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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, August 30, 2002
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    I made my peace with Cambridge this week. Towards the end of my two-year study there I was ready to leave, but revisiting after a two-year gap, with family and friends, I've been struck again by the beauty and the quality of the place. I feel I could return to study there, and enjoy it - and only nine years to go until I get a sabbatical!

    Wish I'd been more at peace on the road today as I completed the Liverpool - Cheltenham - Cambridge loop on major roads for the first time this week. Previously I had spent my journey happily trundling along England's byways. Today I opted for a fast return home, and found myself caught up in the grumpy spirit of speed that enfolds most of us who grudgingly share motorway space together. Getting annoyed with slower vehicles; making life difficult for annoyingly faster ones. You know what I mean, you've done it too.

    I remembered one of John Bell's GB02 seminars which I'd had on in-car on Tuesday, where he talked about this spirit of wanting everything our way, now, without discomfort or inconvenience. And if I'd not been still caught up in this gracelessness I'd have maybe felt ashamed at myself - after all, a mere four hours for that cross-country journey, in a comfortable car with ok air conditioning and audio accompaniment giving me opportunity to laugh along with Paul Cookson and reflect on AIDS with Romy Tiongco, and to arrive back home as I'd last week arrived at Pitville, listening to 'Folk' by Howie B - after all, these are real luxuries, privileges, gifts of the age to me. I should be - rare word, this one - thankful.