And Penelope Wilton delivered with impeccable gravitas the lines from TS Eliot's Little Gidding ending: "So, while the light falls/On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel,/History is now and England."
It is grey and cold in Los Angeles, a giant cloud hangs over us giving us temporarily damp air. It is the right time to read the whole of Little Gidding, and I urge you to do so here. Never has Southern California been less cheery, the day after the New Year, leaves falling still as if it were autumn, not winter, out of time and out of step. It has the weight of England, just for a moment. The Christmas tree is coming down, the ornaments packed away in the attic for next year, and the poinsettias are wilting gently. Read Little Gidding again. It is cold beauty.