Month: April 2019

April 30, 2019

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8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: ‘Where are my keys? Have you seen my keys?’ Along with a mislaid wallet and phone, the loss of keys are among those evils associated with early mornings – when I’m in a rush ‘and don’t have time for this’ – that put me into a proper tiz. In my head, a discussion with…
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April 29, 2019

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8.00 am: A communion. 9.00 am: A reckoning on the day and week ahead; I aim to make the most of my time, opportunities, and myself. I broke open the inbox and seized the nettles. The anticipation of a problem is often far worse than the encounter with it. Moreover, we expend unnecessary energy imagining scenarios and potential conflicts that…
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April 27, 2019

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9.00 am: After the night’s storm the runner beans were bedraggled and empty packet of new bulbs, strewn across the lawn: And the wind and rain raged still. Storms are a well-worn metaphor for the catastrophic forces that can either dishevel or level our lives. The garden will be put to rights again. Severe calamities, however, can leave a permanent…
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April 26, 2019

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8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: A fast-paced walk to the School to retrieve information vital to the morning’s admin. Next week is the last for undergraduate and MA teaching prior to their final exhibitions. Thereafter, the assess-a-thon would gather pace. There were tutorials to arrange, assessment timetables to finalise, and presentations to confirm. (In the background, Richard Strauss’ Four…
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April 25, 2019

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‘Will you come to visit me?’, she asked. The voice – which was at one and the same time unfamiliar and yet known – spoke inside my head as I lay in bed waiting to drop-off. An auditory hallucination? Very likely. But no less curious for that. Why those words, and then? 8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: An adminy…
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April 24, 2019

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Madeira (April 12–22)I’d travelled the length, breadth, height, and depth of the island over a period of ten days. I’d been taxied from one notable landmark and beauty spot to another, and moved through mountains and streets on foot, by cable car, and toboggan. Zealous restaurateurs had propositioned me, seeking my patronage. I’d eaten well, acquired a taste for chestnut…
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April 9, 2019

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Somethings can happenSomethings can happen, but shouldn’tSomethings don’t happenSomethings don’t happen, but shouldSomethings don’t happen, and shouldn’t 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: To School, under such a dispiriting grey pall as one ought always to resist. Beating the heart into a song. Moving with determination. Reconciling myself to the problems that would present themselves today. 9.00 am: Aptly, my…
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April 8, 2019

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‘I do see angels, John, I do!’ (Nicholas Evans) 7.45 am: A communion. Dark clouds and rain descended. All is metaphor. We approach what’s intangible, unseeable, eternal, uncertain, unknowable, felt, and otherwise sensed only vaguely, through that which is objective, substantial, visible, approachable, and comprehensible. This can be our experience of both religion and art too. 8.45 am: In the…
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April 6, 2019

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7.15 am: A ‘tree … in the midst of the garden’: 8.00 am: A communion. Some people would be aghast to know that I prayed for them. If they told me to desist, I’m not sure how I’d respond. There’re others whom I pray for, of whose lives I’m no longer a part. And there’re yet others who request prayer,…
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April 5, 2019

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8.30 am: ‘Out back of here’, rain clouds gathered, seaward: Coincidently, following yesterday evening’s comments on my evening-work regime, the following tweet was posted by the THE. I’ve known staff in other departments and universities crack under the strain. I’ve known staff who’ve been genuinely ill, but felt unable to take leave because of the backlog of work they’d have…
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