I completed reading the Summa Theologiae last night in the midst of grand pomp and circumstance. Kevin was able to reserve a room for us from Trinity College so all the students here read the last article together in unison.
We then wandered around Trinity, went for a late night punt ride, and watched a movie.
The Summa was quite the journey and I won’t attempt to sum it up. The following image is a chart of the whole work, and will be legible if you click on it.
We heard a bit about “change ringing” from a couple from Boston that was staying at the bed and breakfast where my Mom stayed during her visit. I had asked them what they were up to in England and the husband responded with one word: “ringing.” So I responded with an expectant expression hoping for some follow-up but to no avail. So I said “Ringing?” and he proceeded to explain they were here to ring bells. Ah! How easy it is to forget not everyone knows your jargon. Anyway talking with them gave me the final push to look into checking out a bell tower which I had been meaning to do for some time. When we first got to England I thought it would be fun to try to do some bell ringing, but it turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought. One of the best bell towers in Cambridgeshire happens to be the one in the local church we attend when we don’t go into Cambridge proper. They have a bell ringing society based there who welcomes visitors so we went during one Wednesday practice session.
Trumpington Parish Church bell tower
The Trumpington shield
Door and stairway leading up. It was a good long ways up.
Sanctus bell from 1420. This is not used for change ringing, but is rung when the bread and wine are consecrated during mass so all the workers in the fields nearby could make the sign of the cross.
Some of the 8 change ringing bells.
“Those bells done 1791”–Some note about construction
Above it: “Huntlea 1876”–Old graffiti. Some things never change.
View of the “rope room” from the stairs leading up to the bell room.
We celebrated the 4th of July in England yesterday, or rebellion day, as our vicar called it! Andrea took some very funny pictures of the ‘Summa babies’, alternating which child was crying–since we couldn’t get them all to smile, we thought we’d try to get them all to cry, but Cormac sat calmly through the chaos:) The guys raised the American flag on English soil and we had hamburgers, potato salad, jello, baked beans, pasta salad and various other goodies that make up the essential picnic food.
The Summa Project officially ends this week as the guys have their final seminar and will read the last article of the Summa together under rather ceremonious circumstances which shall be told of later.
Waving the American flag, as a good patriot ought.
Eating the American flag:)
Arriving at the party after church.
First of several attempts
No babies crying, but also no babies looking:)
Things starting to fall apart:) Then Juliann started to cry and then Alyas, but never Cormac:)
Cooling down from the hot sun.
Reciting the Declaration of Independence
We even had decorations thanks to Philly’s mom:)
No 4th of July is complete with out watermelon!
A round of bocce ball
Preparing the flag
Raising the flag
The American flag waving proudly in front of Wolfson College! We were concerned that the Porter would come out and deport us for espionage or treason, but thankfully that didn’t happen.
For the trip home we ventured biking with Juliann instead of an hour and fifteen minute walk:
Juliann eyes on the road.
This was the best family shot Peter could manage on the move.
Juliann was a little riled up from the day’s activities and needed some extra help settling down!
We had to go to the American embassy in London yesterday to report Juliann’s birth and get a passport so we can take her home with us. So after waking up at 4:45AM to head to London we had everything squared away by about 10:30. I had a nice victory against monopolistic bureaucracy by ducking out while we were waiting for our number to be called in order to buy a 5.50 pound envelope from a local post office instead of the 14.50 pound identical envelope “conveniently” available in the Embassy.
With the American flag and a huge Bald Eagle looking on, Juliann, in high patriotic spirits, exalted in her new-found official citizenship.
Some London color.
We happened upon the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace on our way back to the bus station.
I am curious what these hats are made out of and how they were ever thought of in the first place. Jill and I pondered the relationship between a culture and its hats after we saw the guy in the top hat above. Maybe a good marker of the level of vibrancy of a culture is the audacity and silliness of its hats. Native Americans with their feather head-dresses, (merry old) England with their top hats, Sikh’s with their turbans, Roman Catholic’s with their mitre’s, even now in England the workers in the various departments of grocery stores have different hats. It takes a good deal of energy to design, make, and make the effort of wearing such hats, so a tired and bored culture predictably lacks elaborate, extravagant, and silly hats. Heads of state in modern western countries don’t even wear hats anymore. They at least used to have crowns or wigs.
Now who wouldn’t be inspired to pay greater respect, loyalty, and homage to a leader wearing something like this?
It has actually been warm enough here that I had to buy a fan for us! We’ve all been enjoying the sunshine!
Lydia Sue Wall was born on June 22nd–here are the girls in matching outfits–Juliann is busting out of hers and Lydia still has room to grow:)
Sucking her thumb is the new trick–if she gets it in her mouth, she’s out like a light, if not, she struggles until she finds it.
Finding more babies in the mirrors!