Regrettably, I only managed to join the Mass on Friday night when I bumped into the group in Piccadilly Circus. If the purpose of the Mass was to block the traffic, that was certainly achieved. I had cycled down Piccadilly towards the Circus and the traffic had been brought to a complete standstill.
We cycled down the Haymarket towards Trafalgar Square where there was a spontaneous circling of the fountains and statues. Persistent shouts to now head to Whitehall were finally listened to. I don’t know how others felt but cycling through Whitehall only 2 days after the demo there, it did make me wonder how the police would react. We continued through Westminster Square and then on to Buck House. I think that some of the mass doubled back on themselves and went back into Whitehall.
About 40 of us congregated around the statue outside Buck House and there was more circular cycling around the statue. Two armed police officers came out to ask for the sound system to be turned down. Apparently, the Queen prefers Beethoven. Take note!
I did notice that whilst we were outside the Palace, there were a couple of curtains that were partially drawn back with someone looking out. I waved but got no reply.
If you normally come on the Mass and missed this one, I would sum it up in one word – cold. My fingers had become so cold after being outside for a couple of hours that they physically hurt. I will be buying some silk inner gloves to wear with my winter gloves.
Many thanks to Maria for inviting myself and others to a party in Islington afterwards. Especially during the winter masses, I think it would be a good idea if we could end at a pub. The Foundry was a natural meeting place before but we seem to have no similar place now. After you’ve been out in the cold for 3 hours +, I really feel like a beer and warming up before pedalling home. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?