I drove through the traffic across town again this morning to St German's to celebrate the Eucharist with a Tredegarville school class in attendance, as well as the usual congregation. CBS had arranged another WECTU counter terrorism briefing, and although I drove straight to the office through the traffic, I was too late arriving to join in, so I got on with other tasks I needed to complete instead. The meeting was considered worthwhile although fewer were present despite considerably more effort in publicising it. It's to be expected, once the initial wave of fear associated with a major terrorist attack has subsided. We just have to keep on at our users to remind them to stay alert to unpredictable and unexpected events. Quite an appropriate message for Advent, really.
In the evening Clare and I went Chapter Arts Centre cinema to see 'The Lady in the Van', an excellent rendering of Alan Ayckbourn's play of the same name, based on his experience of living in Camden, with an eccentric old woman living in a camper van in his drive way. I'd heard the play on Radio 4, and heard it discussed. The film was most rewarding, with an outstanding performance by Maggie Smith. Her evocation of the personality of this old woman, a nun in earlier life, and in her youth a concert pianist, awakened memories of utterly different meetings with Moura Lympany in her latter years, housebound by arthritis in a high rise apartment in Monaco. Long after her concert career was ended, she remained a vivid personality, leaving an impression on those who met her. She certainly wasn't indigent, but vulnerable through infirmity, still striving to engage her visitors with charm, when she entertained over a glass of rosé from her own terroir. She died three years after we left, I learned some years later. She was one of those war time celebrities my mother, also a pianist, looked up to. She'd have been amazed to know that I'd visited and taken her Communion.