Monday, 31 October 2011

Oxford University, Emily Hobhouse and the Boer War, Einstein, Tolkien and family links ... Part 2 of 2

As preparations for the Emily Hobhouse talks were being made, and being superfluous to requirements ... I took myself off into town.  What a glorious Autumn day – though I did notice that the temperature was distinctly colder inland, than my balmy Eastbourne coastline.  (The Masters Garden at Balliol College)

Town was full of workers, tourists, students or scholarly sorts walking or riding bicycles, enjoying the gorgeous Autumnal sunshine while hustling and bustling about before the real start of term the following week ...

The Family Butchers in the market
... I had a chance to scout around, relax and soak up the atmosphere.  I’d wanted to go and visit the covered market, which was a wonderful resource for shopping in the days gone by ... it didn’t disappoint, but was way more upmarket than I remember: but still had a butcher, baker, fishmonger ... and probably candlestick maker!  Good coffee shops too ...

Six new galleries will be added in
November 2011displaying the
collections of Ancient Egypt and Nubia
I just wandered imbibing life with no time frame or worries ... making my way to the nearby Ashmolean Museum, which has recently been refurbished and redesigned: I was keen to have a look around – providing me with yet more fodder to tempt my brain to return at a later date.  Not difficult in Oxford ....

... I will return to the Ashmolean in another post, you will understand why if I treat you to a sentence from the Guide Book explaining that one visitor (to the original collection in London pre 1678) described the experience of viewing the collection as “a man might in one day see in one place more curiosities than he should see if he spent all his life travelling”.

St Anthony's Refectory
I walked up St Giles, into Woodstock Road and on up to St Antony’s College, where the first talk was to be held.  St Antony’s is the most international of the seven all-graduate colleges of the University of Oxford, specialising in international relations, economics, politics, and history of particular parts of the world — Europe, Russia and the former Soviet states, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, China, South and South East Asia.

I suddenly found myself in amongst a complete diaspora of academia mainly from South Africa, but all sorts – Professors, Doctors, Researchers, scholars ... and a blind (possibly) Rhodes Scholar studying music from Pretoria ... she was taking some notes on her Braille machine.

Professor William Beinart, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations and Director of Graduate Studies at the African Studies Centre,  St Antony’s took us out for an evening meal in the Hall – which gave him a chance of talking to Jenny about her work and papers.

Corpus Christi College - the
setting for some of the
Inspector Morse tv series
Saturday dawned bright, crisp and sunny – a lovely early Autumn day – tempting us into Oxford before the afternoon talk.  Birgit and I bussed into town, then entered the auspices of Balliol College (which remains on the same spot as when founded  about 1260) to look at the gardens, the chapel etc imbuing ourselves in their golden glow of stone and learning ...

We really had struck the right weekend – this being the time of Matriculation ... the ceremony at which new students are entered into the register (in Latin matricula) of Oxford University, at which they become members. 

Subfusc in the gardens
at Balliol College
It is a requirement that they all wear subfusc – the academic dress: black and white ... a gown, cap, and white bow tie (for men) or black ribbon (for women) ... so the town was full of ‘penguins’!


Carved Zimbabwe Birds on the
pillars of the staircase – an ancient
representation by the Shona tribes
at the ruins of Great Zimbabwe
(ca 11th C) ... probably representing
the Bateleur Eagle or African Fish Eagle.
Birgit and I wove our way around and through these chattering laughing bright-eyed students ... as we wended our way up to Rhodes House, where Birgit still studies occasionally ... and so she could take me in and show me round.




Rhodes House from the garden
Cecil Rhodes (1853 – 1902) was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa, from whose Will a Trust was created to fund Rhodes Scholars – these international postgraduate scholarships are considered one of the world’s most prestigious awards.  The Rhodes Scholars are affiliated to a college but enjoy access to Rhodes House with all its facilities.

A blackboard that Einstein used during one of his lectures at Rhodes House in 1931 was ‘saved’ and is now on permanent display in the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.  The last three lines give numerical values for the density (p), radius (P), and age of the universe.

The Eagle and Child pub was the meeting place of ‘The Inklings’ = C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 – 1983), and others ...  where we too had decided to have our pub lunch prior to our afternoon meeting.

The Eagle and Child
The International Gender Studies Centre (The Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women) is hosted now within Lady Margaret Hall – so this is where we headed to for our afternoon session.

The Friends of IGS Newsletter announced “We are hosting a special lecture on Emily Hobhouse, known to students of nineteenth-century women’s history.  The lecture, ‘Three Lives: one person.  Emily Hobhouse 1860 – 1926’ by Jennifer Hobhouse Balme and Birgit Seibold, will explore Hobhouse’s role as a forthright critic of the South African War.”

Lady Margaret Hall founded 1878
It was so interesting being able to meet relatives and mix with so many incredibly erudite people – I felt somewhat out of it – yet thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and opportunity to interact with academia and family.

After we had said our farewells and bid relatives good bye – the core four of us ... two of my mother’s cousins, one with her daughter (whose own daughter has just started at Oxford reading, appropriately, History and Politics) and I ... thought that tea and time together would be a very good idea.

Cotswold Hotel where we had tea
We found a very nice hotel, where they gave us a traditional English tea – with comfortable chairs in a quiet surrounding: lots of tea, smoked salmon or cucumber sandwiches, scones with Cornish cream and strawberry jam, and cheesecake ... so we were all happy!


A Cape Dutch style house in the
village of Hobhouse, Free State, SA
A South African Senior Research Fellow from the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing sat next to me for the talk to the Swaziland Society – and he was bemused at my mention of my mother and uncle, as well as the discussions we had had that had morphed into my blog – and also the fact that we now have a Dementia Unit at the Nursing Centre.  

I mentioned my uncle in the last post, who was extremely complementary about Jenny, as “the compiler of Emily’s papers” ... I’d taken Jenny out to meet Derek and they certainly had one long conversation – obviously both appreciating Emily’s life.  

Wild flowers of South Africa
I just wanted to add as a personal note for me – but which you may find interesting ... I went into Google to check something ... and found a comment/entry to the Obituary posted on my uncle that I quote here:  “I remember Derek as a Fleet Air Arm Observer in 832 Squadron during the war.  He was a very pleasant person and was called by another Observer ‘the most intelligent man he had ever met’.”  That’s a lovely memory for our family.

This rounds off what has become and continues to be an amazing experience ... a historiography – the study of events of the past, while ensuring that the changing interpretations and necessary corrections are made for future historians: family, literati, academics et al ... all set amongst the gleaming, dreaming spires of Oxford intertwined with the newest offerings of the internet.

The whole time has been so interesting ... made more so by being given the opportunity by Jenny and being shown round by a German friend - after all these years of being away!  Thank you - Jenny and Birgit ... for a lovely time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

56 comments:

MorningAJ said...

What a wonderful trip you had! I'm looking forward to seeing your post on the Ashmolean. I also love the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. (a proper old fashioned place with display cases and hand-written labels - or at least it was the last time I was there. I'd hate to think of it being 'made over' for the modern masses.)

Patsy said...

Sounds like you had a good time. Reading the Morse books is the closest I've come to visiting Oxford Uni.

~Sia McKye~ said...

What a lovely pictorial and commentary of Oxford. I enjoyed it. I'm glad you had good weather for the weekend and I hope it refreshed your spirits for this week.

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Theresa Milstein said...

What a nice obituary comment. I'm sure that made you feel good to find it.

Looks at those gorgeous flowers. I've never been to a place with wildflowers like that.

Happy Halloween!

Better is Possible said...

Wow! The Eagle and Child pub looks like a fabulous place for a pub lunch. And the history! Again...wow!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Just as wonderful as part one Hilary. Have never been to Oxford.

Have a good day.
Yvonne.

Julie said...

Wow, I missed part one last week so it was great to catch up now and read these posts together. I found the history so interesting, and I loved going along on this trip to Oxford with you. Absolutely loved the sentence from the Guide Book, what a perfect description of an obviously wonderful place. Glad you had such a great time!

LTM said...

how wonderful! And the pictures are gorgeous as well. Thanks for giving us a peek into this world, Hil! :o) <3

Old Kitty said...

I do live in the last town that Cecil Rhodes lived in - his house has the blue circular sign commemorating his stay.

Eastbourne! I have different memories of it - guess it's slightly blurred by the fact that I went there as part of a day trip when a fresher at sussex uni...!! LOL!

Glad you had a most wonderful and amazing weekend! Take care
x

Shirley Wells said...

What a wonderful time you had. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

I love the pictures too, especially the one of Rhodes House.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ AJ .. it was a wonderful trip .. thanks for keeping me on my toes! Ashmolean coming up sometime. I must go back - there's so much to see .. I agree about simplifying things too much .. Let's hope they've kept the Pitt Rivers Museum similar to the way it was ..

@ Patsy - lovely to see you .. I expect you get a flavour from Colin Dexter's books .. the Morse tv series has some great settings.

@ Sia - how are you - welcome back! Glad you enjoyed my tour! It certainly revived many memories and I'm still refreshed with all I learnt ... it was extremely interesting.

@ Theresa - yes I thought that obituary comment was wonderful - just spoken to one of his best friends .. and he too said Derek was incredibly knowledgeable about so much - and so entertaining in conversation.

The flowers on Southern Africa are spectacular .. I had to put them in - as Jenny has one or two poppies and daisies on the front of her book on Emily.

@ Carol - thank you .. glad you enjoyed the history .. yes the pub was rather fun .. humming with students. Just had to include the historical snippets I found interesting!

@ Yvonne - glad you too enjoyed it - well worth a visit sometime .. if you get a chance .. or perhaps if Danny performs there!

Thanks so much AJ, Patsy, Sia, Theresa, Carol and Yvonne .. hope none of you are snowed in or out .. and have good weeks - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie .. that was good timing and so delighted to read you enjoyed both posts. I love putting the history together this way - it makes it so much more fun .. or memorable.

The Ashmolean is going to be an interesting write up - and I need to go back. That sentence only referred to Eric Ashmole's collection - but you're right it could refer to Oxford .. just so much happening.

@ Leigh - it was a glorious Autumn day .. but the Cotswold stone just makes Oxford glow. Glad you enjoyed your peek.

@ Old Kitty - do you live in the same town Cecil Rhodes lived in .. with said blue plaque .. it's good they tell residents and visitors of their famous past.

Eastbourne - I can imagine you'd have different memories .. as a student .. it probably hasn't changed that much - just more urban spread out onto the flood plains - wise?!

@ Shirley - it was a very informative time .. glad you enjoyed it .. and the pictures - the Rhodes House garden - does look rather wonderful doesn't it?

Thanks Julie, Leigh, Old Kitty and Shirley - lovely comments many thanks - Hilary

Southpaw said...

It sound absolutely wonderful.

Mike Goad said...

Another interesting description and discussion.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - many thanks ..

@ Mike - thanks .. and glad you enjoyed the post and comments ..

Thanks both of you .. cheers for now .. Hilary

Joylene said...

Hilary, I had a lovely time just reading about your excursion. Marvellous photos.

Munir said...

Wonderful photos. A really good tour of OXford, makes me feel like I am watching one of those National Geographic shows. thanks for sharing Hilary. Cheers !
- Munir. our Halloween was messed up because of the snow storm. We got the power back this morning.

Susan Scheid said...

The main reason for your trip is rich in itself, yet what you do, and why it's so fun to follow you, is you mine whatever territory you're in to uncover all its riches. Thanks for taking us on this wonderful trip!

Scarlett Clay said...

Sounds so wonderful, Hilary...such a thrilling time for you and your family. I love your descriptions and photos of Oxford...love seeing the different places and so much significance everywhere and history around every corner! The chalkboard with Einstein's writing still on it!! Amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing your trip.
~Scarlett

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - thanks so much.

@ Munir - glad you enjoyed the photos - you possibly visited when you lived here? Oh - no - ..that snow affected you - glad the power is back on and you're safe and well.

@ Susan - yes that was for sure .. learning a little more about Emily and those times 100 years ago on the different continents.

It's wonderful to know you appreciate the things I find interesting that supplement the base post - the extra content, the historical aspects ..

@ Scarlett - it was a good change .. and glad you can transport yourself a little into the world of Oxford via my 'tour' ..

Once I found out about the blackboard - it had to go in .. and it fascinates me that someone thought to save it by putting it into a museum; then it's remained that way for 70 years or so - til technology came calling with a place on the internet: so now we can all see it 80 years on.

Lovely to see you Joylene, Munir, Susan and Scarlett and enjoy your week .. it's lovely and 'warm' over here for now! Cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I feel like I've been on a lovely field trip! I've always enjoyed the feel of campuses, too--that thoughtful academic aura. A nice escape this morning--thanks!

Chase March said...

I love going for walks downtown. We have a pretty nice covered market here in London, Ontario as well. And I don't get there as often as I should.

Thanks for sharing your trip :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Really nice pictures that helped documents the visits. Haven't been to tour an interesting site in ages.

Ella said...

What a wonderful outing; I love outdoor markets~ I am so glad you went and your tea sounds heavenly~
I loved visiting your world :D
Now, off to make some tea~

Davina Haisell said...

Hi Hilary.

I would have been fascinated to see Einstein's blackboard in real life. With history, I find myself not really clicking with some people and events because they are so long ago. They almost seem like a fairy tale. So seeing that blackboard would have been awesome.

And cucumber sandwiches... yum! My grandmother and I used to make those. On white Wonderbread, with lots of mayo and tons of pepper. :)

A Lady's Life said...

This was really a very nice post. I enjoyed seeing Oxford through your eyes.The obituary was nice to find and must make you feel good. Its nice to be able to find things this way. My family tree was destroyed by war and hardly any traces are to be found of what was.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elizabeth - lovely seeing you here and glad you enjoyed your early morning break and tour around.

@ Chase - you too - that covered market was special to me way back when .. I could get sewing fabric for my clothes, etc etc apart from lovely fresh foods ..

@ JL - glad you enjoyed the tour .. I love adding in the pictures as they remind me too .. and bring some of the history to light.

@ Ella - it was a lovely change and brought back memories of days gone by! I must admit the tea rounded the weekend family visit off - and we had a good chat together - seeing as we live miles from one another and one of us over the ocean! Hope you enjoyed your tea ..

Thanks so much Elizabeth, Chase, JL and Ella ... lovely having you here .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Davina .. I'm afraid I never got to the Museum of History of Science - another visit and treat in store: but felt I wanted to put this snippet from history into the blog post - glad you picked it up.

That's interesting you saying that you don't click with people and events of long ago .. this is what this blog has given me - a much greater understanding of life over the centuries: it's a very interesting journey for me!!!

I know thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches - thin brown bread I think we had - my mother was a master slicer of thin bread (as well as an excellent meat carver - not sure I've met better!) .. then a light sprinkling of salt and ground pepper on buttered bread!! Almost the same .. I enjoy them now - as I'm sure you do when the opportunity arises - as then.

Lovely memories!

@ A Lady's Life .. glad you enjoyed the tour too .. just a tiny part of it .. and yes, finding out about my uncle through someone else's eyes was pretty special.

I'm sorry about your family information being destroyed by war - that's very sad - especially if those people who'd remember have gone too .. not easy for you or your family.

Lovely seeing you both thanks for commenting in such a great way - Hilary

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a great trip! :)

I love all the pictures.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've been to Oxford - one could wander the streets for day!

amy@ Souldipper said...

Such an incredible experience for all of you, Hilary. Sounds as though you had a thrill a minute. I cannot help but think of Emily's comfort over being so well respected.

Stephen Tremp said...

Its been a most interesting journey. All these places I've never heard of. I've heard of some but most I have not. Its a dream of many to be a Rhodes Scholar. I made mention in BREAKTHROUGH that M.I.T. had prodcued 43 Rhodes scholars. In my original draft the mother of one of my characters, Christopher Thompson, was a Rhodes Scholar. I guess it must have been edited out because I cannot find it. I think I'll make mention of it in OPENING.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Golden Eagle .. it was a lovely time with some lovely views.

@ Alex .. you're so right Alex so much to see along those streets or in over the threshold into a few Colleges.

@ Amy .. yes that is a thought isn't - Emily being so appreciative of Jenny's mammoth efforts - Jenny really has paved the way for the Emily of today.

@ Stephen .. interesting that you'd written about MIT producing 43 Rhodes Scholars in your novel BREAKTHROUGH .. and that's great if you're going to give mention to Rhodes Scholars in OPENING (2nd book of the trilogy) .. glad I mentioned them! I'm so looking forward to reading Opening ..

Thanks Golden Eagle, Alex, Amy and Stephen .. good to see you here - Hilary

Marja said...

What a great time you had. I spend one whole day in Oxford ages ago when we went on a trip to London and from there for a day trip with the train to Oxford. Loved the atmoshere as entering a different time when seeing all these gorgeous buildings.
Love the flowers you've got there and of course the dutch style house:)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

You're wonderful with description, Hilary! Thanks for another informative post.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, I am so amazed at how much you take in from your travels. You are brilliant at your posts, all the research you do, the desire for understanding into all you see. You look at Oxford was amazing. I'm glad you had a great time. Look forward for more.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Hilary!
What a wonderful trip. I felt I was there. I've only ever just driven nearby, but never had the tour.

Denise

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marja .. lovely to see you here: you've at least had one day in the town of dreaming spires. All those funny names, tiny streets, golden stones and the grime from our industrial/car age .. which they are cleaning off.

The two flowers on the left are proteas and were in a bunch sent by a friend for my Ma's birthday - reminding her of Africa and our trips. I love the look of those Cape Dutch houses .. and that's in the dorp of Hobhouse.

@ Susan - delighted you enjoyed the tour.

@ Clarissa - thanks so much .. I just love that look around, and then I find things I am fairly certain blogging friends will enjoy, and include those extra snippets. It was lovely to be back.

@ L'Aussie - one day on your travels Denise I hope you'll get a chance to visit - it is so worth it .. so much to see.

Thanks Marja, Susan, Clarissa and L'Aussie - great to see you here - Hilary

Talli Roland said...

How wonderful, Hilary! I do love Oxford, especially The Eagle and Child pub, and the beauty of all the buildings. The Ashmolean is spectacular, too! Glad you had such a good time.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hilary, Thanks for taking us on a wonderful tour of Oxford filled with amazing photos and interesting anecdotes! The obituary for your uncle is something you will always treasure. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli .. it is lovely isn't - and you know The Eagle and Child .. bet you had vino?! I'm so looking forward to getting back to see more of the Ashmolean - one day .. it was wonderful to be back ..

@ Julie - thanks .. glad you enjoyed the pictures and snippets - yes I was so pleased to read that note about my uncle .. and I will treasure it - as I treasured him when he was still with us: I had four - five wonderful years in his company for a lot of that time.

Thanks Talli and Julie - lovely to see you both .. cheers Hilary

Ann Best said...

Oh, Hilary. This is awesome. I so would love to have strolled with you. And so would Jen. She looked at the photos with me. We love Inspector Morse, and she said she wants to watch some of the segments again. Corpus Christi College - recognize it. There's just so much lovely stuff to gaze at here and absorb. Thanks for the tour!!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

sue said...

Absolutely wonderful Hilary, it's such a pleasure being a fly on the blogwall of your visit to Oxford.
How I'd like to have been at the lunch with you at The Eagle and Child pub.
I'm intrigued by the wild flowers of South Africa, I'd assumed protea were Australian - I wonder if they're native in both countries? I'll go check Mr Google as has become my habit after visiting your blog ;)
Have a relaxing weekend. Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann and Jen - delighted you enjoyed the photos and tour .. I note that if you double click the pictures they now come up as a sort of slide show, and sometimes slightly larger than I posted - the wood carved Zimbabwe Birds look beautiful this way.

Inspector Morse deserved a mention - and am glad to read that's given Jen a thought to want to see some episodes again ..

So pleased Jen enjoyed the post - it's what they're for ..

@ Sue .. well we could go and see a few pubs!! I wonder if they make beer bread?!

I've just looked Protea up in Wikipedia .. and it doesn't mention Australia at all. You're actually thinking of the Banksia - which is a genus within the plant family Proteaceae ...

I wrote a post about them too - when I wrote about Nuts (Nuts with peepholes) in Sept 2009. The Protea species obviously was split up as Gondwanaland split apart and the continents became continents taking their flora and fauna with them.

I hope you found the same information I did?!

Cheers Ann and Sue .. lovely having your interesting comments - and interaction .. enjoy the weekend ahead ..Hilary

sue said...

Hilary if ever I get to come to England again, I'll let you know!
That was interesting, that they're related somehow - the "Protea family" also includes Grevillea, & Hakea. We have what I lovingly refer to as Pincushion Hakea which is a ball of pretty pink spiky flowers. Now I think about it they are somewhat similar, just much smaller.So not only did the plants separate, but the red earth remained on both continents, and then they developed in their own idiosyncratic ways.
Good brain food! thanks Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - that would be great and I'll do the same when I get to Aus ..

I can see the Hakea Laurina is much admired .. it's pretty - actually quite a lot of the public park/street species are hardy as well as beautiful when they flower.

We foreget the span of time .. the splitting of the continents into continental drift - that's still happening. That's right - the red earth, some of the plants are similar ..

I'm not that knowledgeable on what's linked with what .. and Gondwana and its split is in some ways obvious (Brazil/Africa) .. but India was attached to Madagascar before splitting away and heading to Eurasia create the Himilayas ..

The Rift Valley along the spine of Africa is constantly pushing apart .. and so on!

Cheers and looking forward to seeing you one day! ... Hilary

Inger said...

Such a long time since I was there, thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories of autumn in England. Love that picture of the city centre, so beautiful, so old.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Inger .. your new computer is obviously up and running - so wonderful to see you here .. and you've visited, so can appreciate the beauty of Oxford - let alone all the learning that's happened and is going on ..

Thanks - enjoy the weekend with the computer up and running - cheers Hilary

Patricia said...

Indeed a lovely trip and what a great post of sharing - I wish I had had such remarkable guides for my venture through the UK

Thank you so very much for sharing your weekend with all of us

And what good comments, I read every one

I so like having my mum's obit on the web...we are still getting comments from around the world nearly 4 years later and they mean a great deal.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. delighted you enjoyed the tour .. any tour guide has their work cut out for them!! Amazing people I think ..

Wonderful you read the comments - I was thinking today about how the comments actually give the blog post that bit extra .. lots of informative points ..

I'm so pleased people are still finding your mother's obituary and making lovely comments - I'm sure they mean a great deal.

Lovely to see you .. all the best Hilary

Friko said...

I do so envy you this occasion, Oxford is absolutely worth a long visit and attending lectures and talks makes it all the more interesting.

One of our friends here is a Rhodes Professor.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Friko .. it was a superb weekend .. and I did enjoy being exposed to all these bright brains!

Lucky you - I can hear through your blog posts there's a few intelligentsia up in your part of the world!

Lovely to see you - thank you -Hilary

Glynis said...

What a lovely description of your day out. How lovely to find such kind words about your uncle!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. it was a lovely time - relaxed but with that educative bite and knowledge eating! I was so pleased when I read those words for my uncle .. cheers Hilary

Sara said...

I smiled at your talk about Oxford. My older daughter spent a summer there. It is beautiful, but definitely not a place to drive around. We, stupid Americans, kept trying to drive on roads that were pencil thin and suddenly stopped, making it challenging to turn around. Everyone else knew Oxford is a walking city. We learned fast:~)

I also think of Oxford because I loved the mystery series about Inspector Morse. He was such a crabby character, but I enjoyed reading about him.

It sounds like you had a great time on your visit:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. did she manage a whole summer in Oxford - that must have been a glorious time for her - so much going on .. and lovely countryside away from the dreaming spires.

So many of us remember the views around the city and Oxford Colleges where they made the Morse tv series .. I've never read the books - but enjoy the 'switch-off mode' when I watch a episode.

We did have a lovely visit .. it made a wonderful change - lovely to see you here .. Hilary