Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Day 23: Harry Potter Served Me Soup

It’s midnight in the UK and I’m completely worn out.  However, I wanted to share a 2:30 minute video with you showing highlights of our Harry Potter Theme Night here in Brasenose College.

By the way – the owl you see in the video is something I made at the last minute to enhance my costume.  We wrote “mail” at the table and sent it, via the owl, down the row until it reached its destination.  The owl was quite good in accomplishing its job.

In the past, there has evidently been a James Bond Theme Night but it seems the lightening bolt-scarred character has taken over.  The staff did a great job preparing the grounds, the menu, dressing up in character and helping us have a nice break from all the studying.

Hope you are having a very good day, wherever you are and with whatever tasks you may be undertaking at the moment.

**CLICK HERE FOR HARRY POTTER THEME NIGHT VIDEO (Tune is The Potter Waltz from the HP Soundtrack)**

“Splendus Daius!” ~ Love, Kelly

Day 22: If I Go Missing, Just Check the Line at the Post Office + The Man Who Tucks His Pants in His Socks

As I began to write tonight, the first thought I had was for you to “close your eyes, and imagine that you’re in a line that never ends…”

Well, that doesn’t work in written post, now does it?

So my SECOND thought was to begin with, “Imagine, if you will, that you’re standing in a line that never ends….”  Are you with me now?  Standing in that line that never ends?  Perhaps – – oh, let just say for the fun of it – – that you’re in a Post Office line in the United Kingdom.

You begin to get very sleepy…lulled to the point of your eyes going in and out of focus, fighting the urge to doze off as you hear a very British, very proper and very robotic voice say, “Cashier number Two, pleezzz.”

Pause.  Head begins to nod again.  Pause.  Look around and begin to take note of what everyone is wearing, what everyone is holding to take to the window and mail, and what everyone else is doing to manage their own dozing-off behaviors.

More time lapses.  More time.  “Cashier number Four, pleezzz.”

Fifteen minutes later your head jerks up from nodding off to sleep.  You look around sheepishly and think, “Oh well, I may have made a fool of myself but at least it’s probably my turn,” only to focus again on those standing in line with you and realizing that you haven’t moved an inch.

The story I have begun to set before you is not imagined.  Only the characters have changed.  Okay, no they haven’t.  It’s me – and thirty or forty other people in the Post Office line.  Waiting.

I’m not exactly feeling like Dorothy.  I mean, I’m not standing there in the Post Office, clicking my little New Balance beige tennis shoes together saying, “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home….”  Rather, I think that each time I go to the Post Office my head is more filled with thoughts such as these:

1.  Why is the “AVAILABLE 24 HOURS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE!! Automatic teller machine always broken?”

2.  Why is it that people who don’t place importance on personal hygiene are the ones that seem to populate the Post Office lines?

3.  Why is it that we’re (the US) the country who came up with the phrase “going postal” and they’re (the UK) the ones with bullet proof glass between the service providers and the public?

4.  Why is it that when I have a package I’m sending to the US that weighs more than two kilos, that the service provider looks at me while shaking their head up and down (as if to make me nod in sync) say, “Well, you KNOW, if this package contained BOOKS (looks at me with wider eyes), then your PRICE would be GREATLY re-DUCED!”  Do they THINK I’m going to lie to the Post Office of the United Kingdom and risk the souvenir that I searched for over a three week period be confiscated?  Really?

These and other thoughts are what occupy my head whilst (Don’t you love that word? Whilst?) visiting the Post Office.

But here’s a new thought I had today.  The UK Post Office literally forced me to just stop, look around, wait, and think.  And, for that – I was actually grateful.

And, when I turned and finally strolled out of the Post Office, I had given up my struggle to make the line move.  I had laid my stress of reading assignments aside for the moment.  And because I wasn’t preoccupied with these thoughts as I had previously been before entering the Post Office, I spied a man pushing his bicycle with his pants tucked into his dress socks.

Then – I giggled and smiled at the postal employee just past the exit because he was taking his SWEET TIME unloading the letters from the deposit box outside.

As I walked back to the college, the very proper British robotic voice played over in my head, this time talking (in my head – not out loud!) to those I walked by on the sidewalk: “Step aside and move out of the Way, pleez.”  “Guess it’s time for some Lunch, pleez.”  “How about Panini, pleez…”

And, to all my friends in the U.S.  “Have a very good Evening, pleez…”

** ** ** Here’s a treat for you.  If you look through the middle of the crowd in this last picture, you’ll see the man with the balding spot.  Look down, and then see his pants tucked into his socks.  Hee hee hee!  Practical (for cycling) AND funny to look at! A two-fer!

40 Days in the UK (Days 7-10): Getting Down to Business

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:

(you might need to turn up the volume or use headphones)

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.

I hope you enjoyed the videos.  I’m going to try and capture some special moments and continue to upload short clips on YouTube then post the clips here.  I was having trouble uploading directly into my blog today – I’ll try again, because the quality will be better.  Below are two pictures to close out today’s entry.  The first is of the lecture hall where our classes are held.  The second was taken off High Street today.  I don’t see many hat shops so I thought you might enjoy the shot as well.  Take care…KR

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.

Here is “Kelly’s narrated video tour” of my “turf” for the next few weeks:

click here for a quickie-tour of Kelly’s living quarters at Oxford

This evening we were granted a special one-hour lecture by Sir David over the differences between the U.S. Constitution and the non-existent British constitution.  I am enamored by this delightful gentleman.  I found out today that he is in his eighties, and has visited the OU Summer Program at Oxford for each of the 36 years it has existed.  This picture shows him lecturing…but there’s a funny thing you can’t see.  The World Cup finals were going on at the same time as the lecture, and the pub managed by Brasenose College is just downstairs from our lecture hall.  Two points were scored during the lecture and ROARS erupted from the basement.
The students are encouraged to “do research” after classes each day in the pub.  I’ve not yet conducted any research, but I did conduct a short perusal so I could see the place.  It’s very nicely designed.  Here are a few pictures of our basement pub.  Cheers~!

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!