I have never been in my whole life been called stuffy, at least until now. John Bruce must have found me at the East India Club and discovered I had died on account of the god-awful stench from behind the newspaper.
Perhaps my jabbering on about the Imperial Home Service, feet and inches and being English has struck a sensitive chord in California. I feel quite flattered in the company of Fr Hunwicke. Fortunately for Mr Bruce, an American saying anti-British things is not (yet) offending against political correctness.
Anglo-Catholics? Essentially zilch — I have no urge to look at either Fr Hunwicke or Mr Chadwick, both of whom strike me as peculiarly English in their stuffiness and self-reference. The others have basically given up. A bad sign, it seems to me. (…)
I have spent more time in Continental Europe than in my native England, but I seem to have kept something of the Old School. Stuffiness? The word seems to conjure up images of old men in the late Victorian era taking snuff and sporting moustaches, clearing their throats very noisily and having a somewhat boring style in conversation. The word might describe a party bore or someone who is self-important or pompous. It can also denote those who are rigid, “straight-laced” or moralising in their behaviour. I may be many things as a broken and sinful human being, but I don’t recognise myself in such a description. Perhaps he will call me a psychopath and serial killer in his next billet.
Self-reference? How are we supposed to write in a blog? It occurred to me several years ago that my writing would be that much more interesting if I related things the way I experience them in life. Novelists do it all the time even through they express their experience through a fictitious character. Naturally, Mr Bruce is free to ignore my blog and Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment, and read others that validate him in his beliefs. That would be fair enough if he didn’t feel he had to mention the two English old blades about town.
Without singing my own praises, I read this extraordinary piece of encouragement from a friend in a private e-mail:
I am genuine when I tell you how powerful your teaching and sharing is via the blog, and that it is a way in which some of those men who relate closely to you through it are developing loosely into a kind of community. Hence our chat about the various possibilities for you – and for them – that might possibly open up.
We indeed live in interesting times. I wonder if Mr Bruce is bringing together a little group of people for reflection and prayer. I could mention that a blog without comments is not only free from trolls: it is also a monologue from a person who cannot bear to be challenged.