Back to the hurly-burly after a gorgeous weekend. Zoe cooked a couple of roast ducks for our friends Martin, Helen, Anna, and adorable, naughty Saskia on Saturday. She included roast potatoes, stuffing, and her trademark onion, giblet and mushroom gravy, and it was delicious, as one expects from the cooking of Zoe, 15. High Tea at Bea Sykes on Sunday. Great idea, Bea–I must take a leaf out of your book!!
Roy and I are loving our Christian history class at Oxford Uni. We’ve got to Henry II, Thomas a Beckett, and the crusades. We wandered through the building during break, overhearing erudite, occasionally pompous and pretentious, sentences in plummy English accents, and couldn’t help laughing!! Zoe and her friend Eleanor are doing the Alpha Course at the same time, and enjoying it as almost as much as we are!
Sweet moment in p.m. service at Aldates. The sweet fresh-faced & fresh-spirited interns are going to INDIA to work with drug addicts at Betel (INDIA/drug addicts; cognitive dissonance…) They needed £3300. Gordon Hickson said, “The good news is that the money is here. The bad news is that it’s in our wallets.” The congregation filed up, filling the baskets with banknotes. The spontaneous generosity was v. moving!
“Palaces of peace and discipline and dreaming” C.S. Lewis on Oxford. Now that both our girls have fallen in love with both their academic work and reading, our home in Oxford is becoming a bit like that!!
Rented a camper-van today for our Easter break. Two weeks exploring France, particularly the South of France and Provence, though I would also like to get to Brittany, if possible. Excited about the sun and French food!! I love that line from “Julie and Julia,” “Just imagine, the French eat French food every day!”
Reading Imagist Poetry (Penguin anthology edited by Peter Jones) and HD. Fascinated by their knack of putting all that is essential in a single image. I guess Christ does that in some of his parables. Here’s one from the first page, Edward Storer, “Beautiful despair” “I look at the moon/And the frail silver of the climbing stars/ I look, dear, at you,/ And I cast my verses away.”
“Le monde est un livre,et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n’en lisent qu’une page.” Saint Augustine. The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Just had a nice invitation for the Anchor Book Club, Oxford to discuss my book, “Wandering between Two Worlds” with them. Which means they’ll all have read it (peut-etre!) Have to dig out notes from the fun discussion on it which I lead at St. John’s College, Oxford. And have to plug on with Book 2 and 3, which I am working on simultaneously; have loads and loads of pages already, thank goodness.
Roy’s last day of teaching today–he’s now off until last September. Yippee! We’re dipping into Philip Yancey’s interesting “What’s so Amazing About Grace?” I facilitated a discussion of it last week at our home group (called pastorate)–which includes 5 professors, 4 of them theology professors: atypical even for this lovely Oxford! The book’s about the power of forgiveness.
Irene has grown up. “I’m rather interested in rationing and Dig for Victory during the War,” she said, like a real Oxford intellectual, while doing her report. On Mother’s Day, she & Zoe got me breakfast in bed with chocolate, toffee apples, a mug and tray, saying, “If Mothers were flowers, you’d be the one I’d pick,” and (with Roy’s help) a beautiful Donna Karan rose-gold diamond-sprinkled watch. Blingy, but lovely!
Zoe and Irene have had a three word theme song all their young lives, “I’M SO EXCITED!” Though generally excited by life myself, I find there are fewer and fewer things I am REALLY, really looking forward to. Here is a link to a week Roy and I are really, really looking forward to. Yes, and we are looking forward to our 2 weeks in France in April
We are asking God that this International Leaders’ School of Ministry (ILSOM) will be a life-changing week for anyone with a heart for ministry and revival.
1st day of precious Easter hols. Irene spent the day reading her pile of library books; Zoe’s at a sleep-over. As I hugged Irene & said, “It’s lovely to have a ten year old!” she said, “Better enjoy me quickly; I’m nearly 11.” So she is! ANd growing
up rapidly: going to bed on time, waking early, going to school 25 minutes early to work on projects, beautiful homework done without prompting! I can hardly believe it!!
Going to France tomorrow. I have never been to Provence or the Riviera, though we’ve done Paris, Reims, Amiens, etc a couple of times. Haven’t planned a whole lot, so I guess there will be a good deal of adventure and spontaneity!! Am really, really looking forward to our two weeks there. Today though, we have to pack--which is among my least favourite activities.
Movie marathon, in between packing for today’s trip to France. More popular with parents than kids! Watched episodes of Maccullough History of Christianity, avec kids, then got them to watch movies we loved when we were their age. Rex Harrison and pretty Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” and “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” Irene humoured us; Zoe was too cool for 70ies cool!