Ellen Loudon

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all done

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The exam is done and I am now free! The stress of this has been building for so long it feels very strange to be free of it. I can’t really discuss how I did and I am finding it difficult to process the whole thing (I shall never speak of the exam again!). I now have a nasty headache and a lot of nervous energy. However, I have got a new haircut (I got a lovely head massage and sat in the massage chair for quite sometime which was great) and I also have collected my special linen black ordination trousers which were specially made for me. So, all is well.

I am sitting in front of the telly, awaiting a plate of chicken curry and a glass of white wine (it will be just a glass as I have a busy day tomorrow and my new boss is coming to stay – he arrives very late this evening). I have a few post-Trinity leavers chores to do and seeing as Liz H has gone into hospital (perhaps a baby might come out in the next 24hrs?) I have a few more bits and bobs to do than I had expected. It would be so great if she gives birth soon because I ould love to see the baby before I leave. I am actually very very excited about the prospect of a small Hassall child.

So, the next few days will be quite busy with meetings and parties. A wonderful combination – and quite typical of the Church of England. I will keep you posted.


Written by ellenloudon

June 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm

not much to say about exams and the like

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I have my family back. They returned home last night. It is great to have them back, I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed them. Having said that I couldn’t get to sleep for ages after they’d got back and ended up staying up watching a documentary about The Who and eating crisps until very late. This morning has been a bit tough as a result. Eva didn’t wake up until 10am (so I was spared the early morning call of “Muuuuum, can I watch TV? I’m hungry!”) Mark is at Snappy Snapps (his last Saturday). So, Eva and I have been lounging about – some clergy shirts arrived this morning (I think I look like a bit pudding but Eva says “they’re beautiful” The puffy sleeves are stupid and my need resewing).

I have to do a bit of exam revision today (just a little each day is going in like small pippet of knowledge into a big bucket of irrelevant ideas – my head is awash with irrelevance, knowledge is struggling to survive). I feel I have little hope of being sane by Tuesday. Exam stress is taking on comedic characteristics – slurred speech, comedy wind, the eating of weird combinations of food, forgetfulness and sleeping with the light on holding chamomile tea. I will be so happy at 1pm Tuesday. This stupid, mean, torturous exam will be over.

Anyway, I am off to the shops to buy a duvet and take the car to the car wash.

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May 31, 2008 at 11:27 am

leaving – getting ready to go – pretending to be a vicar

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These are the first of many leaving photos. The first one is of me and George Kovoor (the Trinity College principal). The other one is of some of us who are leaving wearing our new clergy-wear. Now, I know that technically we shouldn’t be wearing our collars and that it is illegal to impersonate a vicar but this is just a dress rehearsal so please don’t take this as a final vision of how we will actually look when we are church of England curates. I haven’t decided on hair colour (please state your preference – though red is out of the question because that wouldn’t go down well in Everton) and this isn’t the stole (the red scarf like thingy) I will be wearing on the day – that will be white (but it is still being hand-made by a member of St Peter’s Lawrence Weston church).

I am still feeling a bit sick from the fish quiche incident, I’ve been to college today to panic about the exam (revision is not going well) and have to sort out Eva’s stuff for Brownie Camp which starts tonight. So, best get on.

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May 23, 2008 at 11:39 am

dodgy tummy on Ascension Day

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Miniature from Rabbula Gospels
(Mesopotamia, 6th century)

I have a bit of a weird tummy bug thing that seems to also make my head ache. I am trying to keep eating (one of my main objectives in life is to maintain a steady flow of food) but really I have lost heart for it. Anyway, I have been keeping on doing the stuff I need to do but tonight I feel rubbish. Which is a shame because this weekend is Julian and Andrews wedding and I have been looking forward to it for ages and ages and ages. Mark and Eva are camping in a field in Shropshire Elise and I are staying in a B&B. Oh joy. Perhaps if I eat only a boiled egg for tea I will feel ok tomorrow? I do hope so.

This week has been very busy. Tuesday night we had the fantastic Broadway’s over for supper. What great company they are! If I could take them with us to Liverpool that would be great. But I think they have a life they are enjoying down here so I will have to deal with that!

Wednesday was a college day full of spirituality, meetings and chatting about curacies and stuff. I got an early night because we had Ascension Day communion at 8am – which meant leaving home at 7.40am. Too early to praise the Lord even if it is the day he went up to heaven. I did have quite a good go at being joyful though it was quite a challenge by 11am having had 2 hours if lectures and waiting for a seminar on the sacraments. The best thing that happened today was getting the fantastic clerical shirt that Amanda Judge has handmade for me. It is black and made of lovely linen. I am so pleased with it. Just need some trousers now and I will be set for ordination clothes. I also had my hair cut – there is no blue left, just my natural mouse brown hair!

Well I had better go and sort out tea for Mark and boil my egg!

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May 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm


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I went to Exeter today to try on my robes and stuff. I was very pleased with it all, but it was still very odd wearing a dog collar, cassock, surplice and cloak even if it was only in front of the man at Wippell’s, Mark and Eleanor. The Wippell’s man was very professional considering Mark was taking pictures of the whole affair. Anyway, I am sorted – all suited and booted. There are some adjustments to make and I haven’t had my grant yet so can’t actually take them away for a while yet. But it is in hand.

had a lovely day in Exeter. Lunch with Eleanor and Mark, a potter round town and drove back in time to get some books out of the library at Trinity and pop to the co-op for some food. Eva is staying at Elise and Wayne’s new house tonight so Mark and I are in on our own. I have so much reading to do that I can’t really make the most of the night off. Hey ho. Best get back to reading about the book of Daniel.

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March 4, 2008 at 8:12 pm


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Today was a momentous day because today I ordered my clergy kit from Wipples. I chose Wipples because I need to be properly fitted and in my experience being measured isn’t enough and a pre-making fitting is a very good idea. Wipples offer this service and they are in Exeter so I can go down for the fitting, meet up with Eleanor and be absolutely sure it all fits before I buy it. It may cost more but if you are a funny (ha ha and peculiar) shape like me a good fitting makes all the difference.

It was a very odd feeling getting the stuff down on paper and committing myself to fabric, style (though to be honest the choices are limited). I am going for a classic black almost catholic look. I have even gone as far as ordering a cloak! I am going to look sharp.

I am off to bed now. We have had a very exciting day at Trinity discovering spiritual gifts – I didn’t get anything new today though I did renew my subscription to the gift of beverage making, being 2 mins late for stuff, making people laugh at my funny hair, saying rude things and eating cake. In addition I remembered how important the more esoteric spiritual gifts are to the church – for building up love, serving, speaking into the world and for their wow factor. When Paul writes to the Corinthian church warning the not to take this stuff for granted or abuse it he was deadly serious about the importance of making the most of all aspects of Christian life – being spiritual is at the heart of this. In an age of spirituality Christianity can forget to make the most of this and downplay the experience of faith in action. When tempered by the mundane and issues of justice, peace and reconciliation God’s spiritual action is sublime and extra-ordinary.

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February 12, 2008 at 10:12 pm

ebay stoles

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On Monday Mark bid (on my behalf) on four liturgical stoles – red, purple, black and green. He was successful and they arrived today – all four for £85. Which believe me is a bargain. Even more of a result is the fact that they are beautiful handmade stoles each with it’s own quirky character. I will get mark to take some pictures of them and show you some time. This is an example of how blessing just appears from nowhere. I have been feeling pretty down in the dumps – overwhelmed by essays etc, feeling nervous about curacy stuff, stress of planing to move, family stuff, etc etc. I even felt I needed a few days off and stayed at home to reflect and recoup. So, I was surprised that these stoles could cheer me up so much – after all they are a symbol of the immanent change in my (and my family’s) life. And yet I found them a comfort and blessing. Perhaps it was the fact that they are so lovingly and thoughtfully made by a complete stranger who just made them because she could. Perhaps it was the fact that I am starting to come to terms with the adventure of leaving Trinity and starting curacy etc. Whatever the reasons I am, at last, starting to feel excited.

Written by ellenloudon

February 8, 2008 at 11:30 am

Posted in clerical wear