A Weekend of Gardens

We had a beautiful weekend, with the sunny weather actually typical of east coast Scotland in the summer although everyone forgets this as soon as it rains.

On Saturday Benedict Ambrose and I took advantage of the combination of sun and my day off work to go to a National Trust for Scotland property featuring a huge, tiered garden with a pond, fields, and a curious horse hanging his head over a stone wall. Dogs are not permitted off the lead, and so dog-walkers don’t seem to go there very often which is—I am sorry to say, for I like dogs–a blessing. It is thus a quiet place; an almost secret paradise. 

As the sun poured down, we switched from bench to bench to suit our comfort as we read our books. Around noon we moved to a large, sheltering gazebo. An hour later I volunteered to go to the nearest grocery store for lunch and came back with pork pies, a sandwich, water and crisps. B.A. continued reading David M. Levy’s Scrolling Forward, and I continued Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid. The latter is about the invention and implications of reading.  This reminded me of language acquisition in general, and I texted Polish Pretend Son to find out what words my year-and-a-half-old godling uses. It’s clearly as summery in Poland as here, for her small store includes the first syllables of “mosquito” and “housefly.”

Praise the Lord

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Catholic Clothing, again

If I lived in an climate-controlled iron box with an internet connection, I would know it was summer from this article in Catholic World Report. I skimmed the article on Catholic clothing (I confess) and then went to the comments to see the usual complaints from women about the focus on female modesty, the usual rejoinder about hot pants, and the sneers at the very well-dressed men, who are accused here of trying to “out-dapper” one another. 

I particularly enjoyed the remark about people looking as if it were 1962, because I have a pet theory that 1963 was the Annus horribilis on which the good ship Western Civilisation foundered. But of course no woman dresses exactly as her grandmother or mother did in 1962 for women’s underclothing in 1962 was atrociously uncomfortable. Also, the only trad Catholic woman I know eccentric enough to wear gloves to Mass is me, and only very rarely: to Polish Pretend Son’s wedding, for example, and when extra-paranoid about the Vile Germ. 

As it is summer, I usually wear to Mass the blue maxi dress I bought for wear to the Vatican Press Office with sturdy blue shoes (alas) or blue sandals. I object to the idea one cannot wear sandals to Mass, for monks and nuns certainly do. Also, my feet are aging faster than the rest of me, and apparently I can’t wear ballet flats. Indeed, even my dowdy comfort shoes did not pass muster with my physiotherapist, who bent them in her hands to show how inadequate they are. 

Praise the Lord

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Lovely Young People

I was cheered, yesterday evening, by a little video showing lovely young people from Europe and beyond asking Pope Francis and the bishops not to suppress the Traditional Latin Mass. As Pope Francis doesn’t understand English wonderfully well (as I noted on a BBC documentary), I told Benedict Ambrose it was a pity they didn’t speak Spanish instead. 

“English is the universal language of the world,” harrumphed B.A. or words that he will tell me later today he actually said.  

If some enterprising filmmaker really wants to wring hearts, they should do a similar project with young married people and their tiny children. Every time I see a new big young family at Mass, I am utterly delighted. 

Praise the Lord

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