After Weeks

Ran my two miles (at my new pace, my legs complain a bit more, but I do get home sooner, so that’s jolly), coffee, cleaned up and had a hot breakfast, and prayed the Morning Office at home because I’m expecting the plumber.

Sometime after the plumber arrives — and I hope, after he’s gone, because he’s installing a new shower pump so that the shower will flow with more (that is, ‘some’) force, an enhancement I arranged as a surprise for Margaret — my beloved will return from Heathrow, and we’ll have an anniversary kiss (forty-two years today); then I’ll dash off to the staff meeting, and in the evening help lead the marriage preparation course at St Helen’s.

Hoping, Hoping

I ran my miles, had my coffee and fruit, and will shortly clean up and go to Morning Prayer. I am hoping to take up no other immediate job-related work today, to soak up some measure of rest. We will see…

Mass Man

Alomost didn’t run, since it was raining cats and dogs at about 4:30 — but it was calm by 6:00, so I ran my two miles, coffee, cleaned up, Morning Prayer and a quick trip to the Cooperative, then a care home Communion at Cygnet Court, lunch, then home Communion for a retired priest.

More, Again

Two miles, coffee and fruit breakfast, cleaned up, preached and celebrated at St Michael’s, taught the confirmation class at St Helen’s and did the washing-up after, strolled home and ate lunch, fed the dogs, walked the dogs, fell asleep during the Mets-Phillies game at London (watching on the BBC; I didn’t go to London and then fall asleep), realised that I didn’t especially care to cook so I opened a tin of soup, watched Johnny Mnemonic (which I realised that I hadn’t seen before, contrary to my recollection) and so to bed.

Wedding Bells

Had a wee lie-in this morning so that my run would coincide with the opening of the Cooperative at 7:00; I needed eggs for my Saturday hot breakfast, so after sprinting in to town on my daily route, I paused to purchase eggs, then walked the rest of the way, since I thought it unwise to try to run with eggs.

Cleaned up, headed to church, moved the furnishings about in preparation for the wedding. I dashed out to Lewis Baker to pick up rubberised loose-weave fabric and two notebooks. Put on my cassock and surplice, married the sweet couple who were marrying, and eventually stumbled home to rest and work out another sermon, this one for tomorrow at St Michael’s…

Almost Missed

I nearly forgot Si and Laura’s fifteenth wedding anniversary, but at the last minute (before I fell asleep) (British Summer Time, plenty of time left US Central Daylight Time) I pulled myself together and wished Si (and through him, Laura) a very happy anniversary. Well done, and see you in a few weeks!

Then this morning I ran my miles (I’ve picked up my pace, because I am that way, so my muscles are peeved at me), had my fruit breakfast and coffee, worked on my wedding sermon for Jess and Sam, cleaned up, went to Morning Prayer, and am on my way to the Pastoral Care Committee meeting. This afternoon, more work on the homily, and the rehearsal for tomorrow’s wedding.

Commuting Thursday of Seventh

Had a wee lie-in this morning, but woke in time to run my two miles. Fruit and coffee breakfast, cleaned up, Morning Prayer, the X3 bus to Oxford, coffee, next-to-last tutorial of the year, lunch at Oriel, home to the ladies, whom I fed.

On my walk to Oriel, I had a moment of frustrated confusion; I couldn’t find the SPT ticket wallet that I use for keeping my Bod Card and my Oxon Old Age bus pass, patting my pockets furiously, emptying one pocket into another, checking again… and as I was so doing, a flock of Korean tourists streamed down Oriel Street.

Map of Glasgow Subway such as features on aforementioned ticket wallet

Something about me — perhaps my look? perhaaps just the oddity oif seeing a beardy clergyman in sunglasses? — excited them, and suddenly a dozen or so tourists were surrounding me, asking for photos. If you spot a sketchy-looking priest in a straw hat and sunglasses (with Korean tourists) when you’re browsing the internet sometime in the future… that may be me?

I Work for Mr Fandango…

Two miles in the morning, hot breakfast, cleaned up, Morning Prayer, handwrote a couple of notes, marked tomorrow’s essay, walked the dogs, went to my GP for my ‘NHS Health Check’ which in the younger country we call a plain old check-up, looked in at the Abingdon County Hall Museum pretty good, though the display signage makes some poor design choices), and home to the ladies.Initial reports from the check-up are very positive (that I’m alive).

Sometime in the midst of all that, a random neuron fired and I had to look up this advert:

Now, imagine Pippa, about eight years old and madly gifted at amusing her brothers and parents, delivering that final punchline.

Full-On Part-Time

It’s no secret that part-time posts almost inevitably end up occupying more of your time than the stated expectation, especially when the post itself doesn’t involve punch-in, punch-out That’s okay here, but my diary does fill up. Two miles, fruit breakfast, cleaned up, Morning Prayer, R&R for coffee, look-in at the Abingdon Surgery before my check-up, and on my way hopme I stopped off at Oxfam.

No fountain pens, alas, but I drifted to the children’s section to check out possible distractions for Thomas and Lydia when they come for their summer visit. Nothing stood out, so on my way out I ogled the vinyl and glanced at the ‘rare and antique’ book shelf… where I saw a copy of Mary Poppins Opens the Door. I was overwhelmed with a wave of memories; I encountered the Mary Poppins books (the books, mind you, not the film) in the lower floor of my grandmother’s house, devouring them whenever I visited, stricken at the end of each book when Mary Poppins left the Banks family on their own. These books that blended wit and outlandish imagination with disappointment and a faint note of bitterness told me the truth about the world in a way few books I had ever read did. They were revelatory. (It is no accident that P. L. Travers was a fellow traveler with British esotericists, particularly with the Gurdjieff circle.) When my grandmother died, her copies of the first four books went to my mother; when my mother died, I inherited them, and they are in the living room bookshelf right now.

Reader, that copy of Opens the Door was in my hands within moments (along with a copy of Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son, which I don’t think I’ve seen before). Thomas will take home a treat.

Add Title

Two miles this morning, fruit and coffee and crumpets, I’ll attend Mass at St Michael and All Angels, then come home, then drift over to St Helen’s, where I’ll be standing by to teeach the Confirmation Class (unless the Rector has come home in time so to do; his timetable wasn’t pellucid unto me).

Easy Living

(Every now and then — not often, but occasionally — I flash back to early days when ‘hard rock’ was modulating into ‘metal’, and two of the bands I appreciated were Humble Pie and Uriah Heep; one of Heep’s best-known songs is ‘Easy Livin’’.)

But that’s not why I chose this title (desperately, as WordPress really wants titles as part of the blog post, which I’m always reluctant to devise. I just opted to take today easy, as the last few days have involved a lot. I walked most of my morning run; my legs wouldn’t limber up, and even with a short stride they wouldn’t move rapidly. That’s OK, I punched that ticket anyway, even if slowly.

Came home and did some proofreading and writing for the parish magazine, advance work toward sermons for the next two weeks, dogwalking, and more easy living.

Mixed Metaphor Watch

This morning Radio Four’s Today programme featured a segment on the safety failures at Boeing (about which you would already know plenty if you follow Cory Doctorow’s Pluralistic newsletter). An industry consultant, Scott Hamilton, observes in the segment that his future assessment of the company’s prospects depended, among other things, on ‘what they do about shaking up some more heads that have to, in my view, roll…’ It’s here; start listening at 20:45 to get the context.