The blognic at the Buckingham Arms this evening was a great success. Bloggers Holy Smoke, Bara Brith and Mulier Fortis came, as did Anna Arco of the Catholic Herald. Frs Nigel Griffin and William Young kindly took time to join us as did a good number of readers, some of whom travelled specially for the occasion from Brighton, Cambridge and the outer reaches of the London conurbation. (My new phone takes great photos outdoors but in poor light it is of little use so I have shamelessly stolen photos from Fr Z who brought a real camera with him.) Sir Dan of the Nesbitry (above) was there. He met up with Damian Thompson whom he taught many years ago at the prep school Laelham Lea in Purley.
Jonathan Hague (above) introduced me to the Buckingham Arms from his extensive knowledge of good pubs that offer traditional hospitality and real ale.
Over a plate of pasta afterwards, Fr Z and I reflected on the appreciation that is expressed by people who read our blogs. Writing a blog can be a rather solipsistic business and it is surprising but very welcome to be told "your blog is a lifeline" by ordinary Catholic lay people who love the Church. When people say this sort of thing to me, it always encourages me to think that the blog is worth writing.
At one point, a young Malaysian man appeared with a box which he announced was from Andrew Khoo of the Unam Sanctam blog, sent all the way from Tanjung Bunga, in Penang, Malaysia. The box contained a beautiful standing crucifix with detachable base. We all agreed that this would help to maintain the "Benedictine Altar Arrangement" even while travelling.
I was left wondering "How did he manage that?" There was only a day's notice on my blog - or two day's notice if you read the post on Fr Z.
Hilary of Orwell's Picnic took me to task over the short notice for this blognic - and indeed justly. Next time we must organise something with a Hall where people can move around easily, an internet connection where we can have skype calls with video - perhaps even live streaming via Fr Z's host company Joyent. I think a major London blognic would work.