London & Oxford
March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
Over the weekend, I was in London & Oxford (I have also become accustomed to using ampersands) with some of my closest friends from school. Having never visited Oxford, I was very excited to see it. I suppose like many people I have held it in my mind with awe. Whenever I think of it, it is hazy in that sepia-soaked romantic way, with a blue-tinted glow. I blame Brideshead Revisited for such a vision. Anyway, we went along, Kim, Fi and I, and had one of the best weekends of our lives. Okay, so this would usually be a cliché and, therefore, something I would avoid. But – seriously – it was true. We stayed at a hostel, the Oxford Backpackers, and everyone there was just wonderful and friendly and warm and funny. They even told us that we were laidback. I have never been (and probably will never again be) called laidback. We spent two days of endless talking, laughing, being a bit wild, in a constant state of sleep-deprivation but nothing about those two days felt deprived of anything – except, perhaps, sanity! It was as though we were given an alternative life for a weekend, one without worry or insecurity about work or friends or love or anything. It was just ourselves, our conversations and ebullience. And – did you know that the Bodleian library houses all publications within Britain? Even leaflets, stickers and Playboy magazine?! I am aghast at this information!!
On the train back to London, I carried in my bag three books (The Lighthouse by Alison Moore; Straw Dogs by John Gray, which looks incredible; the Penguin limited edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four, so inventively simple, I can’t stop looking at it), a beautiful sepia-toned postcard of High Street in Oxford, and, on one finger, a silver ring that has the word LIVE repeated around the band. We all bought a ring. It may sound a childish, frivolous gesture; but it felt oddly apt.
Although, coming back to St Andrews after such a wonderful weekend has been a jolt back to ‘reality’. I have six weeks left until my degree here ends. I am filled with simultaneous feelings of dread, fear and excitement. It all hangs on these next six weeks and part of me feels confident, whilst another part has doubts. Endless doubts.
Here is a photograph of a view from Trinity College, Oxford, that I took. It snowed when we arrived and continued all day. I know this isn’t the most beautiful of pictures but, to me, there is something quiet and peaceful, almost melancholy, about it.