Oxford. The City of Dreaming Spires, as dubbed by Matthew Arnold, poet turned politician. Sitting at the computer in our hostel, I am waiting to catch the 18:01 train with Anna and John and so return to L’abri. 56 minutes left. Anna is sitting at one of the tables behind me, her weary head bent over a cup of tea. John is beside me, checking his gmail.
We’ve only been here three days and we are exhausted. After walking all over the city, visiting numerous churches, climbing tower staircases, poking around in museums, and meeting so many fascinating people, I suppose we should be.
As I am quite convinced that I could write a short novel based on our experiences here, I will include only one anecdote in this post.
Last night, we walked to Headington Hill Park to watch an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A play that I have seen before, but never like this. The play began in front of a wooden stage, where we sat on rough-hewn logs. The actors drifted onto the stage to perform. When the first act ended, we were roused from our seats by a flighty Puck, who beckoned us to follow him to the second stage. And so we traipsed through the woods from one act to the next, led “up and down and up and down” until the stages all but disappeared and we were indeed dreaming along with Lysander, Hermia, Helena, and Demetrius.
Which was lovely.
But still, there is much to be said for establishing the difference between fantasy and reality. I would rather no longer confuse the two. If they are confused with each other, they lose some of their power. Fantasy should be fantasty, and reality, reality.


Still Here

The rain is dashing against the diamond shaped windowpanes set in the front foyer at the Manor House. I am sitting at the computer, trying to keep pace with the rain as I frantically type out a post before the next person demands a turn on the computer. It’s been too long and I apologize.
Today we walked to a lake and found a patch of grass with a patch of sun for a picnic. We read poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins and quoted Monty Python frivolously. Walking home, we got lost and found ourselves again. And now we’re all tucked into the cosy corners of the house, listening to the rain falling and the wind blowing and the wailing of Drew’s guitar. There is a delicious scent of cooking garnering in the corridors…it’s almost dinner time.
I just finished booking train tickets to Oxford, and show tickets to a Midsummer Night’s Dream. More adventures to come soon.