Basilica

I have a note I made afterwards. It says, ‘What is the relationship between meaning, context and purity?’ No, no idea what I was going on about either.

I walk in: an embracingly chill air, an exquisite choir. Beyond angels. I soon realise the sweet sound (remember that gulab jamun we had in Harlesden?) is a recording – God’s Muzak – and the voices abruptly stop being beautiful and I start to resent the cold.

There’s a tapestry: Madonna and Child. She has a ‘Don’t you even think about judging me’ look – narrowed, disapproving, Bacallish eyes. He has the face and huge, pasty (washed-out)/pasty (like a pie) English head of a 35-year-old computer programmer and a wide-eyed ‘Yeah? So? I’m breastfeeding. So what?’ look.

I leave them to it. Outside, there are four Italian tourists. Three have selfie sticks.