This lady rides her horse across the road from the modern market cross in Banbury. I took the picture yesterday visiting my mother in hospital and discussing with her residential homes I’d been exploring for her. It is all a strange to stage to be at (much more for her than me, I realise) made all the more difficult by the way I can only realistically get down there once a fortnight, don’t have the capacity to support managing her affairs and house at this distance, and am far from sure we ended up making the right decision.
The only highlight (other than discovering the statue) was that a very old friend of hers, who was a colleague of my father’s in Africa fifty years ago, called at the same time; he told me his last clear memory of me was when I was aged two bouncing enthusiastically in my cot despite having my eyes bandaged over following one of the early operations on them.
The situation with my mother, the angst evidenced in this Blog about the ministerial situation we are in, and much else including difficult and time consuming things in some of the governing bodies of which I’m a member, was all picked up in a Ministerial Development Review in the week, a trial run for the system the diocese is seeking to put in place alongside the new clergy terms and conditions. The reviewer was perplexed at my trying to cope with all this at once, but nevertheless supportive and encouraging. It will be interesting to find out whether repeating this exercise each year and communicating the results to Bishops will clarify or develop what I do and what they pick up.
Driving back from Banbury yesterday for three hours with the radio on in the car meant I heard substantially similar tributes to Alan Plater in turn on the obituaries programme, the news programmes and the arts programme; the first of these startled me by praising him for managing to ‘insert some comedy’ into his TV adaptation of Trollope's The Warden and Barchester Towers which confirms that not everybody who contributes to Radio 4 knows what they are talking about.