Dogs Trying Out for Cats

In the process of unpacking, we left an open box on the floor, containing one of the dogs’ (many) bed/carpets in it. A couple of days ago, Minke noticed it and jumped in, and since then she and Flora have been devoted to occupying it.

Two small dogs, Flora and Minke, curled up inside a packing box

Two small dogs curled up inside a packing box, with one (a Yorkshire Terrier) looking upward so that her fringe stands out against the dark background

I took my morning run (the distance of which seems to fluctuate for reasons I don’t quite understand — today it registered as 1.7 miles, but usually it shows up as 1.6 or 1.5) at a patient pace. It’s darker in the mornings these days, of course, and chillier. Pretty soon I’ll be back to wearing a hoodie as I run.

Sermon for tomorrow is mostly done. I’ll try to finish and print it this morning, and that will leave the train ride for editing.

Around and Around

With one morning run, one trip to church (almost the same route), and one dog-walk, I’m up to four miles already today. Likely I’ll spend the rest of the day sitting down, working on a sermon (or James).

And Another

Another one-and-a-half today, at a slightly peppier (still nothing exciting) pace. Home with the ladies, now, while Margaret works on her presentation on ‘Should Commodities Flourish?’, working on my own sermon for an upcoming Special Event and thinking about finishing my James essay.

I have another interview coming up, so that’s comforting — no chance of getting a post unless I’m short-listed first, so this improves the odds (even if I’ve had much of the optimism and confidence sapped out of me). Just now, though, I think I’ll wake up the slum,bering beasts and take them on the walk that they surely need soon.

New Morning

I woke this morning to the first day on which neither Margaret nor I will be shuttling to or from James Street. Granted that we didn’t exactly choose to relocate, this feels very very good.

My morning route is still a bit short, but I got my run in and it felt okay, at a very indulgent pace. Margaret will head out very soon to spend her morning at work in a cafe; I’ll stay with the canines, working on a sermon or on my James essay. I probably ought to file a job application or two also, but I haven’t checked that category carefully since the gruellying removal process started.

Last Morning

In a few minutes I’ll swing down to James Street, call for a ride, load up our boxes destined for storage, take them to our units, squeeze them in, lock the doors, and that will be that. (Margaret will take some books to Mary Mags tomorrow or Sunday, but we’re not really counting that.) We now live in Headington.

Earlier this morning, I got up and ran my one-point-six. I’ll stretch it back to two miles eventually, but for now I’m content with this route.

Almost Last Step

We’re back in Headington this afternoon, after spending the morning organising our retreat from East Oxford. We wrought four categories: going to the flat, going to storage, going to Mary Mags’s book sale, bin, and recycle. Once assured that we didn’t have to choreograph our rubbish’s journey to a tip, or our recycling’s journey to… its next cycle, we packed a taxi van with one last load of suitcases and boxes and bags; Margaret, Minke and Flora rode with our stuff, and I hopped on my trusty velocipede and biked to Headington. Sadly, I got a bit mixed up on my way, and ended up taking a grossly inefficient route. Still, time spent on a bicycle is time well spent, and it’s good to be assured that even my rusty bicycling skills sufficed to get me up Headington Hill.

Now it’s gin and tonic time.

One Point Six

So, I tried out a new route this morning — running and walking, trying to find my way — and the planned route came in at 1.6 miles. Our part of Headington is tricky, because (unlike East Oxford) the roads are less tight a network of blocks, and they tend to meander outward with only intermittent cross-streets. I can see a way to lengthen the run, but it would not be my preference. I’ll keep thinking.

Tuesday, More Moving

No running, though I’m thinking about my (necessarily) new route. More dog-care (we want to keep them quiet; they’ve never lived in a flat before, and we want to help them learn to be good neighbours). Margaret and I have each made a trip to James Street and back. There’s less and less to do, and it’s more and more difficult. I think that tonight will mark a boundary-crossing, though, such that it’s no longer intelligible to regard our old home and neighbourhood as being home any more. We’re Headingtonians now.

First Monday

This’ll be the first weekday in our new digs. Margaret plans to go to a local cafe to work this morning; I’ll stay here with the dogs, who are still very anxious about having moved. I’ll try to make some headway on sermon and essay while at home. Then, later in the day, one or both of us will go back to James Street to advance the cause of emptying and tidying the residuum of our goods. Of course, this is the gruelling stage, not quite the ‘Forget it, we’ll burn it all’ phase, but is still the ‘I’d hate to bin this, and then find occasion to wish I’d kept it’ phase — as I observed on BlueSky yesterday:

Two days ago I bid a fond (not really ‘fond’) farewell to two lengths of cat-5 cable, and pondered the long-ago days when it was a vital necessity.
Yesterday I realised that the only way to connect the internet to the vintage 2011 television we’re using is…

Ah, liminality…

For the time being I’m not running, though I may change that as soon as tomorrow. The trips to and from James Street take a lot out of me, though, and I have intervals of hobbling around with flare-ups of the fasciitis.

Hey, Where’d He Go?

It’s a long story, but the short version is that our move out of college housing was accelerated (to our surprise) and we had to do our relocation act sooner and more intensely than we had expected. Last Wednesday, the BRitish Heart Foundation took away some of our furniture, and a lucky online ‘buyer’ (we asked a nominal £10 to fill in the ‘price’ blank on a form) took away our long black sofa. Thursday a crew picked up our boxed goods and some furniture and deposited it in two storage units just beyond the ring road. Friday we began transporting our remaining goods to our new residence pro tempore and slept here for the first time. Yesterday we made multiple trips to and from James Street, pushing ourselves past the breaking point, and slept here again. I think we have the hang of the sleeping part. This morning I went to church in my new local congregation (St Andrew’s, Headington, though I expect to visit Holy Trinity on occasion), and made a single round trip to take care of our bicycles and to gather up some slipped-through-the-cracks daily use items. Still so much to do… I described moving homes as the process wherein the closer you get to the end, the further you are from the end — that is, at a certain point you enter the interminable ‘What will we do with this? What even is it? Oh, it’s that’ phase, where each reduction of the apparent total amount of gubbish is nullified by the ambiguity of the stuff’s status (and often your emotional investment in it). It’s going to be a long month, especially cos I have a sermon, an academic essay, and a job interview (and should finalise applications for a couple other posts).

Storage Day

No run, cos my socks and trainers are packed somewhere, and we need the time to finish up packing all the goods that are going into storage. Right now, it all looks distinctly bleak, but once everything’s gone we’ll be in a position to begin a new (and, we may hope, a short) phase.