a look and, if possible, to add your name to the visitors book; the funding body always wants to see that the community visits the building at times other than for services. It is also a venue for all types of musical events and deserves perhaps more support from the community of Wigan than it receives. The picture, by the way, is of a window I particularly liked; it is set in the south wall and depicts angels representing Mercy, Truth, Righteousness and Peace.
I thought for a brief moment I could hear thunder but I realise that it is, in fact, the rumbling of my intestines as they cry pity and long for the Chicken Dopiaza I obtained from the "It may look a funny colour but it's still nearly edible!" section at Morrisons; and so with thoughts of you all still reverberating like a ring of bells in my head I shall end this mercifully short tragical history tour of my mind and say toodle pip with hopes that your love keeps you warm in the snow!
'til next time
Be Seeing You !