Day 28: Dinner with students, evensong, and dessert

This morning Erin and James walked down to a local pottery store to find a wedding present for “Aunt Leah”, the ACU student who watches the kids twice a week during the semester.

Then James taught class and the kids took naps. Then at 4:30 we met up with some students to walk down to The White Rabbit to have dinner.

The White Rabbit claims to have the best pizza in Oxford, so we gave it a go. It was really good!

Zeke had a lot of fun sitting between Collin and Jessica.

After dinner, we met up with the rest of the group at Blackfriars to attend their vespers after daily mass. Because we are between Oxford school terms, we have limited options for evensong as a group. Since no one is presently running a choral evensong service, we decided to head back to Blackfriars. Below you can see our group waiting for mass to end outside of the chapel.

After the vespers service was over, we met back at the house in the common room to talk about our weekend of free travel and discuss the next day’s trip into London. Everyone had great stories of fun times exploring Europe. Erin and Shelley made dessert one last time for the group: chocolate oatmeal cookies (also known as “no bakes”). Erin made her mom’s recipe and Shelley made her and James’ mom’s recipe. They were both a big hit and everyone enjoyed the cookies.

Day 14: A Slow Day and Evensong

We took today rather slow and didn’t do much. It was 88 F here in Oxford, and without air-conditioning, it’s rather hot. Our basement flat, however, remains quite cool for most of the day.

In the morning, whilst preparing for my lecture, Micah decided to put on my dirty socks and then horde the rest of them between her legs. She’s a little dragon with her horde.

I taught my afternoon class, then we took a bus down to the local grocer and picked up some items for this evening and bused back.

At 6:15 we met outside of the houses to head to evening vespers, also called evensong. It’s something we’re trying to do every Monday with the students, and each time at a different place.

This week we attended Blackfriar’s service, which is a Catholic church run by Dominican friars. We arrived just as mass was ending and sat down for evensong which began shortly after. There weren’t many people there.

The service was short and distinctive. They did not sing in harmony, wore very simple white robes, and there were hardly any adornments in the building, including no stained glass. It was a simple and thoughtful service, lasting about 15 minutes in total.

After evensong, we headed back to the house to discuss our weekend free travel trips as one big group and to eat the peach dump cake that Erin had made along with vanilla ice cream. It was a big hit and there was none left. James is pretty sure that his students love Erin more than him…not an unreasonable idea at this point. ­čśë

Day 7: Train Station and Evensong

We started out our day headed for the train station to purchase our tickets for our first long travel weekend which begins this Wednesday afternoon. Micah was in good spirits.

We walked along the canal and saw a lot of houseboats, some in better condition than others. It was a pleasant walk.

At the train station, we bought the tickets with the help of a woman at the ticket window who found us a good deal. Zeke got to see the trains through the doors (couldn’t get any closer without a ticket). Aunt Shelley bought the kids each a muffin. Zeke is devouring his in the picture below.

On the way back, Zeke got to see a woman making spaghetti. He thought it was pretty cool. She even waved back to him when he waved at her.

After this, we split up in the town center. James headed back to the flat to prepare his lecture for the afternoon class. Erin and Shelley headed to a bookstore to find an atlas and some maps for our upcoming travel. We had lunch, James taught class, and the kids took a nap.

After dinner, everyone met together at 5:15 and walked down a little past the center of town to Christ Church College chapel for Evensong. Evensong is a highly liturgical daily song service.

Christ Church College was amazingly beautiful outside. Here’s some pictures of the courtyard.

And here’s us waiting outside of the chapel entrance in the Christ Church College courtyard.

The Evensong service was amazing and wonderful. The choir sounded so heavenly. We weren’t supposed to take pictures inside, so I sneaked a few – hence why they are not at great angles. Below is a shot while the choir was singing.

I got this shot after the choir had left.

Zeke had to go potty, so we stepped into a side courtyard – also beautiful – and I saw this sign.

On the walk home, Micah fell asleep and flopped out on Erin.

Back at the flat, we had a meeting with all the students to discuss Evensong, reflect on our week together, and discuss plans for free travel coming up. All the students enjoyed the Nutella pie that Erin made for them – it got high praise – and there was none left!