Monday 29 November 2010

Getting on with the day job

Post October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a sort of writer’s block sets in. Not that the activity is any less – just different and too much to write about so I do nothing! We have been beset by every lurgy doing the rounds – I think that the adrenalin keeps everyone going during October and the moment you relax the bugs strike. This is not backed by any evidence so I should wash my mouth out with soap.

I am trying to generate some Christmas spirit but finding it difficult. What with strikes, student protests, WikiLeaks and England’s miserable performance on the rugby field, only partly offset by their better performance at the Gabba – I feel I want to stop the world and get off for a while. I don’t want to trivialise the serious stuff in there but one does feel beleaguered at times.

Even the nicest part of last week had a cloud over it. I have written before about my involvement with the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers of which I now am Senior Warden. There are a number of very enjoyable events during the year and last Wednesday was one of them – the Festival of St Cecilia at Westminster Abbey. St Cecilia is the Patron Saint of Music and the Worshipful Company of Musicians sponsors this annual service to raise money for their benevolent funds. It rotates between St Pauls, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

It is a beautiful occasion – the Musicians and the Masters and Wardens of the various Livery Companies process down the aisle (soon to be walked by Kate Middleton!) and then listen to wonderful music and some inspiring thoughts. What’s not to like?

I was quite anxious about being caught up in the student protest – I don’t do very well in crowds. So we arrived very early and there were no students to be seen (hardly a surprise – they don’t usually do early mornings). When we left we walked towards Victoria Station to lunch and although there were police cars there were still no students. After lunch we went to Pimlico tube station rather than coming back towards Trafalgar Square to avoid the demonstration.

So my information on the demonstration came from the news - but the most disturbing report was on LBC that evening where a woman phoned in (around 6.30) to say that she had driven into London and had no choice but to go along the Embankment and young men had kicked her car, jumped on the bonnet and threatened her through the window. She sounded shaken, as a woman alone in a car I can understand why. Were they students? Who knows and if not how do the organisers ensure that they are not a catalyst for general thuggery.

And then there is another Tube strike today – we are working around it – some taking a day’s leave, some working from home and most have made it in. How depressing that we take this all in our stride and work around it.