UNREAL CITY

Here are post-it note prayers of propitiation in St Mary’s Woolnoth a city church. One of them just says “Dear God, please help me today” – a simple sentiment I can sympathise with. Like many converts to atheism, I sometimes wish I still had faith.

St Mary Woolnoth is my favourite London church. Designed by the mysterious Nicholas Hawksmoor, it is an expert lesson in how to make a small thing seem grand and of course looms large in T S Eliot’s Wasteland:

“And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.”

I followed this route on Sunday with David after we saw a wonderful recitation of the poem by Fiona Shaw at the equally remarkable Wilton’s music hall in Limehouse. If you ever have chance to visit either of these buildings, do – they pin the two ends of English culture down rather well I think.

And on the subject of wastelands, yesterday to see ‘The Road‘ with Glen. I’ve rarely been affected by a film so much but then I have rarely been so affected by a book as when I read it a couple of years ago. Very reassuring that such a subtle take on what morality and humanity actually mean in a godless world has managed to make the mainstream – but a very sad way to learn it of course.

Bless us all.