On the Whole, I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia

Yes, as it turns out, I do have a cold. So, no running, very little activity at all, unless you count snuffling and coughing as ‘activity’. I showered, made myself a hot breakfast, read Malter Moberly’s The Bible in a Disenchanted Age, napped, stared blankly at social media, dozed slightly.

OK, listen: I was interviewed for somebody’s YouTube (pod-?) (video-?) (vid-?) cast. I’m hesitant to link to it, because I feel acutely that I talk to slowly and too much, I look as though I just fell out of bed, and I said some things that aren’t precisely what I’d have said if I had a week or so to think about it. But hey, there it is, and if nothing else it can provide a basis for friendly teasing. Friendly. It’s on the ‘Why Knowledge Matters’ channel, taking the episode title from my essay on ‘Sensuous Hermeneutics’. Thanks for the opportunity, Yanik, and I hope it wasn’t a disappointment for you.

Who Knows Where the Time Goes…

So, Monday and Tuesday I got up and ran my miles, on Monday especially satisfactorily. I rode the people’s limousine into Oxford and helped my charges at Oriel with their revision for collections at the end of the week (and ultimately for their final exams in a few weeks); I ran a couple of errands in Oxford; and when I returned to Abingdon, Margaret and I went over some of the knock-on consequences of her mother’s and my sister’s deaths. And other bits and bobs.

I didn’t run this morning, because I’m coming down with a cold, and it seemed that running two miles in windy 4° weather was just plain foolish under the circumstances. Coffee and fruit breakfast (because I got confused about what day it is), and Margaret kindly postponed our planned walk in the Harcourt Arboretum to spare me the discomfort of the chill and wind (and the ever-present prospect of unexpected rain).

Because I have several other urgent things to do, I’ve been casually browsing reading material relevant to hermeneutics, this morning looking into the scholarship on Wittgenstein and Lonergan. In one source, I was pleased to see the author (Joseph Fitzpatrick) note that ‘… [L]ogical atomism was not based on any empirical study or investigation of words and how they operate, but represented the logician’s view of how words must function to be meaningful’, and ‘The later Wittgenstein is dead set against any explanation of the meaning of language that depends on an appeal to some hidden or occult entity that is said to lie beneath language’ (28–29). I will want to come back to these.

Sunday of Noughth, Wait!

I ran my miles this morning, coffee and fruit breakfast, Morning Prayer, shower and dress for the service at St Nicolas’s, went to Waitrose for particular groceries (gluten-free and veg, since the small Cooperative location doesn’t devote much of its space to our dietary oddities), met Margaret and the dogs on East St Helen’s Street, walked home and relaxed for a bit. Then we needed some groceries from the Cooperative, so I walked back to town, then we treated ourselves to curry and a chat with our dear friend Phil, and now it’s getting near bedtime. And tomorrow, term begins.

Vesuvius Vendredi

Last night, Margaret — whom all will agree is a fine cook — was preparing a spicy roast vegetable dish, when it became clear that she needed to deploy two separate roasting pans. That, in turn, mean preparing two separate batches of spices… (You may see the plot twist on the horizon…) So she administered the mix of spices onto the first tray, and then another onto the second tray, and it wasn’t until both trays were in the oven that the penny dropped and she realised (ominous chord) that for each tray, she had mixed the same quantity of seasonings as she had originally calculated for the entire batch.

So the roasted vegetables were exactly twice as spicy as she had intended that they be — and she had been aiming at the hot end of the spectrum from the start.

In the end, with copious dollops of improvised yogurt dressing, I was able happily to finish my serving. Margaret got most of the way through hers, but gave up for fear of causing irreparable damage. I finished the leftovers today for lunch — with yogurt support. Very tasty, but very spicy.

Two miles of slow, steady jogging this morning, hot breakfast and coffee, and work on my sermon for St Nic’s tomorrow.

Friday Before Noughth

Ran my morning two in lovely weather (I am going to be so relieved when spring/summer settles in), fruit breakfast, washed up, Morning Prayer, ran some errands in town, returned and settled in to close out my backlogged marking. In the meantime, Margaret had taken Flora and Minke to the vet, whether Minke got a clean bill of health and Flora’s known health issues were addressed to Margaret’s satisfaction.

Two Days

Yesterday was a very full-on working day, with my usual run first thing, coffee, hot breakfast, shower, Morning Prayer, coffee, Chapter Meeting, Pastoral Care Committee meeting, home for writing a blurb for the weekly pew sheet, implementation (including a mind-creasing interaction with Scottish Power relative to their site’s refusal to let me log in), financial research, hymn-check and edit the ordo, and collapse in a heap.

This morning I ran my two miles again, coffee and fruit, shower, Morning Prayer, Churches in Abingdon meeting, stops at banks, and home for lunch before mopping up marking in the afternoon. Not caught up yet, but within shouting distance, I think.

Tuesday of 2 Easter

My short route (1.7 miles) in chilly, windy drizzle, coffee and fruit, shower and dress, Morning Prayer, second coffee, reading and transcribing Mieneke Cox’s guide to St Helen’s. Marking this afternoon (making headway).


Two miles at a non-demanding pace, fruit and coffee, cleaned up, Morning Prayer with particular intercession for Holly, then in to town for coffee and a pastry with Margaret and Fr Paul. Grocery shopping, a tutorial (cancelled, as it turns out), and marking in the afternoon. It’s Eastertide, but we’re back to a routine, and Margaret’s home, and that’s comforting.

Running, and Home

Two miles at what would no doubt have been a decent pace if it weren’t for the blustery wind — at one point it felt as though there were a hand on my chest holding me back. Coffee, Morning Prayer, fruit breakfast, then Margaret came home after weeks in the US (first and last to work toward clearing her mother’s house to prepare it for sale, and in between to keep vigil with my sister as Holly moved onward to death).

We’re together again, a family of two along with Minke and Flora, till her next trip to finish the job in Maine.

Kathleen’s Mild Side

A pleasant two miles this morning as Storm Kathleen brings 14° temps and clear skies (before wild winds and, no doubt, downpours, since every change of weather somehow has brought rain this winter). Next, Morning Prayer, then hot breakfast, then I’m determined to finish marking and move on to some writing. Edit sermon (almost twice as long as it should be).

Back Don’t Spasm Me Now

I only took the short route this morning, and waled most of that, because as I turned onto the first main road on my morning run, I felt a little flutter in my lower back, as though my back muscles were warning me ‘Just give us an excuse, mate, and we’re going to coil up tight as a watchspring’. Then about a block further on, they sent another message to the effect of ‘Were you not listening?’ I decided that discretion required a gentler approach to this morning’s exercise, and walked the rest of the way.

Fruit breakfast and coffee, Morning Prayer, shower, second cup, clearing email (mostly involving my sister’s obit), then a wee bit of reading, marking, then walking the dogs, lunch, morning contact with Margaret, and now back to marking.

Fleeting Vac

Two miles this morning, fruit and coffee, Morning Prayer, sermon prep, and developing prayers for an Easter service of Lessons and Carols… and I still haven’t gotten to the backlog of work that’s threatening to topple over and flatten me.