Oxford Patristics Conference again

Apparently I’m not going to be staying in Christ Church — I’m going back to Queens again.  

This evening I had a call from Priscilla Frost, the organiser.  Fortunately I heard the phone ring and got to it in time. 

It seems that the website has confused quite a few people — exactly the same problem has affected all sorts of people, and she’s drowning in emails and letters.   Over 500 people have booked so far, which is remarkable, and most of them  have sent emails!  But the teething problems with the website are apparently causing severe delays in replying, so do be patient.  There is more accomodation than is indicated on the website.

After describing the problem we agreed a solution, which puts me back in Queens College, and restores me to the joy of an en-suite.  After all, few would wish to meet me, dressed in jimjams, in the corridor at 2am anyway, in my experience.  Few of us are as young and beautiful as we were. 

And even if the other person was indeed a beautiful young lady set on matrimony with a dark-haired, greying, distinguished-looking patristics enthusiast wearing trousers awkwardly over his teddy-bear pyjamas, I feel that I might not be looking my best for such an encounter.  Such witty repartee as I can command might not be that welcome, while queuing anxiously for the loo.

I suppose it is possible that the confusion will lead to people turning up thinking they have booked when they have not.  Perhaps I should have some cardboard ready, so they — or I! — can sit outside the conference with a sign:  “Hungry, homeless, and attending patristics conference”! 

If the worst comes to the worst, I can probably beg a room off my old college, so really I have nothing to worry about. 

I think it will all get sorted out, from the sound of it. 


5 thoughts on “Oxford Patristics Conference again

  1. Things have changed a bit at the old place, then. Ensuite? My nearest shower was down three flights of stairs, across the quad and down the stairs into the underworld. On rugby dinner nights I went unwashed …

  2. Goodness Roger, your so funny,
    I’m sure you’d give repartee your best shot.. given the circumstances. even at 2 in the morning
    (perhapsChrist Church would have been more fun)
    “beautiful young ladies….. set on matrimony.”…teddy bear pyjamas….2 am….etc,I love your sense of humour….Sorry I forgot about the trousers over, the above said jimjams.
    Perhaps you could adopt a kind of phantom, masked hero,persona, and swap the trousers for undies over the top of the aforementioned jimjams. Then the young ladies would most likely swoon and feel grateful to have been in the presence of a super hero, even or especially at a patristics conference……
    love your work

  3. Berenike, I too remember such things. Merton College front quad had no running water or any kind of sanitation in 1980. One don is supposed to have responded to a query about where to take baths with the retort, “What do you need a bath for? You’re only here 8 weeks!” We certainly never had en-suites. Such is progress!

    Jo, I could certainly attend the conference with my underpants over my trousers. Not sure whether it would produce admiration, or merely a sigh and some remark about how absent-minded academics are these days…!

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