No Ambition To Visit Bora Bora

I think that like Rapunzel spinning straw into gold (supposedly), Señora Flora Dora Dinosaura, tribe of Zora, Food Adorer, Doesn’t Like Quora, must generate poop out of thin air. She just doesn’t eat that much, and every time I take her for a walk she… requires a great deal of clean-up bag space.

Pushing a Little

Yesterday’s activities may have pushed my healing foot a little too far — a run in the morning, two walks with the dogs, a walk to (and at*) St Helen’s in the morning, and another to (and at*) St Nicolas’s in the evening. By the end of the day, my foot was a bit impatient with me. On the other hand, when I woke up Saturday morning it was throbbing and notably swollen.

I ran my usual route anyway this morning, and expect to go to Morning Prayer and then to a cafe for a while. Apart from Morning Prayer, I don’t have any firm obligations today, so I’ll take things easy for the rest of the day.**

Meanwhile, Minke and Flora have noticed that their primary human (Margaret) no longer lies in with them in the mornings, so they have begun waking up more and more closely to my own timetable. Of course, they go to sleep again as soon as they’ve returned to my space, but they evidently feel it important to be sleeping within a few feet of me.

* I mean, any event at church involves not just the walking to and from, but also various intervals of standing during the liturgy, and (especially for staff) a lot of standing and talking after the service.

** Maybe carry a few boxes upstairs, too. I know that’s a significant stressor for foot injuries — Margaret developed a stress fracture carrying both baby Josiah and laundry up and downstairs from the basement when we lived on the second floor (US third floor) of a high-ceilinged building in New Haven — but I do want to get these boxes out of my study, so that I have even a remote chance of making a tidy space of it.

Miracle Cure

What do you know? It turns out that resting my foot, elevsating it, and tasking anti-inflammatories actually helps remedy a sudden flare-up of irritation to a once-broken (or otherwise damaged) bone and tissue in my foot! I’ll have to patent that and se if I can get johnson & Johnson interested.

My foot felt so much better this morning that I ran and walked my short route this morning (1.7 miles instead of 2), went to church of course, walked the dogs twice, and will walk to the Patronal Evensong at St Nicolas’s this evening.

On the 8th, Prof. John Barton (of this parish) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, so he was invited to preach this morning. We’ll have a festive reception after Mass early in January.

Ouch Ouch Ouch

I did not run this morning. Indeed, I’m not sure I could have run. This is not due to the cold, steady rain falling during my running-time of the morning; the principal cause for my morning’s immobility lies in my right foot, the old war wound from the notorious Battle of Nassau Hill in Princeton. I wore my dress shoes last night to Oriel’s SCR Dinner, and something about the evening seems to have aggravated, if not outright re-broken, that once-broken metatarsal (or perhaps a phalange). My best guess, short of a genuine diagnosis, opts for a stress fracture down there. Whee.

Anyway, my foot is sore and swollen. Running is right out for the time being. Sadly, this may be an impediment (see what I did there? im-pedi-ment?) to further unpacking, book-toting. Indeed, carrying book boxes may have played a role in setting up my foot for the flare-up. /eyeroll

Extra, Extra

This morning I ran a bit out of my way to go past St Nicolas’s, winding up with a run of 2.2 miles. The weather was dry (unlike yesterday morning, when it started to rain on me when I was halfway home). I spent intervals of the morning and afternoon hauling book boxes up to the top floor from my study on the ground floor (the ‘flights of stairs’ line in my iPhone Health app has thrown the whole enterprise off, because I’ve taken so many more flights today than I have in the weeks before), finding and hanging pictures to get them out of Margaret’s library upstairs, working on conversational French, reading, and tending the herd of dogs.

Tonight is the annual SCR Dinner at Oriel — that’s part of the reason I spent so much time with the canines today, since I will leave them alone for dinner. Then back to my customary underdetermined timetable tomorrow…


Abingdon has a plentiude of cafés, so I’m using Margaret’s absence to check out the atmosphere and offerings at several local establishments. This morning I’m at Java & Co., which serves a satisfactory Americano and has a plate of gluten-free brownies for Margaret, if she were here. Wifi doesn’t require a password, which gives it a wee bump as well.

I ran this morning, caught up on some correspondence, went to Morning Prayer at St Helen’s, and stopped by the local Sue Ryder to check out this week’s furniture choices. I’ll head home in a bit and walk the ladies (I begin to think that fresh air inspires them to poop, since they produce copiously whenever I walk them). Then maybe some reading, some unpacking/arranging, some mending, and eventually some time watching the telly with dogs in my lap.


Yesterday was a marathon. I know it must be hard for the applicants, having just a few minutes to make a positive impression on interviewers for admission to your top-choice university. We interview two or thee times as many students as we can offer admission, and we take applications for… I don’t know, maybe ten times as many students as we interview. Almost all our applicants are fine students, most of them are excellent students, and our job is to pick the most excellent among the excellent. Moreover, the applicants have only twenty to twenty-five minutes on their side, while interviewers have to spend hours interviewing students back-to-back, and to be as fresh and open to the last applicant as to the first.

That was yesterday, all day, apart from a brief walk for the dogs.

Today I have nothing particular timetabled (apart from my morning two miles, coffee!, Morning Prayer, walking the wee duggies). The dogs will get more attention, I hope to do some reading, perhaps odds and ends around the house, and to just plain wind down. Margaret has arrived safely, and is getting stuck in and running errands. Minke and Flora are adjusting to having a grumpy old man as solo caregiver rather than the gracious, loving, beatiful woman who’s usually their shepherd (dogherd).

Advent Carols and Interviewing

Last night’s Advent Carols service went beautifully. It was my first ‘on’ service at St Helen’s (I read a lesson, led some responses and said the Advent Collect) — nothing complicated, but it gave me a chance to walk around the platform of the nave altar, turn my lavalier mic on and off (awkward, but possible), try out my speaking voice with the stationary mic and the lavalier, and so on. The readings, the music, the prayers, the actions all went well. People were heartened, and Advent got off to a harmonious start.

The only problem was that on the way to church, in the dark, carrying cassock, surplice, hood, and black stole/scarf, in drifting drizzle, I dropped my preaching scarf along the way and didn’t notice till I began vesting for the service. Luckily, nobody made off with it through the evening, and I could pick it up — sodden and dirty — on my way home. It appears to me that some TLC will restore it to its usual appearance.

And today, having run my miles in light rain (6°), said morning prayer, had coffee and grapes for breakfast, and catching up on some odds and ends, I will spend all day (saving a lunch break) interviewing applicants to Oxford. It’s good to meet them, but I will definitely look forward to dinnertime.

Diminished Nest

I made my run this morning; the weather has turned warmer, at least for a day, and my fingers and toes did not go numb, or prickle and burn. My pace was moderate, and I arrived home almost comfortably. I’ll have another cup of coffee and a crumpet before church, take the dogs for a walk, and after church will hack away at some unfinished work.

The house is half, or a quarter (depending on how you count), emptier this morning. Margaret left yesterday on some family business, and that leaves our new home hollower. and ties my day more closely to Minke and Flora, who need a lot of attention. It will be a good thing when we’re back together.

A Gap, Yes

Missed a few days (sorry). Last night I decided not to run this morning — fortuitously, as it turns out, since this was the coldest night so far this year. Instead, I stayed up a bit later than usual with Margaret, who will be leaving this morning to go to the US to help care for a member of the family. I’ll stay here with the dogs (hence, not leaving the house for any long intervals) till I leave for our holiday visits to our younger family.

But I’m glad that when this frigid morning arrived, I had already decided not to venture outside.