Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random Weekend in Cambridge Thread

I’m on a three hour bus ride to Cambridge (Yes, it takes that long. Yes, it’s ridiculous.) mainly to study the windows at Kings College and to enjoy the first choral services of the term there.

So I thought I’d catch up on some random thoughts. I don’t know when I’ll get around to posting them though.

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Jan Morris, in her book Oxford, wrote of a malaise in the atmosphere of the town that drags the spirit down or at least makes it complacent. I looked askance when I read that back in Texas. But now I think I know what’s she was talking about.

For I’ve had a couple bouts of malaise, even mild depression. I don’t quite know why. Maybe it is something in the air in Oxford. Or that the pleasant weather and long days are quickly becoming unpleasant and short.

I’ve even been mildly homesick a couple times. I haven’t been homesick since I was a little kid! That this is by far the longest I’ve been away from home since college is probably part of it. That I miss my friendships back home is surely another.

It’s strange. I’ve reminded myself that I’m in an awesome situation. I should be happy! And lately I have been. I’m in good spirits now. But I’ve certainly experienced some of that Oxford malaise.

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I’m always content in the Oxford University libraries, however. Yes, I’m strange. But they are also amazing. You wouldn’t believe what they have just on the open shelves. The surroundings also inspire one to read.

I’m glad the lecture part of the semester is over so I can spend more time reading and exploring in the libraries. Sitting and listening is not the best or most enjoyable way for me to learn anyway.

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I’m in Cambridge now. One difference between Oxford and Cambridge: in Cambridge, you can get a hotel room in the middle of town, look out your window . . . and see cows.

In fact, after a pint (ONE pint mind you, with food) across this path through their pasture, I had conversation with them on the way back. Very therapeutic.

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By the way, I probably won’t post this until I get back in Oxford Sunday night. The internet charges are so ridiculous where I’m staying, I thought it best to just fast from the net. I’m dedicating my fast to prayer for the Common Cause bishops meeting (even though it will probably be over by the time I’m back in touch with the Anglican world).

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With Labour well ahead in the polls, there may be a parliamentary election called while I’m here. Fun, fun!

But not so fun for the Conservatives. Their leader David Cameron is, well, a loser. He doesn’t really give any reason to vote for him, either in his personage or his issues. If I were a Brit, about the only reason I’d vote Conservative is that they aren’t Labour.

The Conservatives certainly aren’t the party of Maggie Thatcher anymore. And Labour PM Brown shrewdly played on that by having her pay a high profile visit to 10 Downing Street recently.

I wonder if The Monster Raving Looney Party is still around.

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On the bus back to Oxford now. Except for noise issues at my hotel, it was a great weekend. I hope to have a post or two up about it soon.

But I wish it wasn’t such a long bus trip back. I want to get back online and catch up with people! Besides, I still don’t know anything about how the Common Cause bishops meeting came out.

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Back. And dead tired.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Dear Waffler

I've never voted Labour in my life, but I'd vote for Gordon Brown - unfortunately his constituency is the one to the east of mine. He's the most honest politician we've had in charge for years. Tony Blair is a non-person, one reason why he's sunk without trace now he's gone.