Last Night

I gather from the planner-in-chief that tonight we expect to sleep in Abingdon, so this makes the last night I will have slept in Headington (for the time being), the last 1.7 I’ve run in Headington (almost certainly), the last time I’ll catch the number 8 or 280 or 400 in to Oxford from Headington. It cuts a half hour or so from travel from our flat to the house (in the sense that it’s about a half hour (between waiting for the bus traffic in St Clements and through the Brookes campus) between Headington and Carfax, where we pick up the X3 to Abingdon). And we will wake up in Abingdon, where I don’t have a running route nor are we regulars at any café, curry, or pub. At least I know which church I’ll be going to.

Yesterday I trundled from Headington to Abingdon, moved some boxes around, opened some boxes, decided not to open other boxes, and put things together. It was tiring, especially granted the hour of transport and the lack of food and drink in Headington. Today will have a lot more unpacking and moving things about.

That Time of Tenancy

We moved the vast preponderance of our goods to Abingdon yesterday, into a house in which we hope to live for years going forward. We’re based in Headington for another few days, as Abingdon Base doesn’t have a fridge or washer or bedstead yet, but today I, then Margaret, will take our bus ride to Abingdon to unpack and rearrange, and to prepare for the delivery of the goods we’ll receive in the next few days.

No run this morning, as the combination of cold rain and damp temperatures made the risk of running count more than the benefits. And with my activity of the last few days, I’m certainly getting some mileage from my trainers.

From There To Here

Ran my 1.7, prayed, ate hot breakfast, then stumbled out to the bus stop to catch the early bus toward the storage units. Waited for the storage place to open, greeted the removal agents, showed them the boxes and furniture, they shooed me away. Now I’m at the flat, waiting for them to pick up the local load, then off to deposit it all in Abingdon. Whee.

Keeping On, Holily

Ran my morning 1.7, said my prayers, had some fruit and coffee, looking to pack some clothes and run some errands.

Margaret and I had a post-All Saints conversation, in which my point involved the error (about which I’ve posted often on social media; don’t recall whether I’ve blogged about it) of focusing attention ‘who should be included on the church’s sanctoral calendar?’ The way the church classically came to recognising somebody as a saint involved a ground-up commemoration and veneration: our local congregation venerates Elvis as a saint; the next congregation over there joins us; eventually many churches in this diocese and scattered churches outwith our area share our veneration (probably on different days, because people). After years, an authoritative church body recognises and adds Elvis to the calendar, or doesn’t (but at that point, there’s no need for you and me to stop observing his feast, and the larger church body may always reverse course and add him). The discourse about ‘who should be added’ typically fixes on a figure from the past whom nobody currently venerates, and determines that they should be added aas a sort of didactic imposition.

This betrays a terribly wrong-headed investment in the institution and its power over people*, as opposed to investment in honouring sanctity. And all too often, it boils down to ‘I’m a fan of X, so everyone should remember them once a year’ or ‘we need to pay more attention to this, so we’ll put NN in the calendar as a vehicle for calling attention to it.’ No, no, no, no, no.

If there’s a figure you want to venerate, DIY. Organise ‘Tony Randall Day’ in your local parish. Make a tradition of doing some special ritual action every day on Nellie Bly’s Day. And if it catches on, so much the better — but let the Spirit moving in the churches be the judge. Don’t force-feed ‘sanctity’ in the name of your cause.

* Insofar as it actually has this power, of course.

Ooops, Fortnightly

I posted to social media, but neglected my blog for my fortnightly listening diary at

1 The Beatles 10 scrobbles
2 The Who 8
3 The Flaming Lips 7
4 Wilco 7
5 Aretha Franklin 6
6 David Bowie 6
7 Juliana Hatfield 6
8 Kirsty MacColl 6
9 Larry Coryell 6
10 Rickie Lee Jones 6

And the Mountain Goats, of course, cos they just released Jenny From Thebes, which is a winner both on the basis of a great title and having actual readable Greek on the cover art, plus another fascinating step deeper into the (semi-)imaginary world where the whole catalogue happens…

I might have said ‘Goats-iverse’, but that just sounds so wrong…

New Outpost

This morning I hustled in to Abingdon to scout out the church and our soon-to-be home. After, I mean, running my 1.7 and saying my prayers. Lovely All Saints Sunday service, and in a sandwich’s time I’ll go scope out the house. Them scamper back to Headington and Oxford for Evensong at Oriel.

Ha! Take That, Rain!

I did squeeze in a run this morning despite the MIST (first light MIST, then heavy MIST, then light showers, then heavy showers), but Margaret’s and my planned trip to select her birthday present had to be cancelled. We did have a few rounds of house favourite game ‘Ask AKMA how old this or that celebrity is, and observe how he arrives at his answer’, and Margaret had a leisurely birthday morning tea with a friend, but our scheme for the weekend has been somewhat up-ended.

No worries — all will be well, as my future chef reminds me.

Busy Friday of Fourth

Made my run (rain for the last two days, rain likely tomorrow), prayers, fruit breakfast, and in a short while will head into town for a tutorial and lunch, then possibly a quick visit to our future home for inventory and measurements.

Another Rainy Day

Well, it is England, isn’t it? No run this morning because of the rain (thanks, Ciarán), but I have errands to do and an essay to mark before going in to the last Speaker’s Lecture at noon. I think my fasciitis is abating; my knee is still a bit wobbly, and subject to stiffness; I have a very mild cold. It looks as though our stored goods, if not our current living clothes and tools (nor us), will move to Abingdon next week. That’s pretty much the news from here.

Plus Ça Change

No run this morning, as it was bucketing down when I woke up. The Disclosure and Barring Service have decided that I’m not a risk to the well-being of any parishioners at St Helen’s, so that’s one step closer. We have a removal date, so our stored goods won’t trigger the next month’s payment. And I’ll be deaconing tonight’s All Saints (plus All Souls, it being a college thing and the college not being up for two holy days in a row). But everything is coming together, slowly, for our transition from full-time Oxford don to part-time parson, part-time don, based in Abingdon.