I once posted a coment in The Undercroft (I can't remember where, and am become Jeffreyish about bothering!) about the last time I met HM the Queen, and how I bottled out of saying to her: hic autem non habemus mantentem civitatem (though I sort of paraphrased). I remembered that this weekend when reading a piece in a Portuguese blog (which I have asked permission to translate here) which also called to mind the temporality of our civilisation. What struck me was that while here we have no abiding City, we have (especially those of us in lands conquered by Rome, the lands which can truly be called civilised) lots of clues about us, in the landscape, in the architecture, and in many of the common exchanges which pass between us as civility, which can actually help us recover our roots. The ghetto I suggested as perhaps the most appropriate place for Catholics to seek in 2007 isn't the dank shtetl but a cast of mind, which can be informed by the history, and perhaps the genius locus of wherever we happen to be in our country. There is lots wrong about the UK at the moment: there is also lots right.
Up pops Jeffrey: some of us find one blog hard enough, but Jeffrey is not content with one. He has just started a new one: Let Britannia Rise: which he subtitles "A Love Letter to the British Isles". He probably recognises the faults we find in our country but wants, I think, to point out that we are still very lucky in what we have.
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"
Visit his blog to see how we can still be perceived, how we can still perceive ourselves, if we want to take the opportunity not to accept that the forces of darkness have won.