Sunday 15 April 2007


It's been a nice, restful Sunday here at Stuck-in-a-book. Church in the morning, followed by a very enjoyable picnic in the University Parks, and then reading books/writing letters/watching a comforting episode of Foyle's War.

All of which has distracted me from the rigours of exam revision. The finals (which start on 14th May, in case you wondered) will cover everything from Pearl-poet (or the Gawain-poet, if you prefer), up until 1836. And at the moment it's all rather interesting, though 'fun' might be an overstatement.

Oxford is something of a site of mystery from the outside, I should think. I certainly felt that way before I joined its hallowed ranks - but the Big Bad Secret is... it's all rather normal. Hope that hasn't dashed anybody's fond Brideshead-related imaginings... but the sad truth is that we're all a little bit dull here. Yup, some of the 'world's experts' tutor - but none of my tutors have been above 35, let alone of the Mad Professor variety. And, do you know, not a single person has been murdered in my college? Perhaps, now that Morse is dead, criminals have stopped bothering. One of the few things, though, which Oxford manages to do well is beauty. Witness the photo at the top...

Oh, and before you feel too many illusions have been shattered, here are some anomalies we DO have:
-for exams, gowns must be worn; mortar boards must be CARRIED, not worn. Wearing them carries a fine of £35.
-when the clocks change, students at Merton walk several times backwards around a quad, drinking port. The tradition started in 1970.
-we only have one designated sport area in Magdalen: the croquet lawn


  1. Dear me, dear me, another of my Brideshead fantasies shattered indeed. This after you tell me the piano room at Magdalen is not worthy of that house either. A disappointed colonist...but enjoying your blog.

  2. Sounds lovely. Where do you go to church (if that's not too personal a question)? I lived in Oxford through the 1980s and used to go to Christ Church -- the music was so sublime, and it was such a beautiful place. Nowhere has ever measured up since.

  3. No, happy to answer Harriet! I go to Oxford Community Church, which is out past the train station and along the canal - i.e. quite a long way from Magdalen! It's not particularly beautiful - an ex-warehouse - but one of the nicest warehouses I've ever been in!

  4. They walk backwards in Merton? I knew there was a reason I loved that college!
    You've not shattered my Brideshead illusions. I can tell fact from fiction. Now where did I put Aloysius?


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