Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The otherworldliness of Oxford colleges

Holiday time again, les Vacances de Toussaint, All Saints' day holidays. A holiday in honour of all saints known and unknown. We've been in the UK, initially to go to a brilliant disco themed party, and then to stay on and visit family. 

This past week we've been in Oxford, the city where I was brought up. 

It's been cold and damp, but the sun has come out every now and then and we've managed to get out for a few strolls. On one of our outings we walked around the gardens of Magdelen College. Once you step across the threshold from the High Street into the college you're in another world.

The kids thought they were walking around Hogwarts. They have a point. Here are the Magdelen school choir boys going off to sing in the Chapel. We felt pretty sure we saw Harry.

By the time we got there it was already dusk, the light was lovely.

Then we walked around the deer park, part of the Magdelen college gardens. Looking back we got a beautiful view of Magdelen Tower in the sunset. As a former Oxford comprehensive school educated person I had already developed a well honed and chippy (with reason!*) anti Oxford University attitude by the time I was 18 years old. However, as I've grown older I can't help but be overwhelmed by what an exceptionally beautiful place it is.

* Here's an article from the Guardian Newspaper (July 2011) 'University admissions study reveals extent of Oxbridge divide'.

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