Friday, February 20, 2009

Updates and Oxford #2

- It is the first truly sunny day here in a week and a half and yet the coldest... how does that work? Wait, don't explain, I actually DO know how that works.
- I absolutely adore Amy Lynch's idea of blue shoes for her wedding! I may steal it for my own someday.
- I have fallen in love with a little candy called Minstrels... They are basically oversize M&Ms with simple brown crispy shells. BUT the chocolate has just a HINT of caramel, I think.
- I finished the Shack last night!! SO GOOD!!! I read a lot of it on the train ride to Oxford yesterday (I could totally dig the train rides, because you get SO MUCH reading done). I got to a part where I had to put the book up to my face to shield everyone from see me just bawl. It has such powerful moments where you just have to stop and really wrestle with what you believe and realize the lies you've told yourself about who God really is. Now, if you want my very honest assessment, I'll tell you that there were parts that I didn't care for... but that's due to opinion and not really biblical unsoundness. None of those part deterred me from loving the book though. It was a very powerful journey for me to read it.
- I am starting on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell today! Actually I am continuing... I started it in November and got through to page 65 before I picked up Twilight... oh Twilight. But I am so excited to start reading it again!! Amy, don't give anything away.
- I read somewhere that my brother Shawn takes the draw strings out of all of his hoodies... my life was forever changed. I have since done that and it seriously makes me so happy to not have to deal with the strings!!
- These pictures are the result of my decoration with magazines night the other night...


I feel like my life again has color in it.

Yesterday I went to Oxford to meet a Ashley! I had such a great time. I am enjoying the visits to famous places where I don't feel like such a tourist. We didn't have much planned to do, so we basically wandered the city. Ashley is studying at Oxford for the semester and as a student she was able to get us into different college courtyards and even the Rhodes House, where the Rhodes scholars live. We also went shopping and I got a Tshirt from this one nice store called ZARA. It is kind of a deep coral color and it has this spray-paint style screening on it of a artsy style light bulb with a leaf in the middle and it says "The Light of Life." It's also organic cotton - I feel so "green."
Alright, so here was my day:
I took the trains to Oxford... Again, I felt so awesome doing it all on my own - a true Brit. I really dig the trains. They are really nicely kept and you really can't do much else but read, which is lovely, because I find it hard to just sit and read without being distracted. So I got through MUCH of the Shack just in the 1 1/2 hr trip. I also love watching the England fly by my window... the houses, towns, fields, etc... awesome. I had to make a change in Reading and I haven't got all my bearings with platforms yet, but if you politely ask for help and I flash my lovely smile, the nice gentlemen will kindly point you in the right direction. So I finally got to Oxford and met Ashley at the station. We then walked back to the heart of the College. Our first stop was brunch - it was after 11am when I got there. I had a great smoothie and Ham and Cheese Omelet. We then headed off for our first destination which was St Mary's tower by the Radcliffe Camera.
It costs £3 to climb to the top, and what a climb it is. Not as tall as St Pauls, but the stairs are insane... very steep and BARELY big enough for you feet. I could see it again, the headlines "American Exchange student plunged to her death today in Oxford's St Mary's Virgin Church. She was descending the stairs and lost her footing, plummeting through the stone passage way to her imminent demise." Very illustrious way to parish, but still sad to think. But we successfully got to the top. Another challenge presented itself. The walk way at the top is barely big enough to fit a person... I had to tilt slightly to the side to fit in some places... this presented a problem when families were leaving and you were arriving. Needless to say I was in personal contact with many a tourist as we navigated our way around. It was scary when we were walking down the narrow stairs and others were walking up... again personal contact coupled with the fear they would bump you into loosing your footing and you would die. But here are out pictures at the top:
Behind me you'll see St Mary's College. Those tall towers are called the ivory towers... when someone says "you're in the ivory towers" that is to what they are referring... in those towers is where the highest scholars spend their time studying (ALL THE TIME). The saying basically means that you are in another word... high up on another intellectual plane.
This is my friend Ashley
More of the city

The scary staircase
My future home in Oxford #1
Rhodes House (this is where Bill Clinton attended along with other distinguished Rhodes Scholars
Charming courtyard
After the Rhodes house, we walked over to Magdalene College (which you'll remember is pronounces "Maudlen" college). This is where Cs Lewis taught... Collest courtyard award.
The tree alone was AWESOME!
Inside the Chapel at Magdalene College... very interesting Stain glass... they were like cepia.
This is the courtyard that apparently CS Lewis' room looked out into and the statues around the edges helped inspire the narnians in his famous books.

(if you zoom in on the above picture, you may see that one of the statues is of a greyhound dog, another of a beaver, another of a prince).
They also had this water pump in the courtyard.
In Oxford you are NOT allowed to walk on the grass... on penalty of death it would seem... No one was looking and therefore Ashley dared the impossible...
Future house in Oxford #2 (I like this one the best)
After this we mostly shopped. We had coffee at Starbucks and then dinner at her College St Catherine's. St Cat's was built in the 1960's and therefore is very modern compared to the rest of Oxford. I didn't take pictures the rest of the day because before we knew it, it was dark. I left around 8:15 on my trains home... I felt so cool.

Hey, if you are curious at all about other aspects of my life here... just ask in the comments. I will write about pretty much anything.


linda t said...

Very interesting and awe inspiring.
All this history must be mind-blowing to actually be in the presence of!

Amy T Schubert said...

I also take the strings out of my hoodies ... one of the reasons I want to wear them EVERY DAY.
btw - I think I want to get a Royal Holloway hoodie when I'm there. remind me.

Michelle Ellis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Ellis said...

Mine is the deleted comment because I made some grammatical errors. I HATE doing that so let me try again.......Hey you! Tracie Osier LOVES Jonathan Strange. I tried. I need to pick it up again. It is sosososo wordy, which sometimes I like. Teresa read it too and liked it but didn't love it as much as Tracie. Hmmmm.... I think I will go get a copy from the library as I am between books at the moment. Glad you are getting this life experience. Have you been to the street in London that is all book stores? Marcia always talks about how Tom rushed her when they were there and she always wishes she could go back. Love ya!

AmyKristen said...

You can steal ANY of my wedding ideas. And...if we find some cute enough shoes, you can actually borrow the same exact ones for your day! ;) If we're the same size! :) Love all your magazine pages, spices things up! Love reading about your adventures. You're great!

Skerrib said...

Hahaha--I tie extra big knots in the drawstrings so they don't come out in the laundry. And I have a crochet needle that I keep around pretty much for the singular purpose of re-stringing drawstrings, 'cuz empty drawstring holes make me sad.

OH and when I wear a hoodie or drawstring pants/shorts I'm anal about making sure both ends are even. I'll tighten and loosen until I finagle the string into an acceptable symmetry. Probably a little awkward to watch, I admit.

And I have a shoe where the laces are uneven right now and it's driving me crazy. Must be fixed!