2022: Year-in-review

A couple of paragraphs to close out 2022. This is the year I said goodbye to London and put an exclamation point on Kingdom Hearts. I spent a night in Gettysburg and a couple more in Paris. I crossed the English Channel via the Eurostar. I read the Brothers York and Faith of Our Fathers. I saw the Wilton Diptych at the British Museum and watched the Southampton Saints WIN under the lights against the Norwich Canaries. I tracked down stained-glass in Hereford from a Christmas card given to my mom and dad by our parish priest. I hiked to Towton, outside York, to visit a battlefield that was pivotal in the War of the Roses. I toured all of the northern cathedrals- York, Durham, and Lincoln. I also travelled to the very edge of Empire for a weekend in Penzance and Lands End. There were a couple of more Saints matches, including a memorable one in Cambridge for the Carabao Cup. There were three Championship League matches in Stoke, Norwich, and Sunderland. I hosted my brother in the spring and we went to Southampton, London, and Ramsgate. I also caught Football: Designing the Beautiful Game at the Design Museum before it closed.

My last couple of weekend trips in England were to Coventry, Exeter, and Bath. One of the highlights of the year was mass at the Cathedral Church St John the Baptist in Norwich.

My BIG birthday was at PNC Arena to see my beloved NY Islanders put a hurt on the Hartford Whalers Carolina Hurricanes and I was at the Bridgeport Islanders home opener. I also went to a Bridgeport Islanders game to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NY Islanders.

Thames River Ride (1986) by Harper Goff. Scan is from The Art of Walt Disney World Resort

Weekend 550.0

“I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tm 2:1-8

I left London on Friday night to avoid any of the madness attached to ceremonies for HRM Queen Elizabeth II. I was in Exeter on Saturday for football and Bath on Monday for ambling. Mass on Sunday was at Sacred Heart (Exeter). Before the match there was a minute of silence for HRM Queen Elizabeth II, and the crowd sang God Save the King.

All trains were disrupted (see link below) in and out of Paddington today so there was a scramble at Reading to make trains bound for Waterloo.

(1) Mourners resort to watching the funeral on phones as rail journeys are disrupted by damaged wires (ITV)

(2) Prayer for the Repose of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Almighty God,
You are the author and sustainer of all human life;
grant that your servant Elizabeth our Queen,
whom you granted a long and happy reign as Monarch of these lands,
may be forgiven her sins and rewarded with that eternal life
promised to all those born again
in the water of baptism and power of your Spirit.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Source: This Week in Westminster Cathedral, 18 SEPTEMBER 2022, 25th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

London Station Group (Collect ‘Em All)
2022/2023 Football Campaign (Abridged)

Weekend 548.0

Apologies for the radio silence. I was in Sunderland and Norwich the last couple of weekends for football. I saw matches at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland and Carrow Road in Norwich.

I saw the Canaries play away and home fixtures. Josh Sargent looks like a good footballer. He had a goal (and assist) yesterday in the match against Coventry. Some football sites don’t have him making the WC 2022 roster and Berhalter would be NUTS not giving him a serious look given his recent form. Mass in Norwich was at the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist. I love Westminster Cathedral (not Abbey), but St John is a proper cathedral built in the late 1880s after The Catholic Relief Act in 1829 that rivals those robbed during the Dissolution/Reformation. It was modelled after medieval churches of the Early English period (1189-1307). My favorite feature were the windows in the Walsingham Chapel. The windows show the Archbishop of Westminster visiting Walsingham in 1934 to celebrate the site becoming the national Shrine of Our Lady (for the first time since the Reformation).

“It became obvious why Catholics had built such beautiful cathedrals and churches throughout the world. Not as gathering or meeting places for Christians. But as a home for Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Cathedrals house Jesus. Christians merely come and visit Him. The cathedrals and churches architecturally prepare our souls for the beauty of the Eucharist.”

—Allen R. Hunt, Confessions of a Megachurch Pastor: How I Discovered the Hidden Treasure of the Catholic Church

(1) Visit of the Relics of St Bernadette to Westminster Cathedral (Westminster Cathedral)

2022/2023 Football Campaign (Abridged)

The opener at St. Mary’s was a sizzler. It was 90° something at KO and the Saints stormed back in the second half to earn a point.

DateMatch Location
7/30/2022Southampton (1) vs Villarreal CF (2)St. Mary’s
8/13/2022Southampton (2) vs Leeds (2)St. Mary’s
8/23/2022Cambridge United (0) vs Southampton (3)Abbey Stadium
8/28/2022Sunderland (0) vs Norwich (1) Stadium of Lights
9/3/2022Norwich (3) vs Coventry (0)Carrow Road
9/10/2022Coventry vs West Bromwich Albion CBS Arena
9/17/2022Exeter City Football Club (0) versus Burton Albion (2) St James Park
Match postponed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022).

Weekend 544.0 (But if you’ll wait around awhile…)

I was in Southampton for the last Saints FC preseason match. It was a bit of a lackluster affair against Villarreal. They lost 2-1 but the atmosphere was great and the sun was out. Mass was at St. Edmund’s and on Saturday I finally got to visit St. Michael’s Church. St. Michael’s is the oldest building in use in Southampton. It was closed because of the pandemic and most recently because of a lack of volunteers.

I had dinner at Maritimo Lounge which took me past the South Western House. The historic building has a purported link to Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

(1) Nine things you may not know about South Western House… (Daily Echo)

2021/22 Football Campaign: Season End Review

When you don’t support Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester, or Tottenham you spend a ton of time during the season biting your nails and speaking in tongues.

Saints (English Premiere League)
Saints avoid relegation with 40 points and look likely to finish 15th in the table. It was a wretched season for the Saints and I was at St. Mary’s for heartbreaks (plural) against Wolverhampton, Brighton, Watford, and Crystal Palace. The Palace match was the worst home defeat of the campaign and reflects their season in a nutshell- conceding late or not pressing for a second goal after an early lead.

The Saints were just wildly inconsistent this season and if it wasn’t for unexpected wins against Arsenal, etc. they would have found themselves in a proper relegation scrap. I only saw the Saints WIN at home 1 time this season and it was against a relegated Norwich in February under the lights. I had tickets for the Everton match but couldn’t get to St Mary’s after storm Eunice. The line ends 1W, 2D, 3L but if you include the pre-season loss and the missed match it was 2W, 2D, 4L. Ugly.

Morecambe (League One)
The mighty shrimps survive relegation and finish 19th in the table. I saw them win at home and lose twice on the road to Cambridge and Oxford. My friend is a Gillingham supporter and they were relegated to League Two. I saw Gillingham play at Portsmouth on April 23.

Metz (Ligue One)
Metz had a heartbeat until PSG thrashed them 5-0 last night. Metz is now officially relegated from Lique 1. I didn’t visit Stade Saint-Symphorien this season because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and scheduling. I can’t wait to see the Maroons again on the banks of the Moselle.

By the numbers…

  • 17 Matches
  • 7 Southampton Saints Matches
  • 5 League One Matches
  • 2 Championship Matches
  • 3 Non-league Matches (Hereford, Barnet, Poole)

I saw two Championship matches- Fulham and Stoke. Fulham WON the Championship and have been promoted to the Premiere League. I saw them play Nottingham Forest. Forest will play at Wembley on May 29 against Huddersfield in a play-off final for promotion to the Premiere League. The Stoke match was memorable IF ONLY because I’m still humming “We’ll be with you“.

Southampton Saints