Dispassionate Monday

Ran my morning two miles with heavy legs, but not at a lugubrious pace. Coffee and fruit, I’ll go to Morning Prayer in a few minutes, and the rest of the day I’ll try to devote to marking, editing, and writing.

Passion Sunday

I ran my short route this morning cos it was raining (lightly but steadily); then coffee and Morning Prayer, fruit breakfast I’m changing my hot breakfast regiemn to Sunday and Wednesday, today was a transitional day), morning Mass for Passion Sunday, then the Annual District Committee Meeting for St Helen’s, and in a short while Evensong followed by a Taizé planning event (planning for Taizé worship, not a meeting conducted in meditative chants).

Saturday of Ninth

Very leisurely two miles this morning, running and walking and even stopping for half a mo, giving my muscles and joints a chance to relax. Then coffee and Morning Prayer in my study, hot breakfast, a morning catching up on this and that, and a little bit of work.

I have a vague plan to go to the church to take photos of the Women of the Bible window (the west end of the Our Lady aisle) for possible deployment on notecards in this 30th anniversary of the ordination of women in the UK year. While there, also to check out the Abingdon Artists exhibition in a more systematic way; I had been to look for Fr Paul’s contributions, but had ignored everything else.

Keeping Busy

Ran both of the last two mornings: Last morning, very heavy legs and a slow run, and this morning a good pace and limber legs. Coffee and fruit breakfast, shower, and Morning Prayer. Yesterday I came home and leaned into some academic business, t(hen a meeting about fund-raising at the church, then grocery shopping, then home. Today I went directly from MP to run some errands, most of which were balked — but I did take the opportunity to look in at mostly books and Abingdon’s Oxfam shop. Yesterday I spent hours working on a page of stamp-shaped images in an illustration app only to have it produce a tiny image that I couldn’t persuade it to resize to larger dimensions; then I tried it in my obsolete copy of Artboard (by MapDiva) (you can download v 2.4 here, but it’s strictly a take-your-chances, don’t-blame-me operation; OTOH I have found artboard to be the most intuitive vector graphics app Iz’ve used, which means of course it had to be shut down).

Wednesday Morning (of Ninth)

No rain, so I ran my two miles (musing about how I imagined, once upon a time, that it would get easier and easier), coffee and fruit, Morning Prayer, then will stay at church for midweek Eucharist, then home for the afternoon, probably.

‘Bro, Bro, Bro’

Yesterday I dismounted the X3 at St Aldate’s and hastened toward Oriel, where in a half hour I would meet a guest for lunch. As I turned the corner into Blue Boar, I heard someone shouting after me: ‘Bro, Bro, Bro, I need…’ to which I half-turned and waved and called, ‘Sorry, I’m on my way to meet someone.’
‘No, bro, bro, bro, bro, no, hang on, wait a minute…’
‘I’m on my way to meet a guest.’
‘Bro, bro, bro, I need one [unintelligible]…’
I turned and shrugged. ‘I need to keep going…’
‘No, but bro, I need one picture. One picture, bro!’
I was a bit perplexed, but it seemed an innocuous enough request. When he caught up with me and was lining up a selfie (before he imposed on a passing pedestrian to take the photo) I realised that he wanted a photo with himself and an academic priest with longish grey hair and a beard, who was wearing all black, with an overcoat, umbrella, and Homburg.

If you know this gentleman, tell him he’s welcome.

One Way

When I write about spirituality, I will have to stress that I’m talking about one way, not the only way, and not to the exclusion of other ways. I may have criticisms of other ways, but I will try not to deprecate ways that benefit other people. My point, at every turn, will be to articulate how things go for me and for others whom I know (in continuity with other Christian, and possibly non-Christian, sources).

I’ll pay some attention to backstage rationales as well. I mean, not just what I commend, but also why, and how my approach — not a specific regimen, not a programme as such — engages other aspects of life as we know it.

I’ve been holding back from saying anything on this topic for a long time, partly to avoid stepping on toes, partly because I don’t have spirituality ‘expertise’, partly because it hasn’t seemed likely that anyone cares what I think. But this is a blog — nobody cares about my daily run, either (well Dave’s paying attention, bless him, even if he does give me a case of Olympus lust) — so I might as well write about it here. There is, after all, a mathematical chance that someone might be interested.

But above all, to reiterate: I am not your judge. I am not the judge of your spirituality (even if I may find it unconvincing or problematic on my own terms), and I will be doing all that I can to avoid a rhetoric of ‘This is what I think, and this is why; and that’s why your practice is stupid’. If I say, This has proved beneficial to me, and you say (or even just feel) But that is what I like!, then just ignore me. I’m not that important.

One way. Not every way. Not necessarily ‘better than your way’ or ‘their way’. One way.

Two Things

One, I really must do something about FB and Twitter, and even BlueSky. My current plan involves taking an interval (initially a day or two, building to longer times) off, peering in, and taking another interval off as soon as practicable. Maybe one medium at a time, not lukewarm turkey on all of them at once. I have lots of precious connections with people via social media, but the distraction and related costs are just too great, and the cynicism of media-as-‘innocent provider’ too disingenuous. Wish me luck.

Two, I’m going to begin sketching some theological ideas here, ideas that I would categorise as ‘spirituality’ if spirituality were not supersaturated with woo and grift and anti-academicism. But the alternatives don’t quite get at what I’d be talking about; or worse still, they’d convey the ‘thgis isn’t spirituality, it’s a new and more authentic and right proper spiritual discourse’ hype flavour to them, and I’d hate that even more than being in the same category lump as the grifters and know-nothings. (Not you, I mean — you are without a doubt sincere and pious and concerned about historical and theological integrity.) I have some notions, and they’ve been spurring me to express them, and since I’m weaning myself from social media, here’s the place to do it.

So heads up — the blog may be more active, and more contemplative, than it‘s been for a while.


Following on from yesterday’s post, today my legs felt a bit stronger — not strong exactly, nor limber, but neither did they feel as heavy as yesterday — and I ran to a plausible, if not particularly exciting pace. Coffee and grapes, Morning Prayer, then to a café for working along with Margaret, then a church-related meeting, then home for lunch.


Having been running daily for years now, I always marvel at how unpredictable the experience will be. Yesterday I made the run at what is for me a decent pace, despite my legs feeling as heavy, leaden, as they ever have; today they were a bit livelier, but my pace was a bit slower. And I expect that they’ll never recover the springiness that I can observe in others and recall from younger days. Ah, well, two more miles in the book.

I’ll start my hot breakfast soon, then get ready for church. I’m both celebrating and preaching this morning, so I will be knackered when we get home for lunch.

Last Day of Term

Ran my two miles, despite 3° temps and complaining muscles. Coffee and fruit, cleaned up, off to Morning Prayer and a collegial meeting with Prof. Barton before I traipse up to Ox for the last New Testament Seminar of term. Last of term, ah!