Mission Somewhat Accomplished

In all the spy and superagent and honest-cop and determined scientist-rescuer films, the travel from one exotic location to another goes largely unremarked, even though it takes up more real-world time than the dramatic confrontations, clandestine revelations, fight sequences, mind-blowing plot twists, and near-death experiences.
You can probably guess why this is particularly vividly on my mind this morning (US)/afternoon (UK). Yesterday morning I got out of bed in Abingdon after a fretful night’s tossing and turning (every raindrop that fell called out to me, ‘We’re going to flood your house while you’re away!’) at 4:15. I dressed, closed up my baggage, strode purposefully to the bus stop on Abingdon High Street, caught the X3 (I always forget that my magical ‘ride the transport system free’ card doesn’t work before 9:00 in the morning), changed for the Heathrow Airliner at St Clement’s, arrived at Heathrow around 7:40, checked my bag, ate a hearty airport breakfast, did an errand, made my way to the gate, at 11:30 or so took off for Boston, landed and made my way through passport control and customs rapidly (once bags started arriving), waited for and caught the 15:35 Concord Coach to Portland, changed at Portland for the 18:15 coach to Augusta, arrived at the Augusta Transportation Center (a designation that conjures a busier, more expansive enterprise than this humble depot), where Nate picked me up and brought me to our hotel at about 7:30 — meaning that I’d been more-or-less awake for twenty hours, most of them spent sitting in an airplane or coach seat. I had eaten breakfast, a reasonable in-flight lunch-dinner, and one of those peculiar savoury pastries that planes serve you to avoid giving you anything that resembles earth food. I devoured a serving of takeaway fajitas and Nate had already picked up.
I was in no fit condition for a dramatic confrontation, clandestine revelation, fight sequence, or a mind-blowing plot twist, though I wouldn’t argue if you suggested that it all amounted to a near-death experience.

What a Day(s)

So, beginning yesterday morning: it was raining, so I didn’t run. Then I waited for the dog minder, who got stuck in traffic; he arrived a half hour late, just after the Archdeacon arrived for our scheduled appointment. We had a very good talk, and I proceeded to the parish centre for our weekly staff meeting. After staff meeting, I cam home and worked on my homily for the evening Communion at Oriel. Got to Oriel with vestments, etc., and preached the evening homily, then to High Table with Fr Rob. Had a stellar dinner — I’ve never had aubergine so exquisite — and got home to an empty ouse at just the right time of night.

Woke up and ran my short route, widdershins. I ran in reverse direction cos I wanted to cross the Ock at the Iron Bridge first, in case the river was flooding my path. All clear; the water as high, but not that high. Ran home and had some coffee, showered, Morning Prayer, home to mark essays, in to Oriel for a tutorial, home to pack, and…

Waiting For Hilary

Waiting for Hilary Term to end, that is. It’s my intense teaching term at Oriel, and my parish responsibilities have been steady — and I’m flying to my mother-in-law’s funeral in the States for the weekend. So I’ll be ready when term-time ends.

I ran my miles this morning, then coffee and fruit and Morning Prayer, then home to do some marking. That was my day.

Rain

I didn’t run this morning cos it was raining steadily when I woke up. That was convenient, since I needed time before the 8:00 Mass to go over my sermon one more time and then print it. The weather’’s changed since then — mostly clear skies this afternoon — but I don’t think I’ll try a make-up run. I have marking to do, and would benefit from a nap if I can squeeze one in.

Scraping

I could be referring to my sleepy feet on our early-morning run, or doing the washing-up, or writing a sermon for the nth week in a row(or cleaning up after the dogs). In any case, I have to extrude a sermon from my imagination, but apart from that I will be taking things easy today.
(For the journal, I did my morning run, hot breakfast, a couple of errands for Margaret, and had a long visit with a wonderful couple whom I’ll marry eventually.)

More Miles, More Days

I ran my morning route both of the last two days (in unseasonably, unreasonably warm weather), had my fruit breakfast and coffee, cared for the Margaret-bereft canines, made a foray in Oxford yesterday and will do today as well, picked up a grocery or two, and have been thinking hard about Sunday’s sermon. It’s been a long time since I’ve preached as often as I do now, and my idea-muscles are a bit stiff and shaky. First Lent, here I come!

Ashvalent

I did not run this morning, as I was out late at Oriel’s Theology Dinner. I woke up in time to begin bashing out a homily for our Ash Wednesday morning service; at this evening’s service, I’m mostly just decorative. The wee duggies were anxious about my leaving for a few hours so soon after waking up after being out late, but by now they’re sleeping again (wish I were! But I have plenty to do today). I have marking to tackle this afternoon, then the evening service, video call with Margaret in the States, then probably just collapse in a heap preparatory to waking up bright and early tomorrow to do more marking and go back to Oxford for a tutorial. Heaven permitting, I can have a restorative Thursday evening and Friday….

Wall to Wall

Ran my two miles, coffee and fruit, am reading a student essay, will clean up and go to Morning Prayer, dash back to feed and air the dogs, then to the bus stop to get to Oxford for tutorials by 11:00, then home to Abingdon for an afternoon appointment, then time for more marking till I return to Oriel for the annual Theology Dinner, from which I have to leave promptly to get back to the dogs at the end of the day. Good thing I’m semi-retired.

Semi-Retired, With The Accent on ‘Semi’

Up for my morning run, coffee, Morning Prayer (at home), a second cup and hot breakfast, give the sermon a once-over, print, shower, hurry to church, preach and assist, talk with church-goers at the door, join a Young Server Recruitment meeting, stumble home, lunch, begin proofreading Ash Wednesday bulletins…. I’m wishing I had thought to pick up some frozen meals at the grocery store the other day.

Early Start Early Nap

We woke up execrably early this morning so that Margaret could catch the first flight to Boston out of Heathrow. That means catching the bus out of Abingdon, changing for the Airliner coach in Oxford, and arriving in good time for the international flight; added to the joys of early-morning multimodal transport this morning was a steady rain, though it let up for a few moments as Margaret was leaving the house.

I made a prudential decision that I wouldn’t try to drag my sorry self in to Oxford in the afternoon for the New Testament seminar, loath though I be to miss it. I didn’t want to fall asleep and topple over the in-built desks, or snore, or stay barely awake and spend the whole afternoon wishing I had stayed home. This way I can catch up on some work, prepare for tomorrow’s Wedding Workshop at the parish, and perhaps snag a wee nap to make up for the early (even by my standards) wake-up time.

Nope, Not In Cold Rain

I will not run my miles through a steady rain in single-digit temps. That’s a firm negatory. Instead I sdat and talked with Margaret about various aspects of her travel plans, what to expect when she gets to Pat’s house, and so on. I marked essays, listened to the Cardboards live at Charlie’s 10¢ Saloon (‘Ah, sonny boy, those were the days…’), and am about to leave for Oxford to give a couple of tutorials — then home to resume helping Margaret.