Saturday, May 15, 2010

More Oxford Delights!

Today was a good day in Oxford. We ran to catch the coach behind Royal Albert Hall, and I was one of the last people to make it aboard. However, no one was left today; the lesson was learned yesterday. I didn’t sleep on the coach today, I got some reading done in my Hubert Parry biography. It is good that I am gaining momentum in that, but I really need to gain momentum on the bibliography…

Once we got to Oxford, there was a lot of traffic; I was not happy sitting on the coach for forever. After alighting from the coach, Jake, Phil, and I ran to eat at the restaurant under the University Chapel. Ruth told me about it yesterday. It is all locally raised food at decent prices. I enjoyed the food greatly and would recommend it highly. One of the great parts about the restaurant was the business card that mentions “Elevenses.”

Phil didn’t want to go too far away, so he stayed near the center of town while Jake and I wandered out to the University Park. We watched the college teams playing lacrosse and walked through the rest of the park. It was nice and basically looked like Virginia. We had a few minutes on the way back to grab a quick snack and I picked up the book detailing all of the Proms. They start in about two month and run for two months. I can get £5 tickets to hear some of the best music in the world played by a sampling of the best musicians in the world, in London, at Royal Albert Hall, just meters away from my current front door. Of course, when they start, I will be in Cambridge, but it is totally doable to catch the train in for a night of fine music. Oh, the joys!

We made it back to the center of town in time for the tour around town that Ruth was giving. I wish we had walked farther, but we still heard about some amazing things. The neatest moment, as far as shock factor goes, was seeing where C.S. Lewis got his inspiration for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. As you walk out of the church, you see a door with a lion head on, with two Pan figures on either side. Then you look to the right and see a lone lamppost. That is just tradition, but it certainly is an interesting story. Hearing about all the traditions just made me want to have such traditions to be a part of; the schools here are old enough for traditions that go back to before America had been discovered!

After the tour, a group of us headed over to Magdalen College Chapel to hear the choir rehearse and then present Evensong. The room was incredibly cold! Of interesting note was the sepia-colored stained glass windows. The Chapel had the typical windows, as well, but the entryway windows were all in brownscale. Pretty cool.

They have a boy’s choir that sings the treble part. I enjoyed hearing the different texture that the boys bring into the choir. I was impressed with the balance that the college boys gave to the boys. The male altos and tenors did well.

Afterwards, we only had time to catch the bus and drive back to London. We grabbed a bite to eat at Pizza Hut and then have talked for a while. Now it is certainly time for bed, since we have to be on the bus to Oxford at 8:15 AM tomorrow morning. I haven’t been up and functioning before that time too frequently, so this could be a good adventure! But it will be a good day with lots of singing and good food!

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