Friday, 19 August 2011

An Altogether New View

Well, the eagle has landed - figuratively speaking. 

This is my first post from a new desk in a new house in a new town in a new part of the world. From my new desk in a new house in a new town in a new part of the world I also have a new view of a new street - a view that is absolutely nothing like the view represented in the image supplied. 

The boxes are nearly all emptied and flattened. The twins are safely installed in new bedrooms. The gerbils still gnaw loo-roll cores. The cats are back to soiling cat-litter. All in the world is good. We are blessed with a lovely house which much more space even than the house we have just vacated, though even now we feel like we have run out of space to empty the remaining boxes. 

Stress levels have been high. The first few days have been characterised by skin-stripping arguments, invective, bile and a sense that we may have lost a sense of 'normal' forever. Gladly, that sense is fast abating as routines re-build, old habits of play resume and the kids remove their self-applied red horns. If us adults have found it all a bit much, we must remember that the Twins Aculae must have had it all the worse. Peace begins to reign over the (now) sunny idyll that is Whitton.

I have placed my new desk in such a way as means I can look out of the window of my study. In the last house, this was of little advantage as the window looked out over a fence and a marauding Russian Vine. From my desk I can see who is at the front door, who is driving or walking along the road, which planes are landing at Heathrow; if I turn and look out of the window behind my chair (this is a 'two-windows-one-patio-door' study) I can see the garden (and the twins playing) and the church in-between the large trees that grace my glebe. The profound differences that mark curacy from incumbency are made manifest to me in the change of view I now have.

Curacy, for me, was a blend of working hard and then retreating the anonymous house to be 'normal', to spend time with the family and to shut out the world of the ministry to a certain extent. Getting that blend right was important, but the closed view from the old study window now reminds me of the express limits that existed in that form of ministry. Incumbency will, by definition, be different. I will be more visible to the world and the world more visible to me. I have to have an eye on family life while having a different kind of eye on parish life. Somewhere in there needs to be some 'me' time (and I opt to do that in the garden or kitchen these days). From my vantage point I see the world (and can close it out if I choose), am surrounded by Scriptures and gadgets, can see the kids and the church in the same glance. I feel like I am at home now. 

So far, we have been blessed by the card-sending of the card senders, thew wine-leaving of the wine-leavers, and have received a very wise document from a very wise man that describes and annotates the local facilities (read 'pubs'). A very wise man indeed (not least because he reads this drivel)! In short, we are in, and are settling. Some rooms will get curtains sometime, and others might be painted away from their current pink-all-over state. All in good time. 


  1. Glad to hear you are already feeling like you are at home. Welcome to the wonderful world of incumbency!

  2. All the best to the Family Aculae, congratulations and well done in all respects! Prayers and best wishes as well on the new phase of life and ministry. You are doing better than us - managed to find somewhere to move to on the 27th of July, but a month on we have not managed to unpack more than a 6th of boxes, if that - we are paying 1100 a month for the privilege of making a house (the bones of which are nice so hopefully it will be too eventually) which has been comprehensively run down by 6 years of student/groups of young single men lodgers clean and livable. We've managed to paint Judith's room, the kitchen and the hall, and unpack most of Judith's things, and are working on the kitchen stuff now. We, on the other hand, are still living out of our moving suitcases. Meanwhile James is also having to work 30 hours a week and complete the remaining long essays of the full-time CTh course by 27th Sept. I am very much labouring at the latest stage of learning to be patient with the complaints of friends whose course through the 'normal' sequence to stipendiary ministry and housing has been straight forward.....
    This does not mean you mate. The good wishes at the start of the post are all genuine. The parish is blessed to have you (all) ;)

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  4. Hope the settling in contin ues apace. Just be careful of having your study desk where it can be seen by approaching visitors. If you can see them, they can see you, and there will be no opportunity to not answer the door if such a desire ever arises. (I speak from experience!)

  5. Glad to have u back . Blessings be upon your house.

  6. Welcome back to the (comparative) sanity of the blog world David.
    It's good to hear that your civil war is now at an end. Stress on moving house and job must be immense with the resulting verbal skirmishes just a part of the 'settling' process.
    I'd like to wish you and Jo and the girls every happiness in your new environment.

  7. Reading my now deleted post realised I had doubled up so starting again.

    Would like to mention curtains, can recommend Jackie, who has a curtain business in your parish, she used to have a High Street shop. All our curtains for this house were made and hung by her, she organised our blinds too. Know others who used her company and are pleased with the good service.

    Just a request to boycott Toscos and to keep using shops in local High Street. there is a Waitrose in Twickenham.

    welcome to the urban village that is Whitton.

  8. Blessings on your new ministry, David. Glad to have your voice back on the interwebs!

  9. You are a shrewd and wise fellow. I think you will be good at this vicaring thing.

  10. Traumas are over. Glad you are feeling settled. We still have some boxes from the last move to empty so you've done well! hope it all continues and that your first time in your new church is also so satisfying.
    The first year you can do no wrong. Milk it!



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