What’s Up?

Well, let’s see. Friday morning I gave my Bibs 1B lecture, but as I wandered back to the office I realized that I felt pretty run-down, and my nose was sending me ominous signals. I accomplished as much as could only be done from campus, and then headed home to finish up my afternoon’s work from the flat.
Once I got home, I realised that I wasn’t just weary and achey. I had come down with a genuine cold, and I’ve spent much of the intervening two days huddled on the couch, watching movies on my computer, napping, and staring blankly out at the world. As colds go, this is nothing special — but it’s a real cold, and I’m a poor convalescent.
What might I have discussed more effusively if I had the energy? Well, of course, there’s the abysmal situation in Haiti. I stopped at one of the Oxfam stores on Byres Road to make a donation, but there are abundant ways of contributing digitally. I particularly commend to your attention the Haiti Partners program, of which Kent Annan, a former student of mine at PTS, is co-director. (Will C, if you can direct some airplay his direction, I expect that would be illuminating for listeners/viewers and helpful to HP’s mission.) Haiti Partners is not just responding to this week’s catastrophe, but has been working there for years.
I might have blogged about the tremendously delightful conversation I had with Euan at the Brunswick Hotel (the Brunswick is so classy that you can only find it if you are searching intently for it; I’m glad I allowed extra time for exploring the Merchant City neighborhood, because if I thought I’d just walk up to a brightly-lit marquee with a spacious lobby and liveried staff to-ing and fro-ing, I’d have missed the whole evening). Several salient points: first, if you haven’t met Euan, you probably underestimate how tall he is. I was expecting (no offense, friends) someone more the height of most of my other hyperlinked circle, but Euan is a seriously tall man. Second, if you attend only to Euan’s and my banter about my allegiance to the church and his deplorable pagan-ness, you may miss the point that on many aspects of our disagreement we diverge in quite harmonious ways. There’s a difference, but it’s a chord, not a dissonance. Third, we talked a great deal about how much we miss the good old days (about five or six years ago), when Blogaria felt more like a network of friends than like Times Square (or George Square) on New Years Eve (or Hogmanay). I won’t try to run through the list of names of people we cited — you know who you are — but we miss the days when our writing back and forth to one another in blogs and comments made for a lively, daily, neighbourly discourse among The Regulars at a local cafe. Nowadays, we catch the eye of someone we know at the hot-drinks franchise, maybe wave back and forth, but something has been lost. Anyway, we raised a glass in your honour, comrades, and we gave thanks for your friendship. And Euan, come back again, maybe to the West End, and we’ll renew the conversation.
Yesterday, I’d have congratulated our diocesan Dean (not the Big Priest of the cathedral as in the US/England, but the senior priest of the diocese wherever he or she is located) Gregor Duncan, on being elected Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. We might have elected Alison Peden as the first woman to be a bishop in the UK, but Gregor is well-known and well-respected in the diocese, and I expect that the electors gravitated easily to a familiar, popular, admirable local leader. I’d have been very happy to serve either Gregor or Alison (didn’t know much about the third candidate), but the election of Gregor makes much good sense to me and I’m pleased for him and the diocese.
When I went to town to meet up with Euan, I left the West End early, partly because I wanted to be sure to find the Brunswick, but also because I thought I might be able to find a replacement for my black felt hat. On my trip to the States, I left my black hat in the KLM gate area of the Glasgow Airport, and by the time I realized it, there was nothing to be done. I’ve gone bare-headed for many of the intervening days, but Thursday’s chilly rain motivated me to look into the men’s millinery departments of several Glasgow merchants. A word to the wise: slim pickings. I did track down a suitable replacement, though, and am comfortably re-hatted on black-wearing days. On yesterday’s fresh-air foray to Byres Road, I looked in at a shop that sells grey top hats (such as one might wear to a wedding or the Queen’s Tea), and one of them fit me perfectly — but even so idiosyncratic a dresser as I could not think of a single situation in which it would be appropriate for me to wear a top hat. More’s the pity. If, however, it had been a bowler, well that’s another story.
To return to my health: I still feel listless and congested, but I got outdoors for an hour or so yesterday, and will probably venture forth for a while today. I am skipping church (with the Provost’s permission — I did have my Lemsip, Kelvin) this morning, and will take things at a very relaxed pace. There’s much I need to do, but banishing this cold comes first.

2 thoughts on “What’s Up?

  1. There is more to Gregor than familiar, popular,admirable, local. There is more to Alison than ‘woman’. I have been very saddened to see press coverage reducing the candidates in this way.

  2. The mass reporting has been very shallow, Rosemary, and there are surely dimensions of all three candidates to which I am not alert — since I have never met two of them, and I have only met Gregor once.
    I have been struck by the extent to which most of the press, for a leading example, treated this as though Alison were “running for First UK Woman Bishop,” rather than that the diocese were discerning among three carefully screened, amply-qualified possible bishops. Thus the headline in the Telegraph makes no sense of the process (unless, as I have no reason to imagine, Alison were leading a fully-orchestrated political campaign to elbow past Gregor and the other gentleman).
    But as I say, I have no acquaintance at all with two of the candidates, and have only conversed with Gregor once. I was testifying to what I know of him; I look forward to being able to say more (although if someone were describing me on the basis of one conversation, I’d be relieved to be characterized as “familiar, popular, admirable, local, well-respected” and not too disappointed that a single appointment failed to yield more profound insights into my soul).

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