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.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Catching up with friends

This time of the year can be agood one for seeing old friends, and that s what I have been doing over the last two days.

Yestewrday afternoon I travelled up to London at the invitation of a friend to have a meal with him and others at the southbank complex of the British Film Institute - the website of the BFI can be seen at BFI Southbank . I had not been there before and finding my way through the Southbank sites was a little confusing at first for a country mouse who suddenly found himself in the big city, but was an interesting place to visit and to learn about before the others arrived. We had a very convivial meal in the Benugo cafe bar of the BFI, and a happy exchage of ideas and news about what we are all doing, about the Church (this was an all Catholic occasion), or theatre or people's wedding or job plans. I always enjoy such visits to London with the sense of liveliness and of energy which is integral to the capital city.

Today I met up in Oxford with another old friend from my days at Pusey House. He was back for an overnight stay and we met up for a drink, going to one of our old haunts, the Eagle and Child (aka The Bird and Baby) on St Giles. This was a welcome chance to talk about his wife and baby, thier new house and his teaching post. Once again an opportunity to reaffirm friendship and exchange ideas, aims and hopes.

Both occasions were a good way to start a new year, building on what is already established and energising one for the future.

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