So there you are, waiting for the Christ’s Hospital annual St Matthew’s Day parade through the City of London. St Matthew’s Day, traditionally 21 September, is held to save the souls of accountants, bankers and tax collectors, i.e. money men (well, to ruin a good theme, perfumers too). Over the past decade, thie service beforehand and the parade have been great fun, following the students through rain or shine as one of the finest marching bands in the UK leads you forward. It all ends at Guildhall where the students meet the Lord Mayor and receive their ‘largesse’, a coin fresh from the Royal Mint, before heading to lunch.
As an Almoner, you’ve been inside St Sepulchre-without Newgate, the musicians’ church for the service. The service is always uplifting. Surrounded by hundreds of pupils who really know how to sing, you can let loose with total abandon and release both of your notes.
Outside the church just before 12:30, you spy a strange shape on the footpath creeping towards you. Suddenly you realise it is the shadow of Lady Justice (iustitia) from the Old Bailey on the opposite side of the street. You swing round 180 degrees and point and shoot. And you take this snap:
Glorious, eh? And then you realise it’s the equinox. Excellent timing and titling. And many thanks to your mobile phone. Then you can return to events and marching through the streets:
Who knows, perhaps a small, smelly splinter of my soul was saved.