Back Home

I returned from university yesterday and am enjoying life back home once again. The last week or so was a bit hectic and it is quite pleasant to return to some semblance of normality. I travelled back by bus for the first time and it really wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had been anticipating. Jonathan met up with me in Manchester, where he needed to drop in on the university library, and we travelled back to Stoke by train together. As I didn’t bother going to bed on Friday evening, I slept very well last night, something which I don’t usually do when at home.

Today I went to our church’s carol service, which was well attended. It was great to meet up with friends again and to see Elbert and Annewieke‘s new arrival, Aron, for the first time. It was also great to be able to taste home-cooking once again, although I haven’t missed it so much this semester, now that I am no longer in halls. This evening a number of us went around to Jonathan and Monika‘s and sang Christmas carols and ate mince pies. Suddenly I feel very Christmassy! 🙂

In the early hours of Saturday morning, I finally succeeded in setting my computer up to type Chinese, with lots of help from my fantastic Chinese teacher. I have been practicing my Chinese characters on MSN ever since. 我现在上网聊天的时候,可以说一点儿中文了。 Lots of fun! Jonathan is also studying Chinese and we are both around the same stage, so we have been revising together.

This next week is going to be very busy with various social activities. I have only been back for a day and have already agreed to go on a walk, to two video evenings, on a Christmas shopping trip to Manchester, and to speak at the church’s Bible study on Wednesday, all in the next couple of days. I also plan to read most of Barth’s Church Dogmatics II.2 and a number of other things during the next week or two, which should add a little spice to my existence.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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8 Responses to Back Home

  1. Jon says:

    yep… Church Dogmatics II/2 here we come…

  2. Al says:


    Will you be reading Barth as well? If you are interested we could share notes.

  3. kerby goff says:

    你的中文进步很快! 我还没知道你的中文那么进步了! 我祝你圣诞节快乐!

  4. kerby goff says:

    Oh, you should also check out the wenlin software at It’s a big help in learning chinese. I used it all the time when I was studying.

  5. Al says:

    Thanks, Kerby! I am still at the very beginning, but I am thoroughly enjoying learning the language.

    I hope that you enjoy a wonderful Christmas too!

  6. Simon says:

    quote ‘it was also great to be able to tast home-cooking once again’ What are you talking about Roberts, the Kitchen at 52 is alive with culinary excellence…any mince pies left?

  7. Al says:


    You are right. However, almost all of the food in the kitchen had been consumed by the time that I left.

  8. Jon says:

    Yeah… I’m reading through some of Barth. Not sure how many of the 500 pages I’ll attempt (Barth, for all his brilliance, really didn’t need to use that many words… I mean, if I wrote that ammount of words, odds are there would be something of genius among them?) so yeah, feel free to swap! I feel as though you’ll be the one losing out here though!

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