Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm "Proper" Today

Well, I've decided that the favorite word over here is "proper". If you set a nice tea out, then it is a "proper" tea, or a "proper" lunch, or a "proper" thing to do, which just about fits anything. So, today I have decided that I am "proper" as I have welcomed overnight guests into the house in a "proper" manner, I have fixed "proper" scones, and so on so forth; so, today I am "proper." We may speak the same language, but only to a point. If I am asked if I want pudding after dinner, then that means dessert; to say someone is wearing a nice vest, well, that means undershirt so what I mean to say is "waistcoat"; and to make my recipe I needed a courgette--so I asked the young produce man where to find the courgettes--and he corrected my pronunciation--I used a hard "g" and of course, (since this word came into the language after 1066 and the Norman Invasion) the word is pronounced with a soft "g")--I explained that we didn't have courgettes in the U.S and he just smiled and pointed me in the direction of, "next to the onions"--and low and behold, there sat the . . . zucchini's! Why not just call it a zucchini?! And of course, don't ever say you are wearing pants as pants mean underpants--you are wearing trousers (and hopefully pants as well:-). Well, on to events of the past two weeks. The Oxford CS Lewis Society meetings began for the new term (called Hilary term--not semesters--there are three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity terms which obviously show the religious roots to the university). Stratford Caldecott spoke, a renowned JRR Tolkien author who writes on the religious aspects of Tolkien's works. And I attended a chapel at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies--a very global mission with reports from all over the world and interdenominational. I was surprised that sitting right in front of me were the SDA president of the work in Tanzania and the Associate Director of the Global Centre for Adventist Muslim Relations! Then our overnight guest this evening is a professor from the University of Georgia who is an entomologist who specializes in bees. I must admit that I am gaining a rich education just from the people with whom I am in contact. More next week!


  1. I very much enjoyed this newsletter update. I picked up one of your cards last year at a coffee cafe in Tenn. (Greg is no longer running it, Koreans are new owners). I was at the house years ago - after Mr. Ward left. A young lady from Franklin was Matron at the time. Came at a cold, wet time, but enjoyed Oxford and the Kilns nonetheless. God bless you and your good work promoting the Christian Faith and C. S. Lewis' work. Please write another entry soon. I enjoy reading about the work of your organisation and what's going on at Oxford. Matt. 6:33 En Agape, A fan of Lewis

  2. Hi Deborah,

    My name is Rachel Davies and I'm a graduate of Walla Walla University and a huge fan of Lewis. I'm in London till April 12 wrapping up an MA program at Heythrop College. Would it be possible for me to come meet you and see the Kilns? If so, you can send me an email:

    Thank you! I enjoyed looking at your blog.


  3. Prof.Higgens,
    I believe I came across one of your notes in SMC Alumni magazine and have been following your posts avidly since then. Sadly there's been nothing the past 6 months. They must be keeping you incredibly busy. I hope you're still at The Kilns. I may be there in mid Oct'11 and wondered if it was possible to meet you and take a quick tour. If there's any possibility please send me an e-mail @

  4. Prof Debbie HiggensSeptember 3, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    To those wanting tours, please either check the CS Lewis Foundation website at or email and we can schedule a tour for you. I'll look forward to seeing you!! I hope I didn't miss anybody wanting to come and visit!