Day 7: “The Height of Rudeness,” and Kelly tries to manage her new video camera..HA!
Today I’m going to share a two videos of my travels.
The first one is a special treat for you. Pictured here is Sir David Yardley who is an Oxford emeritus fellow and ambassador/representative in the UK to several political or national bodies. He welcomed our group to the college and then gave a little talk on cultural differences between the US and the UK.
Here he talks about his hay fever. I wish I had the entire talk for you…after he gave a small note to us on the Obama comment about “Kicking BP’s a**” and what that comment means in the UK, I decided to capture a short clip of the moment. More on that comment in my upcoming “British phrases, etc” entry. Here’s Sir David:
The next two videos are from this afternoon. I was walking across campus just now and I heard pipe organ music coming from the college chapel. I didn’t even see the pipes the first time I visited at night. I walked in, stood there for a good ten minutes listening, took two short videos and left. The gentleman was practicing and with the echo in the chapel, the moment was simply divine.
Day 8: A Brush with C.S. Lewis, “Kelly’s Turf” and The PUB is UNDER the CLASSROOM!
After class this morning I decided that I had waited long enough for my body to catch up on the time change and that the crowded sidewalks were really no excuse to avoid running. There HAD to be some open area somewhere! I heard at breakfast that there are two large parks in town – one that is more open (and has cows grazing, supposedly) and the other that has manicured flowers and shrubs. Well, I opted for the cows, of course!
While leaving the more congested market district I walked by “The Eagle and the Child” pub where the famed “Inklings” group (consisting of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and others) sat in the “Rabbit Room” and conspired to create all sorts of fiction. [oh – and by the way – – they DO sell rabbit quite commonly here at the meat market]. My other C25K entry covers a bit more of this adventure. This picture is of the outside sign – – my heart melted knowing that the walls within this place heard the conversations of those great masters.
Later when I got back, I realized that I haven’t shared any video of by dorm room. The style includes very late 60s/early 70s dorm room furniture, but the building is much, much older.
Day 9: Flowers, Candy and Romance…why Oxford works for young lovers and old romantics
Last night I was talking to my husband and for the first time since I’ve been gone I think we had a “I really miss you” moment. So, with that in mind I thought I would put together some of my day in a mid-summer Valentine message to my hubby. So – Mickey (and girls!), if you were here we could enjoy the following…and since you’re not, I’m writing the best tribute letter I can in order to share my day with you. And readers, if you need a Valentine today as well – here you go!:
The FLOWERS – Wow, in a temperate climate like the UK, the flowers get lots of rain and chances to thrive. Here are a few shots of the neatly trimmed botanical garden I ran by today, the flower market (with English flowers not generally sold in our mid-US area), and someone’s yard that had a lovely little perennial garden:
CANDY: Evidently, TOFFEE is quite the treat. Remember something in C.S. Lewis’ books about Treacle? Well, it’s a type of toffee…and it’s all delicious. And fattening. And delicious.
There is a little store at the end of the street named “Mr. Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe – Purveyor of Finest Confectionery.” I picked up a “Crunchy Bar” for a friend of mine at church, then I spied the chocolate covered currants, then I spied the Raspberry Chocolate Log, then I had to snap out of my sugar-addictive fit and get out of there. FAST!
Romance…or, “Punting” as it were…
If you remember the brat pack movie “Oxford Blues” from the 80s, you might recall that Rob Lowe’s character took the Ralph Lauren model (Amanda Pays) who played the princess out on a boat. It was long and flat, and she sat in one end while he talked and pushed it along with a pole on the other end. “Punting” has a long standing tradition in this part of the country. I think it’s funny that those in Oxford stand on one end of the boat with their poles, and those in Cambridge stand on the other end. Ha! Here’s a picture I took through the sculpted rails on a bridge looking down at the boats on my run.
And here is a borrowed photograph of an Oxford couple punting. The photoblogger is named “fantompoet” and here’s their link: http://fantompoet.com/index.php?showimage=196
So…today was a lot of learning and working, and MUCH reading. I only ventured out to run, and am now back reading statutes. But, I just want Mick and the girls (and my readers) to know that right before I came back inside the quad to begin my homework, I stopped in St. Mary’s church, said a prayer for a family I’ve been lifting up for quite some time, and said a prayer for my own family.
I miss you too! Love always to Pappy, Rass and RyeDye – – Sincerely, Mams
Day 10: At Christ’s Church College, God and the Humility of Seeing All Those who Died Before Us Trump Harry Potter. And then, Harry is Way Cool Too. PLUS…The Bear!
After class this morning, I took a nap. We’ve finished learning what it takes to get a marriage in Oklahoma, and will be spending much time over the next week or two learning what a mess getting a divorce can be. Of course, I’ve seen this in my therapy room, but seeing the cases, jurisdictions, precedents, etc. will be altogether confusing to a greater level, I’m sure.
I’m STILL not sure if my body is completely adjusted to the new time schedule although I would think by now it should be. Right? Perhaps I get extra credit days because I’m middle aged?
See photo of walk upon entering Christ Church College: “My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage.”
When I woke up I knew my mission for my short walk today would be in the direction of Christ Church College. My children love Harry Potter and I’m not sure I could travel back home if I didn’t witness – IN PERSON – the dining hall after which the Harry Potter series was conceptualized and filmed. Here are a few pictures paying deference to the dining hall scenes of the famous books and movies as well as a photographic tour of the grounds, the Church and the memorials. I can’t really describe the feelings I experienced while looking at the WWI memorial, the breathtaking church, the knights and saints memorialized there with their dogs or a lion at their feet (representing Christ), and pane after pane of stained glass. It was humbling and awe inspiring.
I also happened upon the right alley way and found “The Bear.” I’ve been saving my first pint for The Bear in honor of my friend Ellen who graduated from Oxford. So – Ellen, I found it! I had a pint of cider and it was delicious.
Here are a few pictures of the pub and the historical decor (ties from young students who graduated and ceremoniously gave their school ties to the pub – – labeled and signed, they cover the walls and ceilings in glass plated frames…”1939, St. John’s College, Cricket Team….or, 1968, Agricultural College…”). I want to go back there – it’s quiet, historical and quintessentially Oxford. Cheers!