What else could I write about today but the reburial of King Richard? With only one or two curmudgeonly exceptions, the whole city has come together for this event, with 30,000 people turning out to line the route of the procession. Richard’s bones revisited his old haunts including the battle-site of Bosworth Field and various villages on the way, returning to Leicester via the ancient Bow Bridge before stopping off for a quick mass at St Nicholas’ church (one of the oldest in Leicester). At around five they arrived in triumph at the Cathedral where there was a service of compline. Compline, though it may sound like some kind of diet breakfast food, is in fact a service which takes place at dusk. It doesn’t happen very often now though (compline, I mean, not dusk: that happens every day and twice on Fridays*). The body is now lying in state where it will stay until its reburial on Thursday and this morning the Today programme reported more than 100 people waiting to see it. I was going to go down as I’m in town later but I may find that the queue is unfeasibly long by that time.
For some reason Channel 4 has exclusive broadcasting rights within the Cathedral – not sure how the Beeb missed out on this – and they have planted a huge pink excrescence in the square outside. It looks like a huge Barbie caravan. I can’t find a picture at the moment but if you go on 4 OD you’ll see it with the little tiny figure of Jon Snow inside looking like Ken waiting for Barbie to come home.
There has of course been loads of stuff about this everywhere – it makes a pleasant change for Leicester to be at the centre of a news story instead of playing second fiddle to Nottingham or Birmingham. The Today programme featured interviews from the Cathedral including one with Bishop Tim (the more I hear of that man the more I like him – shame he’s retiring soon) plus frequent reports yesterday on radio and TV news. I have not yet watched the service from yesterday though I will later.
Oo! I’ve just realised I haven’t told you about Friday. Well, as you will know, Friday’s big event was the eclipse. Having seen the weather, which was a lot clearer than forecast, Mark got terribly excited and assembled an array of binoculars and colanders with which to project an image onto paper. Out the front it was fearfully sunny so at around 8.45 when it was due to start we set up the binoculars and the paper and fiddled around to get an image.
What was that? Oh. The sound of the front door closing. Did we have our keys?
We did not.
Well, they always did say that eclipses portend disasters… Here’s the picture anyway:
PS I did in fact go to inspect the queue which by then extended right round the block and was estimated at 2 hrs waiting time.
*at least it did last Friday