hello from oxford

I hadn't planned on bringing my laptop on this trip, but I did.

So here I am, sitting on a white sofa in a lovely apartment in Jericho, next to the door that opens onto a large wooden patio. The air is cool and the sky a bit cloudy.

Furnace House, Jericho, Oxford

Furnace House, Jericho, Oxford

I've already discovered a new love here - the Oxford Oratory Catholic Church of St Aloysius Gonzaga. I've visited twice in as many days.

The Lady Chapel, The Oratory

The Lady Chapel, The Oratory

I have another sort of love for the Barefoot Bakery, right around the corner from the apartment. They make beautiful delicious cakes with flowers on top.

Chocolate raspberry cake from Barefoot

Chocolate raspberry cake from Barefoot

I always have mixed feelings on this trip. I am a homebody. You might even call me a hermit. It's difficult for me to be away from home and my beloveds for so long. 

It also turns out that I was here in England yesterday when the rector of my church became the Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of East Tennessee. Because of the wonders of the internet, I was able to sit at the kitchen table and watch the (completely unsurprising) ballot results come in.

I can think of no one in my life who has been as important to my spiritual life as he. I will miss him greatly and thinking of church without him is a deeply uncomfortable thought. (So see, it is probably best that I'm over here, not at home jamming things up with my grief.)

I really can't stand crowds, and Oxford's City Centre is quite crowded. So I do things like eat cake and sit with Jesus

St. Margaret's Church, Oxford

St. Margaret's Church, Oxford

and walk around in cemeteries.

St Sepulchre's Cemetery

St Sepulchre's Cemetery

There's a cemetery next door, in fact, where I met a lovely dog named Jack. (It was his birthday.)

Jack, aged 4

Jack, aged 4

Today, we visited Thame, the setting for Midsomer Murders.

I did not get murdered.

I did find Robin Gibb.

St Mary's Church, Thame

St Mary's Church, Thame

I had no idea he was buried in the churchyard there. When I turned the corner and saw his name, it took my breath away a little bit.