Karl and Peter


Their churches in Vienna…(obviously. The holiday snaps are nearly done.)


Karlskirche is like an icing-sugar white version of St Peter’s outside, with a lake built before it to reflect it


It’s a church of St Charles Borromeo, who can be seen on the frescoes of the dome, along with other saints and angels, a cabbage and a stream of gold coins.


The light in this window reminded me of the Rad Cam in Oxford, as did St Peter’s dome, which appears down a side street,


Inside was lots more carving and gold, along with some bizarre (symbolic?) flouorescdnt pink rocks and tennis balls on a stick.


Much nicer than the rather dull cathedral though…



Wrapping up the church crawl was Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral

The Lutyens crypt was shut when we visited, so I only saw the post-war upper half.



I suspect it’s the glory anyway. A space-ship like round congregation allows everyone access to the altar, excluding no-one


and round the edges, a series of deep-set chapels each private and each home to a different colour and mood.


The chapels give a moment of privacy and reflection within the wider celebration and I can’t choose a favourite.


Photos May 2017.



A friend told me about The Nest Collective and their fireside music clubs. Intriguing as a night singing with the Nightingales sounds, or a campfire (assuming there are cushions with the logs) sounds, I’m most taken by their world music gigs of post-Soviet rap (hmm, well in theory) and West-African/Carribean tunes.


Old folk, new folk, no folk.




Hard to believe that this is in Zone 5 London, not a country village,


the outline of the estate grounds of Cannons is still clear,


and inside here is the painted glory of the chapel of the Dukes of Chandos, paymasters to Queen Anne in her Dutch wars, who made their money by gambling with the public purse at high interest rates and used their wealth to employ the finest talents such as Handel.

I was here to here some of the music that Handel wrote for this very venue, a time-machine if ever there was one.



I need to dig out my holiday photos from Palermo a few years ago, but here’s a cheat: web photos of the amazing Oratorio Di Santa Zita. Whipped cream a go-go.





A lovely feast, poised exactly between the winter and spring solstices, and a time of hope. It is also 40 days after Christmas, and is therefore the mirror feast of Pentecost, in this case for the presentation of Christ in the Temple (the prophetic word arriving in the sanctuary), rather than the flaming Spirit descending on earth (God’s revelation shared with and through us all).


These photos were taken in the dark of the week before Christmas, in Salisbury Cathedral. The installation of giant paper peonies and roses was suspended behind the high altar in a candlelit space, lavender oil scenting the air, and above duvets and pillows laid out so that visitors could rest and look at the ceiling. It is one of the most magical and peaceful things I’ve seen, and again had a dual twist of blossom/snowfall and the spirit at Pentecost.


All photos by me, December 2016.