Looking Back (Part 2)

And now returning to Oxford for another look back…

World War I

The 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I, which was acknowledged heavily. In our college common room is engraved the names of those in just our small college who were killed in World War I. World War II is over another mantle in the common room. It is a sobering reminder anytime I’m in there, but particularly so on this anniversary year. Our college is one of the smaller ones and their sacrifice was so great. Multiply that by all the colleges that comprise Oxford University and the loss must have been devastating. Seeing the names reminds me of the beginning of Chariots of Fire, which takes place just after the war:

“…name after name which I cannot read. And which we, who are older than you, cannot hear without emotion. Names which will be only names to you, the new college, but to us summon up face after face full of honesty and goodness, zeal and vigor.” -Chariots of Fire

IMG_3750

Miscellaneous

I took a long walk one of the days I was feeling well, planning my next writing project, and upon getting lost stumbled upon this.

IMG_3802 

This is the imp who lives in our college.

IMG_3804

This is the front gate of the college, which are normally only closed at night, which were closed and locked (we could enter with a key) during a busy Saturday, due to conflicting protests and counter-protests to do with the Middle East. Everything was very peaceful and didn’t come near our college, but the precaution was sobering reminder of the state of the rest of the world and how many scared and hurting people are on both sides.

IMG_3737

Punting Trip! There were four or five boats in our little flotilla.

IMG_3821

IMG_3831

Then a storm blew in.

IMG_3836

Sunset view from a riverside pub, the first stop on our end-of-term pub crawl

IMG_3819 

Then there was graduation, so well attended that some of us watched it live streamed from the pub.

IMG_3842

After saying tearful good-byes at breakfast, I took a walk around the city the morning we checked out to say good-bye to the city itself. I had been in bad shape the night. The illness I battled earlier in the summer had come back much stronger, and particularly bad in a respiratory sense. I spent a frightened night trying to pack and also breathe and terrified I was going to end up in the hospital and missing my flight. I am truly indebted to the amazing friends who helped me out that morning, making a scary thing much less scary. I just remember feeling so thankful as I took this walk. Sad to leave, but thankful for a magical summer with amazing friends.

IMG_3851

My final view of London from the hotel:

IMG_3859

My final view of the “pleasant pastures green”

IMG_3863

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s