Monday of Seventh, From Abingdon

I made my morning run against the odds again, as the weather forecast last night sad that the precise hours of rainfall today would be the time from 5:00 to 6:30 when I usually run. I’m not sure it rained at all, but it certainly didn’t rain on my chilly, leisurely exercise.

I spent much of the morning doing small tasks, catching up on email and postal correspondence, slowly making more room in my study. Then I went to Oxford to make a foray into the vacant flat to check for mail, checked also at Oriel, and came home. It was a full day, if not great in magnitude.

Sunday’s Busy Day

I’m giving myself a morning off from the run. When I woke, I heard the sound of a light rain, and although it seems to have cleared up, I have enough aches and stiffness from yesterday’s exertions that it seems sensible to allow a day for the flesh to rebound.

Today we’re going to Mass at St Helen’s, then to a Newcomers’ Lunch where I will meet various people with whom I’m not yet acquainted, and will strain to remember everybody’s name. After lunch we’ll return to base camp, then I’ll hop in the X3 to Oxford for one of the two last Evensongs at which I’ll serve as Fr Rob’s emergency back-up clergyman. Then home to collapse in aheap and rest up for a Monday with so-far undefined plans.

Last Minute

Ran in the morning, even though the Home Office said there was a 94% chance of rain (wasn’t raining when I set out, and hardly encountered a raindrop on the whole run); hot breakfast; then worked like an inept, arthritic, back-weary demon constructing the last remaining bookcases for my study. The good news is that they’re all done, and all populated with books. The bad news is that, if I had the same number of bookcases again, I might be able to get most of the book boxes emptied and onto shelves.

Morning Run, and Commonplaces

Ran my now-usual 2 miles, 3° under clear skies, rivers still high, at a pace that is (for me) reasonable, but not impressive.

As I unpack, I discover commonplace books, which I think I will begin recording here — both so as not to lose them, and so as to share themn with others as may find them amusing or edifying.

Back To Two

I cut off the spur that added two tenths of a mile to my run yesterday (thereby eliminating St Nic’s from my route, sorry y’all, I’ll build up to it). Chilly but dry, rivers still high and noisy, but beginning to feel at home in Abingdon. Bookshelves arrive today — that’ll make a big difference.


I got a bit muddled in the dark in this still-unfamiliar town this morning, so I ran an extra two tenths of a mile. One satisfying outcome of my confusion was that I wound up running past all three of my new parish churches: first St Michael’s, then St Nicolas’s, then St Helen’s. So chalk up another 2.2 miles, and let’s watch to see how my route settles down.

Doc’s Date

Last week Doc Searls posted a proposal for a sort of federated calendar feed that he (maybe more precisely, his friend Dave Askins) called DatePress. This sounds intriguing — as most things that Doc backs — though I foresee some farily large-scale security risks, even if the enterprise includes only ‘community events’ administered by different levels of creators and users. But the possible benefits of ‘calendar as a platform’ affords possibilities that could be productive indeed.

That’s Better

I extended one of the dimensions of my morning run (turned at Park Road rather than Ock Street) and Apple Health seems to have reckoned the resulting run at two miles. Even better, this route currently takes me past two of the churches I’ll be serving in Abingdon, St Michael’s (on Park Road) and St Helen’s. I suspect I can adjust my route very slightly to go past St Nicolas’s, too.


I ran my new route this morning at a creditable pace, but when I returned to Enock House (we live in a named house, so there!), my Apple Health app told me I had only run 1.6 miles, which I think is distinctly rude. I’m not sure how I got the impression last week that this route took me on a 1.9 mile circuit, but now I’ll have to come up with another half mile or so to keep my running fitness from decline.

Been Through Wifi Desert

We’ve moved from our former shelter to our snappy new digs in the fashionable Caldecott neighbourhood of Abingdon ( I don’t really know if it’s fashionable, but if it wasn’t before, it clearly is now), but our broadband service has not yet been switched on — so I burned rapidly through my month’s allotment of data on my mobile account, and have re-upped twice already. Luckily, we are told that the switch will be flipped tomorrow morning, so our home will once again be filled with rich, rapid, life-giving 2.4 Ghz radio waves.

Yesterday was busy, as I ran my mile-point-nine, went to morning Mass (with Act of Remembrance) at St Michael’s, one of the congregations I’ll be serving once I am licensed. I was running late from doing some spur of the moment thisses and thats, but in a mad dash in the rain (with umbrella) I arrived just as the vicar was emerging from the sacristy. After lingering with the warm, hospitable congregants, I made my way back to home base. I installed the TV and associated speakers on their new (second-hand) stand, then indulged in a quick lunch before dashing out to catch the bus to Oxford, then to Headington, to give the former flat one final survey to make sure that everything about which I cared had been extracted. Thence I returned to Ox, where I passed the time before Evensong with a bowl of chips and a half London Pride. Then Evensong, a hurry to catch a bus back to Abingdon (they don’t run frequently on Sunday nights), and a return to Abingdon. As I say, a full day.

First Run

Well, a lot of walking, since it was dark, and the wet/frozen leaves were slippery, and I was taking in the unfamiliar terrain and built environment — but a good, simple route takes me to 1.9 miles (as in the old days in Oxford). Did I mention that everything was frosted, temperature was 2°? But with every such step, we live here in Abingdon more fully.

We’re Here

I woke up this morning in a town in which I’ve never woken up before (unless you count possible dozing during previous visits).We’re in a house that is, in the classic formulation, larger on the inside, although just now it’s congested with boxes and out-of–place furnishings. We lack some desirable furnishings, and the specific arrangement of the rooms we’re currently using remains to be ascertained, but we’re here, and we’re home.

No run this morning, and I’m not sure I’ll get back to Oxford for the Act of Remembrance at Oriel, or the New Testament Seminar (a lot depends on how the morning goes). It’s chilly and rainy this morning, so the possible walk/run that I planned — more of an exploration of a possible route than a straight-ahead run — seems imprudent. No, first attention this morning goes to unpacking and rearranging and so on. We’re here, but we’re not really here here till our home turns more from boxes to a more or less orderly (less) settled life.

As you are probably worried primarily about Flora and Minke, they were increasingly manic and anxious as it become clear that we were leaving Headington, but they seemed at least a little calmer here last evening, and they slept soundly.