Day 111, New Style

This morning was lovely — 10°, high humidity, high pollen, but clear and bracing. Since I had run hard yesterday morning, I resolved to go slowly today; as it turned out, I ran very slowly indeed, finishing at 10:07. Morning Office, fruit breakfast, some fiction reading, and then leaned into my research reading.

Or that was my intent, anyway. The research reading repelled my attention enough that I accomplished relatively little whatsoever today (he said, grouchily). Majliss provided dinner, Margaret continued her business meetings, and I watched late episodes of The Office [US].

O Uncertain New World, Day 110

The weather this morning was fine, my knees limbered up satisfactorily, and I took a mid-mile break to take a photo for Margaret, all with the result that my time broke the nine-minute barrier. That doesn’t count, in whatever scorebook someone may be keeping, since the break enabled me to catch my breath and rest my legs for a few minutes, but the running part of my mile added up to 8:59. Morning Office, fruit breakfast, a bit of reading (including the resolution of Count Zero) and then errands out to drop my bike off for a summer once-over, to wave cheerily at shopkeepers whose doors are now open again (and to stop in at a couple), and to pick up some necessities.

The rest of the day was taken up with reading for research, and reading Mona Lisa Overdrive. The good news is, of course, that I’m reading long and intensely; the less good news is that for the moment, it’s still mostly fiction. But I’m reading.

Margaret is conducting some work online in the evenings, so late afternoon and all evening she was upstairs and down, with not entertainment break. She did whip up a rich spaghetti sauce, though, and we dined sumptuously on pasta.

Back To Church (For Some), Day 109

The pre-dawn morning was dank and gusty (though certainly warm enough); the air was misty, high pollen, and my knees were stiff from yesterday’s prolonged walk. I quickly discerned that I wasn’t going to be able to make an ambitious training run, so I skipped the step of timing my mile, and instead focused on keeping a very slow, steady pace that didn’t require heavy breathing. A peculiar morning mile, but at least I overcame my temptation not to run at all. Morning Office, hot breakfast, Mass at Most Holy Trinity, Ettingshall.

Perhaps I should explain: why would two theologians stay home on this first day of government-permitted eucharistic worship in actual churches? Answer: For reasons. One — we take very seriously the reports we’ve read about how awful surviving COVID-19 can be, and that’s assuming one does indeed survive. (Presumably, it’d even worse to experience COVID-19 and then to die.) We’re not hysterical about infection, but neither are we heedless. Two — the latest report we’ve seen from the WHO places an inflection point for concern at the age of 60. That’s us. We’re on the wrong side of the ‘maybe, maybe not’ option. Three — on the very first day of any given system, there are likely to be glitches. We can wait till the wrinkles are ironed out. Four — we appreciate Fr Damian’s Masses from Most Holy Trinity, Ettingshall, and having sat through a number of Sundays when the audio or streaming failed us; we wanted to spend one last Sunday morning with our friend before we resume in-person worship. Five — we ascribe some weight to our affective response to situations, possibilities, and people; we just weren’t satisfied that the right tim had come to take that step.

Most of the afternoon went to reading Count Zero (interrupted by intermittent distractions). On one hand, I ‘should’ be reading for research, and writing out my thoughts. On the other hand, the more time I spend on reading fiction, the more my capacity to read academic prose stretches. The demands of term-time fry my attention span. During leave time and the long vac, I can work toward healing the abrasions on my patience and focus.

Margaret constructed structurally impossible, delectable pizza this evening, and we finished Hanna.

Super Spreader Saturday, 108

The morning weather was a bit wetter, a bit warmer, notably breezier, and much less limber (that last it was my legs, not the weather), so my run was significantly slower — 9:53. Grocery trip, Morning Office, hot breakfast, some housework, and I started reading both Count Zero and Diary of a Country Priest, since that put off more academic reading. Toward mid-afternoon, Margaret and I walked into the city for the first time in… (checks title of blog post)… 108 days. It wasn’t as busy as publicity concerning ‘Super Saturday’ might have suggested, but the city was far from deserted, and very few masks were in evidence.

We got home to dine on a delicious vegetable and potato dish, and to watch more Hanna and the latest QI.

Between the First and Second Waves, Day 107

Usual this-week’s weather: 12°, humid, high pollen, and a usual this-week mile of 9:18. I felt good, with stable strength and breathing. Morning Office, fruit breakfast, finished reading Neuromancer, break at lunchtime, read some academic prose in the afternoon, which reminded me of the delight of reading fiction. Margaret supplemented last night’s leftovers with additional veg, and we watched several episodes from the second series of Hanna.

Same New Normal, Day 106

Another cool, grey, humid morning — 12°, high humidity but only medium pollen, and I felt good and limber, and my mile came in at 9:16. Morning Office, fruit breakfast, and I spent much of the day either poring over wine lists, or reading Neuromancer (I wanted to ease my senses back into long, patient reading, so I thought to give myself something I knew I’d enjoy). In the afternoon, I participated in the Sodality online Office of Readings.
Margaret prepared corn on the cob and a grated-tofu and spinach entree, and we watched a film so bad that I shan’t even identify it.

The Same Normal, But Different, Day 105

The weather was a bit chilly, 14° and very humid, high pollen count, and I felt a bit creaky and old, so I didn’t start the timer and simply ran my mile, which was fine. Then to Tesco for our Wednesday shopping, Morning Office, hot breakfast, and attention to the Dominican Liturgy website, which presented a Litany of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, which I comped into an A5 page layout for use at the college, perhaps at Benediction some Friday. Assuming we ever resume daily worship in the Chapel.

Yesterday’s relaxed pace felt so good I decided to take things easy again today, so I allowed myself another afternoon of leisure. Leftovers for dinner, and the immortal John Wick 3: Parabellum.