starting again

I’ve forgotten how to do this, it seems.  Six months without blogging.  Two years without blogging well.  It is one of the many things that got lost since I moved to Dunblane.  But now we begin again.

Molly-cat and I are setting out for Durham next month, for what I am thinking of as a ‘sabbatical’.  These past two years have been hard, though it will do no good at all for me to explain why.  Indeed, I suspect that if you are still reading this, you know anyway.

Lots of people have been remarkably kind and understanding about my going, and many good friends have expressed their relief.

No one seems to find it hard to imagine why I’m going.  But people are rather curious about what I will do.

And so am I.

I have a vague plan.

I am going to a place I have always enjoyed, and where I have good hope of being happy for a year. I am going to be nearer to my godchildren — and most especially, to my god-daughter, who is ten this month, and whom I hope to beguile with theatre tickets and chocolate cake and choral evensong.  I am going to try to write.  Though I’m not sure what that means. Yet somehow the vagueness is part of it, as my parents understood instinctively:

KB: ‘I’m going to try to write.’
Hershe (to Dad, quickly): ‘I always said she should write.’
Dad:  ‘write what?’
Hershe: ‘Anything!’

Yes, that’s it.  Anything.  But nothing definite yet.  So far, suggestions have ranged from ‘The Adventures of Molly-cat’ and ‘Vicar-Becky’s Big Idea’  (children’s books with perhaps too limited appeal); to All-Age church resources, ‘proper theology’, or some sort of book of images and words for prayer.

I suspect I’ll spend quite a lot of time with my camera, one way or another.  Durham is a good place for photographs, and photography is a much safer pass-time than baking, which is my other hobby-love.

And then after a proper rest, I will seek bits of work.  Someone suggested Open University tutoring.  Someone else said that a local theology course might be able to use me.  And I suspect that a priest with time and a car might not be wholly unwelcome in a diocese that often seems to be overstretched.  But that is to presume too much when the bishops of Durham and Jarrow do not yet know I’m coming into their patch.

It is all very exciting, and just a little bit scary.  But whatever comes next it could not be more difficult than the past two years have been, nor more traumatic than the thought of having to pack up the house.  Again.  Already.

I should have asked if Pickfords has a loyalty card.

16 thoughts on “starting again”

  1. I admire you for what you are entering. I am also slightly envious. I have been contemplating a sabbatical from my current position, but have no idea what kind of work that might involve. Perhaps this is the opening for some continued conversation on both our parts.

  2. Let’s see… joint projects…

    ‘Sarcastic Hymns for All Seasons’?
    ‘Wir xxx? ( what’s the next word? ): ways to annoy friends and mangle alto lines, while driving through rural Virginia,’
    ‘Fasting and Feasting: different approaches to Ash Wednesday and Holy Week.’
    ‘Tying Ourselves in Knots: discerning vocation while dancing Schiehallion reels.’

  3. I am so pleased to see that you’re back to blogging (one day soon, I hope to be too). I am even more pleased that you are taking this very brave step, and I hope that it will be a restful, gentle, life-giving time for you. However, as I said on FB, I am very sad indeed that you are leaving Scotland and the SEC. It is a great loss to our church.

    Most importantly, though, how does Molly feel about it?

  4. It is indeed a great loss to the SEC – but a gain to you, and that is good enough for unqualified rejoicing.

    Sarcastic hymns? I’m on board.

  5. The new house has lots of windows, and I’ll be less stressed and working from home, so Molly is just fine about it. Apart from the journey. And having to find a new cattery. That bit’s not so good.

  6. eilen

    Is it running through your head yet?


    Ha. All Age Resources.
    And I shall buy a copy.
    Which lets me off the hook of the idea of having to edit one to make it happen. Even better! (-:

  7. Potential house packers will be home in time to help. Glad everything is working out.

  8. Sarah, thank you. I knew what the word sound like, but couldn’t figure out how to spell it. And yes. It doesn’t take much for it to go on continual loop. I still think you should make your idea happen. (in all your spare time)

    Lesley — thank you. But it may be that the packers come with the moving van… I’ll do the books, but the kitchen always eludes me. And the piles of coins/ paper-clips/ dust/ scraps of paper that appear as if by magic all over the house. Most mysterious.

  9. What will happen to the rest of your extended menagerie? not to make you feel guilty – but I hope the Dunblane fauna recover from your absence. Best of luck moving the Molly-cat. I understand that felines can be quite ornery when displaced.

  10. Most times when we venture into the unknown we experience a bit of trepidation. I’m excited for you. I’m glad you’ll be able to rest and just be for a while. I like the sound of those children’s books. I’d like to read them.

  11. @Nicole “I like the sound of those children’s books. I’d like to read them.”

    Yes, I think they’d be rather good.

  12. I’m rejoicing for you. A sabbatical and time to do what you really feel like doing will be such a tonic, and being in a place where you feel happy and comfortable is great. I really hope some writing comes of it, and you’re such a good teacher, helping people appreciate theology would definitely be appreciated I’m sure. But first and foremost, time to yourself please!

  13. Well, months since you posted the blog, how is it going? are you able to do some photography, what about the university? Good luck to you.
    Rey South Africa.

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