"In summer, the song sings itself."
|The High, Oxford|
Here's a sampling of a few of things we like to spend our summer doing...........
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
If you're a fan of cricket, Oxford is one of the only places in the world you can watch first class cricket for free. The Oxford University Cricket Club has played cricket in the University Parks since 1881. The University teams play professional cricket teams (county sides), and the fixtures (games) can be watched by the general public in the Parks.
Stuart is the cricket lover in our household, I on the other hand, agree with Robin Williams........
".....there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much
worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
~Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
"That it will give a particular relish to success.........if you never take a punt without stowing therein a sufficient basket of ham, tongue, veal pie, stilton cheese, bottled ale and porter, port, sherry, moselle, claret, brandy and cigars."
~London Magazine, 1828
"When boating for pleasure, a punt possesses many advantages. The punter faces the direction
rowing,and the stroke is more varied. The punt
is better adapted for luncheon and tea, which is
a great convenience on a journey, and obviates
the necessity of reaching a hotel at any given time."
Stuart punting our family, June 2013.
Inspector Lewis and Fox enjoying a pint at the 'Vicky Arms'
with punters in the background.
The Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford
OUR OXFORD 'BESTS'......
Opinions always vary of course, but these
are our own, personal bests from Oxford.
but come and and find your own..............
narrow-mindedness, and many of our
people need it sorely on these accounts.
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of
men and things cannot be acquired by
vegetating in one little corner of the
|THE OXFORD CANAL|
looking at the world.
John Donne, Percy Bysshe Shelley,
Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley,
Harper Lee, Dorothy Sayers,
and Evelyn Waugh walked.
"TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE"
~Hans Christian Anderson
|Be a kid again and stand where Malfoy |
was turned into a ferret by Harry Potter.
"The greatest reward and luxury
of travel is to be able to experience
everyday things as if for the first time."
The 18th century diarist Samuel Johnson (who went to Pembroke College, Oxford) wrote, "When one tires of London, one tires of life," and sometimes I think you could say the same of Oxford. For a city that in some ways changes very little over the centuries, Oxford is still always so vibrant with life and things to do.
Stuart, Max, and I each have our own idea of what the perfect day in Oxford is. Stuart's is in the summer, mine is a day in December, and Max's is any day that involves bacon, squirrels, long walks, and his bed tucked into a corner of our kitchen.
We begin with Stuarts favorite day:
*The day begins with coffee at the Vaults Cafe tucked into the University Church of St. Mary's.
*Climb up the church tower of St. Mary's to take in the dreaming spires.
*Walk east down the High St. and turn right onto Rose Lane, past the Botanical Gardens toward the Cherwell, and walk around Christ Church Meadow.
*Come out to Merton St. through Grove Lane .
*Stop into Merton College to see the
library and Mob Quad.
(Merton opens to the public at 2pm.)
*From Merton College it's back up to the High Street, through the Radcliffe Square, cut through the Turf Tavern to Holywell and home to pick up the car for our next stop...........
*A quick drive to the Cherwell Boathouse to rent a punt for the rest of the afternoon.
|Stuart's an expert punter.|
*Punt the Cherwell River down to the Victoria Arms (Vicky Arms) pub, tie up and have a pint and grab a bottle of bubbly for the lazy ride back to the boathouse.
*The day finishes in one of the college gardens and a Shakespeare play, with a picnic dinner before the play and a glass of Pimm's during the intermission. The gardens provide a beautiful and natural backdrop for plays from As You Like It to Macbeth.
*The day ends with a walk around Holywell Cemetery with Max in the last of the day's light, as it finally gets dark around 10pm.
|The clock tower of Harris Manchester|
Summer 2014, still light at 10pm.
There are so many places in Oxford that I go back to over and over again, because they are like old friends. One of these is Einstein's blackboard. Maybe the reason I love it so much is because I just stumbled on it one day about six years ago.
The blackboard was kept and preserved after a lecture Einstein gave at Oxford in 1931. The last three lines of it give minor details--only the density, radius and age of the Universe. I found it when I was wandering through Oxford's Museum of the History of Science one rainy afternoon. The museum holds an impressive collection of early scientific instruments--astrolabes that are works of art, sundials, early microscopes, telescopes, cameras and so much more.
I made my way through the museum and down to the displays in the basement and there it was in the corner. I walked up to the blackboard interested, but not understanding one letter or number written on it and certainly not realizing that it gave the age of the Universe. As I gazed up at it, it hit me like a wave of light. For one brief second I suddenly felt and understood the expanse and genius of Einstein's mind--and I mean expanse. It lasted hardly longer than a breath but in that moment I could feel how far out into the Universe his mind had traveled. It took my breath away and then it was gone.
So even though I still don't understand a single bit of what's written on it, every once in awhile I pop into the museum and pay my respects to the famous blackboard. The museum itself is impressive, as it's the world's oldest surviving purpose built museum. It sits on Broad Street, next to the Sheldonian Theatre and across from Blackwell's bookstore. Admission is free and it's open: Tuesday to Friday-12 to 5pm, Saturday-10-5pm and Sundays-2-5pm. There is also an introductory tour of the museum every Thursday, 2:15-3pm. When you visit the museum, be sure to find the simple, little blackboard that holds some of the very keys to our understanding of the Universe.
|The tour begins in front of the blue gates|
of Trinity College, Broad Street.
|Exeter College Garden with|
the Radcliffe Camera in the background.