Last week Doc Searls posted a proposal for a sort of federated calendar feed that he (maybe more precisely, his friend Dave Askins) called DatePress. This sounds intriguing — as most things that Doc backs — though I foresee some farily large-scale security risks, even if the enterprise includes only ‘community events’ administered by different levels of creators and users. But the possible benefits of ‘calendar as a platform’ affords possibilities that could be productive indeed.
I extended one of the dimensions of my morning run (turned at Park Road rather than Ock Street) and Apple Health seems to have reckoned the resulting run at two miles. Even better, this route currently takes me past two of the churches I’ll be serving in Abingdon, St Michael’s (on Park Road) and St Helen’s. I suspect I can adjust my route very slightly to go past St Nicolas’s, too.
I ran my new route this morning at a creditable pace, but when I returned to Enock House (we live in a named house, so there!), my Apple Health app told me I had only run 1.6 miles, which I think is distinctly rude. I’m not sure how I got the impression last week that this route took me on a 1.9 mile circuit, but now I’ll have to come up with another half mile or so to keep my running fitness from decline.
We’ve moved from our former shelter to our snappy new digs in the fashionable Caldecott neighbourhood of Abingdon ( I don’t really know if it’s fashionable, but if it wasn’t before, it clearly is now), but our broadband service has not yet been switched on — so I burned rapidly through my month’s allotment of data on my mobile account, and have re-upped twice already. Luckily, we are told that the switch will be flipped tomorrow morning, so our home will once again be filled with rich, rapid, life-giving 2.4 Ghz radio waves.
Yesterday was busy, as I ran my mile-point-nine, went to morning Mass (with Act of Remembrance) at St Michael’s, one of the congregations I’ll be serving once I am licensed. I was running late from doing some spur of the moment thisses and thats, but in a mad dash in the rain (with umbrella) I arrived just as the vicar was emerging from the sacristy. After lingering with the warm, hospitable congregants, I made my way back to home base. I installed the TV and associated speakers on their new (second-hand) stand, then indulged in a quick lunch before dashing out to catch the bus to Oxford, then to Headington, to give the former flat one final survey to make sure that everything about which I cared had been extracted. Thence I returned to Ox, where I passed the time before Evensong with a bowl of chips and a half London Pride. Then Evensong, a hurry to catch a bus back to Abingdon (they don’t run frequently on Sunday nights), and a return to Abingdon. As I say, a full day.
Well, a lot of walking, since it was dark, and the wet/frozen leaves were slippery, and I was taking in the unfamiliar terrain and built environment — but a good, simple route takes me to 1.9 miles (as in the old days in Oxford). Did I mention that everything was frosted, temperature was 2°? But with every such step, we live here in Abingdon more fully.
I woke up this morning in a town in which I’ve never woken up before (unless you count possible dozing during previous visits).We’re in a house that is, in the classic formulation, larger on the inside, although just now it’s congested with boxes and out-of–place furnishings. We lack some desirable furnishings, and the specific arrangement of the rooms we’re currently using remains to be ascertained, but we’re here, and we’re home.
No run this morning, and I’m not sure I’ll get back to Oxford for the Act of Remembrance at Oriel, or the New Testament Seminar (a lot depends on how the morning goes). It’s chilly and rainy this morning, so the possible walk/run that I planned — more of an exploration of a possible route than a straight-ahead run — seems imprudent. No, first attention this morning goes to unpacking and rearranging and so on. We’re here, but we’re not really here here till our home turns more from boxes to a more or less orderly (less) settled life.
As you are probably worried primarily about Flora and Minke, they were increasingly manic and anxious as it become clear that we were leaving Headington, but they seemed at least a little calmer here last evening, and they slept soundly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I posted to social media, but neglected my blog for my fortnightly listening diary at last.fm:
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…
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.