The very top of St PaulsI dreamed that the astronomer Carl Sagan, symbolising Rational common sense, was bullying my parents in the home I grew up in, symbolising- not- and I had to restrain him from physical violence. It seemed meaningful.

After The Islands, I went to the members’ room, and sat on a couch listening to a man hold court to two admiring women. He explained the Royal Family to them- fair enough, they are American: “Princes William and Harry are top blokes, doing so much. The Queen is wonderful. Sorry if I seem a bit kissy-arsey- what’s the youngest one called? Edward? He’s completely useless. The Queen’s husband is a good bloke though he says some stupid things; Andrew takes the piss, he’s a freeloader. I don’t know if we can still chop off their heads…”

The women are nodding and smiling. I told them there were human rights problems with chopping off heads, but we could always send them to Saudi Arabia. He went on to explain the American gun lobby,  and then the financial crisis: “RBS, that’s Royal Bank of Scotland, were completely nuts, like Enron only worse. They did such stupid, arrogant things…” Then he needed to go for a piss, so they stood outside on the balcony, looking over the Thames, where he joined them shortly after.

As H said, they were complicit. They could have stopped him.

How do you photograph St Pauls? The panorama which is my header image is a bit meh, really: just one thing in a photograph, so what, even though the one thing is very complex and beautiful. I thought I would try this:

St Pauls reflected in glass

Against the stencilled wall, details emerge. I like it, anyway. The previous week, a man had taken one with his phone, through glass, and got the beautiful colours of sunset on it. “Look at that! On a phone!” I admired it. He was looking at CVs, and I asked him how he could know that the word “innovative” was accurate. He can’t, but he phones them, and then meets a few and gets an impression. They tend to burn out after six years.


Well, the last one lasted nine. He does filming, they were filming for James Bond recently, just down there.

Or you can take details.

Under the Dome

I am glad I photographed this statue, south-east of the dome, as I would not have seen the tense hands and naked, splayed toes.

South east of the dome St Pauls

2 thoughts on “Mansplaining

    • They are beautiful toes, are they not? Though slightly eaten by the London smog, he remains full of life- the angle of his back, his head, and especially those fingers and toes showing alertness and engagement. Yet there he is, on the roof. One wonders if Christopher Wren expected Londoners to approach their cathedral with telescopes, or just treated the statue as his own private joke.


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