Beautiful! Gorgeous! Wish you were here!

So, today I have walked my size 7.5's silly. This morning, I skipped breakfast in favor of sleep. However, even when I woke up, I still looked like hell. I pondered this for a while, but nothing came to me. So, I did my morning rounds (checking in with the program director, with Rachel, etc.). Then, I went out of college and walked down Beaumont, Magdalen, and to Cornmarket. I walked and walked and walked because nothing was open yet. I needed something with long sleeves, so I bought a cheap (by Oxford standards) knockoff sweatshirt. I looked for a curling iron, but no luck (I found a straightener in the "Alabama" leftover box and decided that if I can't beat them I must join them). I went into Waterstones (a three story bookstore) and decided that I really liked it. Then, I bought some new jeans and a shirt. (I didn't pack enough warm clothing.) I still felt exhausted and without memory, so I decided to make my way back to Worcester.

Along the way, I was distracted by Borders (found a really cool Dickens book, but didn't buy it). Then, I headed back to Worcester for real! Along the way, a lightening bolt struck me and I suddenly became enlightened as to why I was so exhausted: I haven't had caffeine since last Friday. Yes, people. It is true. And anyone who knows me, knows that I am a COMPLETE CAFFEINE ADDICT. I freely admit it. There wasn't time to grab anything because I needed to do some paperwork.

After lunch, I left with the group and we went on a long walk past Magdalen College to the South Parks. Along the way, we saw Hell's Passage, where Jane Burden was discovered as a model for the pre-Raphaelites (and wife of Morris) and the pub that Dylan Thomas kept getting drunk in and getting kicked out of! Here is Hell's Passage (now known as Bath Place, I think):



Here is a link to Jane Burden:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Burden. (Yes, I know Wikipedia is bad.)

Anyway, we passed Tolkien's house (sorry, no picture, but it is right down from Hell's Passage on Holywell St....number 99). Then, we made our way to Magdalen Bridge and stayed to the left and walked straight up to the parks. Long walk, but totally worth it! Here are some photos:

I wish we had parks like this...


One view...


Another view of the colleges in the background. Most prominent is Magdalen Tower...


Another...

(These last two inspired my Meg Ryan-themed blog title...I probably misquoted the line from French Kiss, but who the hell cares.)

UPDATE: Just got back from our first high table at college. I don't have pictures, but let me narrate...

All of the faculty (and, for purposes of this trip, I am also faculty) stayed outside while the students went into the hall. Then, the catering manager shut the doors (huge wooden doors a la Harry Potter). Next, she opens them, the students stand in silence next to their tables, and we proceed into the hall wearing robes. The faculty (and our guest speaker...we had a lecture on meter and prosody before dinner...lecturer from Princeton...VERY good) sat at the high table. We all remained standing until Tricia (program director) banged the gavel, said the blessing in Latin, and the faculty was seated. It was great! We had a fish appetizer, guinea fowl/veggies/potatoes, summer pudding with clotted cream, coffee, and lots of wine. I am a happy camper. Then, we repeated the ceremony (without the prayer) on the way out. Too much fun!

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