?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Oxford

I'm back from an overnight trip to Oxford, where I attended a wedding that, astonishingly, began early! Everyone was already gathered. We were a comfortably small number in the romanesque St. Giles' Church. It was a moderately informal service, to the degree that we were coached by the vicar when inadequately audible on occasion, and sang the hymns unaccompanied. (I realized I'd never sung "Jerusalem" before, for all the times I've heard it. It's moderately challenging, but I do like a song which features "dark satanic mills".) It was a lovely service and everyone, especially the newlyweds, but also the two people who wore hats, looked very good.

We retired afterwards to The Trout. The man behind me when getting on the bus lives in Wolvercote, and observed that everyone who comes to Oxford goes to The Trout. Suddenly, I felt as if I was repaying a cosmic debt by attending the wedding dinner: all my trips to Oxford balanced out by my pilgrimage to a pub on the banks of the Isis. Out on the patio, we saw small deer skitter by on the opposite shore, admired the resident peacock on the roof, and boggled as two carrier jets - silhouettes the size of large passenger planes - flew slowly by together, nearly wingtip-to-wingtip.

I realized right away that I was seated at the children's table - not literally, but we were all academic siblings, having studied with the same supervisor. It was a delight to catch up with them, and be introduced to other people, some for the sake of common academic ground, others because they were fixtures of my friends' lives, people I knew existed for years, but had never encountered. I met one scholar of spices, and another person who is a potential London dining companion. MIdway through the evening, we drew up our chairs all together, and there were limericks, toasts, and a round of singing "Happy Birthday" to three of us whose birthdays are this week.

I would have gone to the History of Science Museum this morning, had it been open, but it isn't until twelve. So instead, to the market, for cheese, sauce, and fruit, freebies of prepack cereal on Cornmarket, and the train to sushi, and then home.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
desperance
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
There are scholars of spices? Damn... *regrets an academic career not pursued*
a_d_medievalist
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds fantastic! btw, did you get my e-mail last week? I tried to catch you before I left, but seem to have missed!
owlfish
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
I didn't! My last email from you was June 18th. Pity.
a_d_medievalist
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Shoot! I did wonder, but my internet connections were sort of wonky. And my phone was dying. Argh. taldragon and I spent a day wandering around that was fantastic, but would have loved to have had you with us!
strange_complex
Jul. 24th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Hee, so it seems we have been ships that pass in the night! I'd gladly have met you for a quick coffee this morning if I'd known you were here, but I'm sure there will be some other time. Glad you enjoyed the wedding and met some interesting people, anyway.
gillo
Jul. 24th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
I realized I'd never sung "Jerusalem" before, for all the times I've heard it


Wow. I can't remember a time when I didn't sing along to the Last Night of the Proms, and several times a year in addition most years. I love Blake and I love this tune.

It sounds like the very best sort of wedding party.
cliosfolly
Jul. 25th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
pfy
Jul. 25th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
We used to sing 'Jerusalem' at school, and I always enjoyed it. It's so big and sonorous and bombastic I half suspect that Meat Loaf travelled back in time to help write it.

Also, happy birthday, I believe :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )