Rain, Go Away

Only ran a mile this morning, the warm-up loop of my usual, because of a heavy mist that developed into a light rain during my run (14°, adequate pace). It wasn’t so much the drizzle itself as it was the risk that the rain would get heavier as I headed further from home.

AKMA, Margaret, and Käthe in front of our house in James Street

Breakfast at Rick’s this morning with Käthe, bringing her weekend visit to a close. I met Käthe when we first moved to Evanston, twenty-three years ago; you may estimate her age and reckon how old she was way back then. I thought the world of her (of her whole family, for that matter) then, and it’s a deep thrill to sit around over coffee and listen to her confirm with her wisdom and experience the initial impression from so long ago.

That July Went Fast

The month, that is, not the morning runs, which have been squarely average in their rapidity. This morning, for instance: grey skies but clearing, 13°, humid, pollen, legs gradullay limbering up, but a humble pace, so that there was nothing notable about the run.

I got back, cleaned up, and leaned into finishing my sermon for the morning, which took its departure from Matthew’s binary parables of judgement and the contemporary atmosphere of hostile partisanship, took a turn through Romans 7 and 8 about just how ill equipped we are to put on judges’ robes and pronounce sentence before the appointed time, threw in some observations about the temptation to denounce, to anathematise those who upset applecarts that we thought just fine as they were, when it has been known to turn out (let the reader understand) that someone we shout down as a blasphemer in the heat of the moment may turn out to have been a tender-hearted prophet calling us to refocus on the needs of the vulnerable and abused. Then on to the wideness of God’s mercy (which is good for us, since none of us is holy enough to meet with divine approval apart from grace) and the conclusion that by backing away from being enforcers of our agenda (seem it never so holy) we may seem to be losers in the world’s eyes — but there are worse things than being thought a loser, among them being found wrongfully to have condemned the innocent; but that in our willingness to ‘lose’ we are more than enforcers, more than conquerors, but beacons of the grace that we most radiantly reflect when we most humbly cling to it.

Then this afternoon I went grocery shopping. We’ll hae a we bit more time with Käthe, and breakfast tomorrow morning, before we send her away to Colchester for further travels. It has been a glorious treat to visit with her, though, and to admire the wonderful adult who emerged from the childhood where I first met her.

Busy Day, Lovely Visit, Two More

From 8:30 yesterday morning to 18:45 yesterday evening, I was en route to or coming back from another interview. The talking went about as well as usual, so I expect that the effort will prove fruitless, but there we are. Whatever else may be the case, I won’t win any championships as an interviewee.

On the other hand, our lovely friend Käthe is spending the next couple of days in Oxford for a wedding, and we’re providing her with convenient shelter between designated events. She is a lovely, luminous friend — as much so now as when I met her almost twenty-four years ago, when she was in single digits. Truly we have been blessed with a great treat in being able to put up visitors to Oxford.

As to the real reason everyone flocks to this blog: grey, warm (14°), mucho pollen (my eyes an sinuses streamed throughout the run), very leisurely pace after all yesterday’s walking, some painful or wobbly bits when I was warming up, but everything settled down eventually, and violà! two more miles.

Two and On

Another warm, overcast day (14°), humid (that degree of humidity when you can feel pinpricks of condensation, but no real mist or precipitation), feeling rusty (plantar fascia, wonky knee, even back stiffness), a slow run but keeping at it — two more miles.

Off to another interview, will keep you apprised of the outcome.

Gap Run

Between last night’s rains and incoming showers, I had a good run this morning. Heavy overcast, of course, but a warm 15° (100% humidity), limber early in the run, though more laboured toward the end, and a good enough pace. Two miles. No word from the interview; will turn toward tomorrow’s interview.

Null Running Post

I’m giving myself a day off running. My interview yesterday involved a lot of walking in dress shoes, and my feet will welcome a respite. The interview itself went well, I think, not an absolute knockout but a pretty good, solid opportunity to size things up and to express how I would do the job. We will see how it turns out.

This Rush of Hits

‘Whence comes this rush of wings?’ asks the Christmas hymn, and of laate I’ve seen an uptick of traffic that might be difficult to account for, were it not for site traffic software. It runs out that many browsers have been coming here in search of the digital edition of my collections of sermons, coming from the very wonderful Jenee Woodard. I haven’t heard from her in a long time; I hope she and her family are managing all right. Do send support for her endeavours at Textweek.

Anyway, this is just to thank Jenee for the link(s) that so many people seem to be following, and to note that the collection comes from twenty years ago or theereabouts, and a number of sermons I’ve preached since then may be found mingled with my usual musings here. If you look over at the menu on the right (where we uysed to have blogrolls in the olden times), there’s an option to ‘select category’ where you can find only posts where I’ve included a sermon and remembered to tick the ‘Sermons’ box when publishing them. And if there’s popular demand (that’s what the Comments are for), I have a great many more sermons that I haven’t uploaded here, that I could add to the collection.

Sorry — You See…

Temperatures back down to 10°, skies clearing, limbs mildly stiff, pace amore modest than the last week or so , and hey, presto! There’s two more miles.

I’m a bit jumpy today, as I have a job interview this afternoon. It would be a pleasant feeling, you may allow, were I to know I would be employed again, even when my currrent contract runs out.

Murphy’s Weather

Another grey morning, though this morning it was just on the dry side of of MISTY when I started out and at the very furthest point of my circuit, that turned to definite mist, and thence to outright rain. My legs were tired from extra walking yesterday, but otherwise comfortable enough; I did notice that my breathing was more laboured than usual, I think. Another satisfactory pace (accelerated by my eagerness to get out of the rain), but not much kick at the end. Two wet miles in the book.

Philanthropy and Self-Interest

Harking back to discussions we had online when The Happy Tutor blogged among us, I have thought time after time about the relative sizes of the endowments of US higher education institutions compared with British universities. The Principal at my former employer once expostulated to me about my alma mater’s endowment (Wikipedia says $2.4 billion as of 2022), for fewer than 2,000 students; you may check the endowments of Oxford’s colleges, but you won’t find anything comparable (Christ Church comes in at £769,800,000, again according to Wikipedia, and my current employer Oriel College (founded 1326, so we’ve had time to build it up) a humble £86,524,000.

Now, by all means it’s vital to strengthen access to higher ed for the many underserved constituencies in Britain and the US — no question, absolutely. But you and I both know that many rich folk are interested not so much in making the world a better place as they are in making the world maybe a better place, but certainly a place that remembers them appreciatively. If you are that kind of person, or just a person who wants to support excellence of the highest order (perhaps even by increasing and supporting access!), let me know — cos I know several colleges that would be ecstatic to build an endowment one-tenth the size of Bowdoin’s. Your massive bequest might be a drop in the bucket at Harvard or Bowdoin, might be transformative at Howard, but you could have a transformative effect and your name plastered all the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Just saying…


Not literally swimming, I mean, but running in 15° with 95% humidity. Continued heavy grey skies, mildly breezy, limber enough, especially toward the last half mile, and a decent pace. Chalk up another two miles.

Off after breakfast to St Mary Magdalen for their patronal and to catch up with pals from the neighbourhood; I’ll work on my presentation for a Tuesday interview later in the day. Wheee!

Odd Average

This morning’s run took place under heavy grey skies (it’s already staying darker noticeably later, along with the heavy overcast), 12° and 90% humidity, limbered up slowly but steadily, a good and increasing pace, and another two miles done.

It’s Saturday morning, Staurday Live just began, and I miss hearing the Revd Richard Coles. I still listen to the programme out of habit, but the heart’s gone out of it.