The famous table (see below).
The outside of the Dining room at Hoghton Tower.
Sometimes it feels like it's all a little bit busy, even here in the t'North of England where we famously take things a little easier than our friends in London and the South East. For complete inactivity, of course, one has to head over the Pennines to Yorkshire. This is a busy week, though and it will be a busy week next week and the week after until I go to Walsingham for a few days. My time as hospital chaplain is coming to an end as the next (and last) academic year looms and there is much to do before a clean transition between this year and the next academic year takes place. Never mind, I will get there.
A side project at the moment is building a proper raised sanctuary for the Holy Souls Chapel at Church as well as arranging the day out with High Mass and Benediction in three separate locations in a few weeks (a bit like live aid, only more musical) and then there is the prayer group to attend to shortly as well. Never mind, at least I am not Gordon Brown, whose time is nigh or Max Mosley, grandson of Oswald Mosley, famous British landed gent who sided with Hitler in the war. For Max has been partying in dungeons with Ladies of the Night dressed not unlike Nazi Ladies and acting in a not utterly un-Nazi like manner. Whatever one might think of this, the Judge in charge of his case claiming damages from the News Of the World, one time exposer of frolicking Vicars, has found in Max's favour. This from the Guardian....
The oddest strand of the News of the World's defence was that by submitting himself to a spanking marathon which ended up with him needing a sticking plaster on his buttocks, Mosley was somehow engaging in a criminal act. Yesterday, the judge said this was "perhaps the most artificial argument, verging on desperation". He added: "It would hardly be appropriate to clutter up the courts with cases of spanking between consenting adults taking place in private property and without disturbing the neighbours."
So there we are, but Max still has to get on with a lifetime of knowing looks from his colleagues and friends. To whom will the News of the World turn next though, now that frolicking Vicars and spanking Formula 1 racing boffins are off limits? The Bishops of the Anglican Communion maybe, who were yesterday seen travelling by rickshaw around London protesting, in a very colourful manner, about global poverty. Quite what being cycled round London by sweating Aussies is going to prove is out of my remit, but at least it got them out of the house for an afternoon. They had a drinks reception afterwards in Lambeth Palace and you still ask me for more news! Oh, OK, the American Bishops were sent with a sort of pack instructing them how to big up gayness during the show, sorry, conference. Some of them, who did not want to be named (except Jack Iker, he's the one who looks like Doctor Watson) complained at this, rather than just ignoring the documents which were one amongst a hundred or so they were given, including one on promoting Women Bishops. You pays your money, you takes your chance, as PT Barnum once put it. As an ex-stage Manager (more of that another time) I know a thing or two about prima donnas (I was not famed for my ability to pussy-foot around egos) and I can well imagine the atmosphere in the 'big top' (as the central meeting tent at the conference is called) even without the new fans (which they had to hire, as the budget would not stretch to buying them).
Happy Lambethtide! Oh, I forgot, I thought it bad of me to tell you all about the knighting of the beef without showing you in more detail the room where it happened and the very table on which it happened. It is also purported that Oliver Cromwell slept on this table, but if you believe all the 'Oliver Cromwell slept on this table' stories, you may well wonder how he ever managed to have his breakfast, let alone construct a New Model Army.