Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 1 January 2011


The slight curiosity of the date as expressed in the title inspires me in part to post on New Year's day, and to hope that 2011 proves to be a happy and prosperous New Year for us all. Whatever it brings some events, pleasant or otherwise, will prove quite unexpected and take us by surprise.

I saw the New Year in at the Oxford Oratory, with a Mass at 11pm and Benediction at Midnight - a tradition the Fathers established in 2000. Afterwards we had refreshments in the Social Centre - and if champagne and caviar as a way to celebrate the beginning of 2011 is a foretaste of what is to come it may well be a good year... but then, as a Yorkshireman, I come with inbuilt pessimism...so, I'm not counting on it. Not being Father Z I did not photograph the refreshments, but that is how we marked the turn of the year.

A happy New Year to you all.

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