C and I went to Canterbury yesterday. In and around the cathedral the few clerics, striding from one chapel to another as if they really did have somewhere to get to, were outnumbered by the yellow-jacketed, hard-hatted building workers engaged in restoration and generally propping up the whole edifice, their progress slowed by health-&-safety regulations and (I’m guessing) uncertain funding. Not many visitors on this cold December afternoon, and the silence in the crypt was the silence of the tomb.
There was generous hospitality and the best soup I've had for a long time. In the evening we read poems to an attentive audience of mostly writing students and told scary seasonal tales about the state of publishing – which could have gone on and on, but were cut short by the arrival of the poker players who had booked the room from 8 o’clock. However good your hand, and however good you are at bluffing, you do also need a slice or two of luck.