Sunday, 12 December 2010

A toast to this semester

I'm typing this in the House kitchen, as early preparations for this Thursday's House Christmas dinner are underway (photos to follow). The dinner will just be for the (now 7-strong) community itself. On Wednesday evening, however, there'll also be a Christmas party - for all our friends here in the college - following our final advent talk.

In the relative lull between mince pies going into the oven, and us starting work on assembling and decorating our gingerbread house, it seems an opportune time to look back on some of the House highlights of the past three and a half months. This seems particularly fitting, given that we've just bottled up seventeen bottles of ale as gifts for (in fact, just a small selection of) our friends and benefactors.

Of course, the most important aspects of community life here aren't the ones that get blogged about. Weekdays' lauds and vespers (more and more parts of which are now being sung, sincerely albeit sometimes falteringly); chats around the dinner table, or - more often - in front of the television (the Apprentice being a big House draw); cooking for each other, whether impromptuly (yes, that is a real word) or on a designated 'community' night (which we try to have once a week, though don't always manage due to everyone's different commitments). Things aren't always fun and games, naturally. But our 'joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties' are shared - and, it has to be said, so far we've had rather more of the former than we have of the latter.

Most of the other 'events' that have happened here have been mentioned previously: our tea party in celebration of the Papal Visit, Advent talks, the various Frassati Masses and goings-on, baking for Wells for India, etc. Things which, for no particular reason, failed to be blogged include a talk on science and religion from a priest in the Faith Movement, two of the girls making a snowmanblob (called Dave), various 'eventful' evenings following talks or dinners across the road, and a series of five three-course dinners for (in theory, though not in practice) all the fresher Theology and Religious Studies students at St Mary's.

All in all, not a bad first semester's life and work at Benedict XVI House!

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