Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A Vignette on a Walk back from Town on a Warm Day

The streets were awash with people. I'd had a bad couple of days, and not been able to get into work until late, so I was leaving at after 6, but even so, there were people everywhere. Many were in "sub-fusc" which is the official kit of the university. Many others were wearing shorts. In quite a few cases, this was pleasing.

On Mesopotamia Walk I overheard a scrawny young man say to what I imagined was his girlfriend "So, the other six gave me a breast exam ..." And I thought, well, that's a rum thing.

And then I passed a handsome young fellow, much sturdier in the thigh than Mr Breast Exam, and obviously my eye had roved too visibly, and his hand moved as if to protect his crown jewels from burglary. Time was, I'd have been affronted. Today, I was a little flattered that he might have thought me capable of breaking in.

Mount Tabor & the Transfiguration

My friend Ann has been entertaining us with a travelogue on FaceBook about her journey to the Holy Land, and she's just reminded me of my one and only trip there, in 1996, the year I was ordained priest.

The scheme with Mount Tabor (which may or may not have been where the Transfiguration may or may not have actually happened) was that we went up the hill in cabs. Ours was a school party - I went along as a spare adult when a teacher had dropped out - so I was squeezed into the back of a cab with four or five strapping Kentish lads. With Mount Tabor, you go round and round, until you get to the top, and they drive fast, and near the edge of what looks like a sheer drop, from the inside of the cab.

Sandwiched between teenage boys, I had nothing to cling onto - on my part for health and safety reasons, and on theirs, for safeguarding - so we swung to and fro until I couldn't help muttering "if this keeps up, we're going to get a transfiguration of our own a lot sooner than we thought".

Then one of the boys said "don't look now Sir, but have you noticed the driver's only got one arm?"

"O Jesus!" I said, and it really was a prayer for deliverance, not a blasphemous expletive.

But he got us safely to the top, we enjoyed the views (the church sites themselves mostly lack a certain something in the Holy Land), and amazingly got us down safely too.

Untransfigured.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Voting

VOTING ~ FOR THE CHANCELLOR OF OXFORD UNIVERSITY: "Are you interested in the election?" said the bishop. "Oh yes". "And who do you plan to vote for?" "Well now, that's interesting, because Lord Bingham's wife is godmother to my godson's mother, and I reckon that makes Lord Bingham my great-aunt, so I'm voting for him, for family reasons." ""Hmmm" said the bishop.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

the legalities

Permission to Officiate: this is the thing that bishops withhold from people like me: Nasty people. Who get married. They can do so without giving cause, without allowing protest, or defence, without appeal. They think this is just.
The C of E is just a heap of crap.