Saturday, 9 June 2007
Stuck-in-a-Book's Oxford: The Final Chapter
Here we are again, and the final part of the Oxford Tour (TM) is about to presented before your eyes. I feel a little guilty that Academic Oxford has played such a background role in this tour, but perhaps this is an accurate representation of Stuck-in-a-Book's Oxford... Certainly for the past two weeks.
#14 Ashmolean MuseumAgain, my stolen map helpfully highlights this little place for me. I went there in my first year (indeed, it was the site of my epiphany that the T-shirt I was wearing, emblazoned with '66', was also the number of my college room) but haven't been since. This picture is included in the tour, really, because of its representation of old-meets-new. Oxford may be the oldest university in England, but it keeps moving too...
#15 27, Beaumont StreetMy doctor. Even the most functional of buildings is beautiful - thankfully, I've only been through its doors to receive a few injections for a trip to The Philippines last year.
#16 Beaumont BuildingsA little arbitrary - but this is one of my favourite streets in Oxford. For those of a keen disposition, you might have thought I'd said the same of St. Michael's, but that was my favourite shopping street. Beaumont Buildings is beautiful, but more than that it is very still, very quiet and peaceful. Not sure quite how to put my finger on it - but if you ever make the trip to Oxford, and want to find the eye of the hurricane, go to Beaumont Buildings. Or Plantation Road, off Woodstock Road, off the top of the map.
#17 Wellington Square GardenA lovely little enclosed garden, in a square, where I've often wandered with a book and bottle of water. The last time I was there, two people dressed as pirates approached me, and asked whether or not I'd mind taking their photograph. "Oxford is weird" swiftly becomes a mantra necessary for survival.
#18 G&D'sG&D's numero duo. But this one is George & Davis, not George & Danver, like the last one. Who knows why? No, neither do I.
#19 Building of WonderNot sure what this building is - might be Dictionary of National Biography headquarters, or next door to it - but it is forever the Building of Wonder. Impossible to see now, but the floor with large windows holds floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, on all the viewable walls. That's a lot of books. My friend Lorna and I were wandering past in the dark at some point, and could see this amazing sight. We just stood and stared in wonderment for a while.
#20 Radcliffe Science LibraryWe've taken a little cut down Lamb & Flag Passage, opposite the Eagle & Child pub, which CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein et al used to frequent, and now we're by the Radcliffe Science Library. This will play a significant role in Stuck-in-a-Book's Oxford life next year, as it is where I'll be working next term. Isn't it, ahem, beautiful. Met a few other library trainees today, and received the joyful news that I'll finish work at 5pm each day, and thus be back at home in time for Neighbours...
#21 Radcliffe CameraAnd the tour finishes at the most unusual and resplendent building in Oxford - the Radcliffe Camera, or Rad Cam as we call it. I don't think it's possible to take a bad photograph of this building. Inside are lots of English, History and Theology books, and a unique atmosphere. To the left of it is Brasenose College, the one to which I applied, back in Autumn 2003...