This was the first year in 12 that we did not do some trick or treating. I hate it, but the kids love it. Laughed at this true article on the differences between Halloween in the US and the UK. Lovely lunch party today in our conversatory. Just the right number for an interesting diverse conversation. Nice mix of ages and personalities. But now–lots of left-overs, alas!
Lovely sunny crisp November day. Eagles floating on the wings of the wind. Went for my first run in years, decades actually, using a 10 week beginning running programme. On Day 2. Puffed mightily, but tremendously enjoyed it. Now why did I give it up? I much prefer running to walking. Trying to become strong before our 25 day hiking/exploring trip to New Zealand next month so I don’t exasperate my energetic family!!
02 November 2009
Martin Luther on Romans, “It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes.” Also true for Scripture in general. Greatly enjoying Simon Ponsonby’s School of Theology on Romans. Irene, 10, goes to a fab Girls’ cell, which ends an hour before Romans does, so she sweetly joins us and takes detailed notes, wh. she is very proud of!!
02 November 2009
Our family watched a disturbing performance of Kes at the Oxford Playhouse. A bullied boy, picked-on by classmates, teachers & family, finds a passion–the rare art of falconry. You can guess what will happen–the brother kills his beloved kestrel. We are asked at the end to believe that Billy, having found a passion, will be happier and better for it, though he lost the only love of his life. Hmm… Probably!
08 November 2009
The influx of what Roy calls “visiting dignitaries” has led to having our cleaner in twice a week! (P.S. Most of the visiting dignitaries are 10 years old & Irene’s classmates). Enjoyed my run, Week 2 of a 10 wk programme. The Iphone stopwatch I use has a lovely carillon/bell-tower sound, appropriate for Oxford, where one is never far away from the lovely sound of church bells.
09 November 2009
Somewhat extroverted week. When I don’t spend time soaking in Christ’s brilliant, startling, revolutionary perspective in the Gospels, I find I miss him with an almost physical yearning. I have started listening to the Gospels in the car in French. It makes it startlingly new and fresh. And exciting. French is such a lovely language. I love it.
Had a terrible Thai lunch at Oxford Thai on Cowley Road yesterday. Disgusting food, badly cooked and poorly presented. Guess how it it go when we were served eggrolls burnt outside and frozen inside. Serves me right for going out without checking reviews in this most writerly of cities. Came home and read a flood of bad reviews–just as I expected! Oh well, live and learn.
11 November 2009
Oxford never ceases to amuse me. A 90 year old woman at a Writers in Oxford party asks me to publish her umpteenth book, a novel. “I still go into work every day” she says. “WORK? WHERE?” Roy asks. An Oxford college! Where else but in Oxford!!
Hectic Saturday–had our friends Alan and Mary over for lunch (Zoe cooked goose–yummy!), worked a bit on our business, then went to my Uni friend Ruth’s house for a lovely party, while Zoe went to youth group. Zoe’s comment, “I wish I didn’t have cool parents!” I think, with the plethora of interesting and cool things to do at Oxford, it’s almost hard not to be cool!
15 November 2009
Be afraid, mum, be very afraid: Irene now cooks all the time. She made us take Zoe with us yesterday. “I need my peace and quiet,” declared that 10 year old! We returned to the delicious aroma of cupcakes & a kitchen with EVERY surface littered with the evidence of her cooking. It’s still like that now (though I told her to clean it up) waiting for her home-coming! Hey, I’m going to be a cool mum & play on Facebook!
16 November 2009
Watched Zoe in Creation Theatre’s performance of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, and saw Zoe in a dress for the first time since she was 9 and we moved to England from the US. There was also a powerful performance of Murder in the Cathedral, which is so beautifully written!!
16 November 2009
Roy & I will have been married for 20 years tomorrow. A November wedding? Not a shotgun one: just impulsivity & hormones. 20 years & we still love each other & are impressed with each other for doing that! We celebrated our 5th wedding anniv by having Zoe, our 10th by having Irene. Can’t keep doing that: celebrating our 20th with 2.5 weeks in the South Island of New Zealand, just us 4, & a week in the North Island!
Roy took my car to work & was late. I refuse to drive his, my old American mini-van, with a left-hand drive. So we told the girls to borrow money from the school’s reception OR friends & go out to dinner. They heard AND. Zoe said, “People at Marks & Spencer laughed at the obvious glee with which we bought piles of pringles, chocolate, marzipan & lollipops. It was so obviously going to be our dinner.” Bad girls!
20 November 2009
Lovely run today with my collie Jake bounding beside me, his tail wagging with joy. We have much to learn from dogs: joy, love, forgiveness, living in the present, revelling in movement. I love seeing dogs leap & fly over the fields near our house, just delighted to be alive. C.S. Lewis amusingly declared that while we may not have dogs in heaven (but we will!, we must!) we will at least have “the essence of dogness”
20 November 2009
We are having Zoe’s 15th birthday party tomorrow. I have lost count of how many people she has invited–and I think so has she!! Its a Saturday-Sundae party, lots of icecream and toppings. The tilers finished tiling the conservatory on our anniversary, the 18th, and now it’s all gleaming and lovely for Zoe’s party. And with a conservatory, we don’t particularly care about the weather!
20 November 2009
Decompressing after a hectic Mathias day. Irene played chess for Oxfordshire, on board 1 as the Captain. Zoe had a large number of 15 year olds over to celebrate her birthday. We had sundaes–sugar and chocolate highs, chocolate everywhere…still. We could not face the thought of cooking, but children must be fed, so resorted to our local Indian takeaway for dinner. Ooh, a high-fat day–just fruit tomorrow perhaps!
21 November 2009
Amazing George Verwer preached at our amazing Holy Spirit-filled church, St. Aldate’s. Founder of Operation Mobilization & Mercy Ships, one of the Post World War II generation of American entrepreneurial Christians (think Billy Graham, Bob Pearce etc.) still full of love & fire & passion for God, still full of joy & energy & a dynamic spiritual life. The challege: still loving your first love, both human and Divine!
22 November 2009
Our family is VERY, VERY seriously considering volunteering in HEIDI BAKER’S orphanage etc. in Mozambique this summer. Obviously, this is not a cheap vacation, nor an easy decision, and we’d like to make it before the end of next week. Anyone who has volunteered with Heidi Baker, particularly in Mozambique, PLEASE tell me your ideas, views, experiences, either here or by Facebook message or e-mail. Thank you.
25 November 2009