Saturday, 3 April 2010

No.270 Of Whispering Secrets

Until last weekend I had never been inside St Paul's Cathedral. This is despite having lived close to it for several years and worked in offices even closer still. For some reason I always felt it was overrated and any visit would inevitably end in disappointment.

Last Saturday I marvelled at the beauty of its interior doom. It provides an explosion of colour to the eye that is quite intoxicating. Ascend the stairs to what is called The Whispering Gallery and you can see the doom's art work close up and get lost in all its glorious detail. Of course, its called the Whispering Gallery because if you whisper to its wall anyone else can hear your message as it scurries along at break neck speed to whoever is trying to do the same farther around.

Climb even higher and you're outside on the upper balcony with fabulous views over London. There's a Guide there trying to hurry everyone along and down. But you soon develop selective hearing for this is a place you want to stay for a long, long time. Below is a huge patchwork of something that resembles a mix of Lego, concrete, iron & steel and glass, punctuated by nature's shout with the green of parks, the blue of the Thames all overlooked by the moodiest of clouds and a darkening sky.

St Paul's is not only famous for its doom but its crypt too where two of the greatest English leaders lie. The tombs of Nelson and Wellington lie end on like they're keeping each other company. May be at night their spirits meet and they do their own whispering to each other about great battles and the fortuitous moments that history lost or never knew about.

St Paul's - a place that when you finally arrive you labour to leave....

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