Two Days Two

The last two days I’ve run the morning two miles. Both days I’ve felt all right. Coffee, then Morning Prayer, fruit yesterday, hot breakfast today, various odds and ends of responsibility. I’ve been working on a blog post riffing on some observations by Ted Gioia, but haven’t reached the point of posting it yet.

Cold Comfort

So, I dinnae run yesterday or today (might have done today, but I had to catch an early bus and I couldn’t be sure I would run, shower, dress, and catch the bus in time), but I’m planning to run tomorrow. Yesterday was church day, and (as I had not leadership responsibilities) we simply attended St Helen’s (I’m celebrating at St Nic’s next week), then assisted at the evening Easter Lessons and Music. The latter went well, which was a relief since I had a minor role in planning it.

Today I spent the whole day so far at a Clergy Orientation Day (or as a former student of mine also in attendance said, ‘De-orientation and Re-orientation Day’). It was good to see Fr Stephen, and to greet Bp Stephen, and jolly to spend some time sharing perspectives with Fr Fergus Butler-Gallie both at the meeting and on the bus ride back to Oxford. Time now to unwind from all the excitement of the various orientation regimens and brace myself for tomorrow’s responsibilities. Look for a running report (that is, a report on my morning run, not an activity-by-activity summing-up of my energies and feelings).

Two Sick

Well, not full-on ‘sick’, lest Rishi Sunak denounce me as a participant in ‘sick note culture’, but definitely down with a cold, and too unwell to run in the mornings. Thursday night I did go to the annual parish meeting, where my team rector announced his paln to retire by the end of the year (along with some end-of-tenure reflections on what the future might hold for the three congregations and our four buildings). On the other hand, I did cancel my appointment toward getting better acquainted with St Nic’s leadership; but the rest has done me a lot of good.

Today I woke after eight hours, had a restful day, did some reading, and, well, that’s it so far. Resting up for tomorrow’s Easter LEssons and Carols.

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.