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.
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.
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.
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
and walk around in cemeteries.
There's a cemetery next door, in fact, where I met a lovely dog named Jack. (It was his birthday.)
Today, we visited Thame, the setting for Midsomer Murders.
I did not get murdered.
I did find Robin Gibb.
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.