Monday, 23 July 2012

We Have Hostages! (I mean 'Visitors'! 'Visitors'!)

Sarah, Belinda and Honor have arrived at last! A day later than expected (today is Belinda's 9th birthday. "Happy Birthday to yooou, Happy Birthday tooo yoooou!") but still enough time to be able to bug them properly.

I'm back on the sofa. What can you do.

It's late. Over and out.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bombay Bicycle Club

I've just been typing up the last bit of the Oxford trip (pretty sensational stuff), but because it's rather a solid bit of writing I'm not quite finished. By way of a break I thought you might appreciate this video, I really like the music at the moment (although actually probably isn't the favourite of Bombay Bicycle Club songs) and the dancing in the video I think is really something.

I'm very suprised that it doesn't have more views. Do hope you like it.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Running Here, There and Everywhere (In Oxford) cont.

I was a tad worried heading up for dinner in the college hall. You've probably already fathomed that I'd arrived on my tod and since then had spotted a couple of other potential Open Day visitor-y-like people wandering about, mostly in groups.

I think I prefer organising/turning up to these sort of things (most sort of these sort of things) on my own. Not from any vaguely anti-social feeling in fact rather the opposite. It strikes me that arriving in a group is not particularly conducive to any form of social interaction with fellow Open Day-ees; they are hardly more likely to attempt the approach of a rather threatening looking crowd of Almost-Scots, whilst there is far less motivation to put in the effort trying to chat to anyone whom you don't know at all yourself.

Returning to the narrative.

Making sure to be on time, cleaned up and everything, trotted down to the hall if anything five minutes early and louged about in a casual manner with the two or so other people cool enough to have turned up. One of the organisers meandered over to where I had based myself and began trying to wheedle an intelligible conversation out of me. Needless to say this was an effort doomed to failure; two minutes in she chanced to mention the dinner ticket which had been doled out at our arrival.

Said ticket was naturally now languishing on the desk, all four floors up in my at-the-other-side-of-the-considerable-college-grounds room.

People were trickling about. The atmosphere, intense.

With the dire prospect of a ticketless plea for dinner now looming I did the heroic thing, I made a break for it.
Leaving the poor unsuspecting girl in a state of near-speechless shock, I strode away, reaching as far as the archway at the end of the hall which I was counting on to conceal the undignified sprint I immediately broke into.
 A Brief Interlude

Just discovered a dried up contact lens beside the mouse-mat. How'd that get there?

Self  in a slightly sweatier state ("eeeeewwww!". Ok, ok, calm it Janet.), safely sauntered into the serving space, secure in the assurance of the certainty of supper*. A lot of tasty looking stuff gets swifly piled onto my plate, then the daunting matter of a loner locating a socially acceptable seat.

A couple of girls who undoubtledly noticed my blank demeanor and misinterpreted it as having some meaning (possibly lost, not sure. Sorry! Too much parenthesis.) had the decency to beckon me over. They had acted in a sedate fashion in the queue so I judged it safe to draw near and deposit myself in their locale.

The remainder of dinner (which I feel I'm probably dwelling a bit too much over. It's simply to set the atmosphere.) passed relatively unremarkably. One of my newly introduced co-Magdalen-habiters was called Alice. Wrack my insignificant grey matter though I might, I can't remember the other. Megan? Susan? Ahh. :(
We indulged in idle chatter, marvelled at the unexpectedness of the flavour of a lime/lemon tart, discussed our present situation... and considering that I'm in danger of going off on a serious tangent, I shall take the opportunity my 'dot dot dot' affords, and skip ahead.

They generously consented to my presence for the rest of the evening. It was about 8pm, we tried to grab a quick tea from the local Starbucks, found that a group of their associates were roaming the town, dropped the -idea of- tea, linked up with said associates, grabbed a quick tea from the local Starbucks**, did some more roaming in the direction of acommodation and finally settled down to some pretty tense games of cards***.
Having alternately won and failed miserably, I slunk into bed with the comforting assertion that perhaps I wasn't an utter social pariah.

* Enjoying some spontaneous alliteration. Minimal Thesaurus use *winks*.
** You haven't just gone back a few lines. Retain the will to keep reading.
***Snap not least amongst them.

 Starting on a new day and therefore -wait for it- an entirely new set of footnotes! Which I am now substituting in place of more disruptive forms of parenthsis.

After getting up distressingly early for a seriously devout jog, breakfast passed quickly in the presence of Alice and MeganorpossiblySusan*, we sat for a while contemplating a stray, drifting plastic bag, then bade our unintentionally last cheerios and headed off in various directions known only to ourselves.

Dumping my bags in the auditoreum and procuring a program of Magdalen college events, I set my sights on some rumoured Classics/Archaeology/Latin lectures/events and started to draw up a general mental plan of the day.

There were four C/A/L talks on the menu, of which I had thought only one would apply. However when I got there, I found the tutors so infectiously enthusiastic I sat in for three, spending my last sat in the hall with numerous bits of paper drafting up a finalized version of 'things to do' and torturing a number of students/tutors.

The first lecture was a basic introduction to the different courses on offer and a bit on admissions.

Following that, an incredibly enigmatic chap launched himself into a speech on Herodotus, by the end of which I was positively mourning my intention to embark on another course. I was experiencing a moment of black despair when a mere ten minutes from the end I heard him pull up suddenly, and apologise for his lack of concentration on the second part of the course, Classical Archaeology.
I profess myself elated.

The final talk was interesting, but not the stuff I am into myself. I'll press on.

The silly thing was then having to cross central Oxford to pick up my money -else go lunchless-, since I ended up back pretty much next to the Classics Department at one of the few quieter cafes left to Oxford this day. This did though provide the chance to stick my head into a couple of colleges (mostly Corpus Christie) I was hoping to take a shufti at but wasn't able to at present due to the impending interview with subject-you-are-interested-in tutors I had been automatically booked into at Magdalen*.

Then, as I said, lunch. And a sprint back to Magdalen.
* But I think sadly neither.
** And one of which I had been fortunate enough to have met already at the Classics thingy (technical term).

Owing to it being nearly 11.15pm, my having had an early (6.30am) start, and an escalating headache, I'm going to have to call it a night.

This is very frustrating, there is so much happening NOW and I still have a fair-ish text to type on this!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Running Here, There and Everywhere (in Oxford).

When We Arrive.
I signed up to the Oxford Open Day newsletter aaaages ago. In fact I was getting a tad worried, it would have been very possible and typical of my luck to have accidentally sent it to the 'DELETED' folder in one grand sweep of my inbox.

These purges are conducted periodcally.

I digress. Long and short of it is, one fine morning as I was perusing my daily inflow of mail, it was with delight that I found myself scanning information regarding dates on which to show up for these Open Days. Speedy as a ninja (and having first confirmed with Papa that this was all well and good and truly ok) I pounced on the University website, following some deliberation carefully selected Magdalen and applied to stay overnight on the 26th/27th.

So, it was settled that three of us would go down on the train, Lyovka, Papa and I. I, because necesse erat, Papa because it was a nice idea and Lyovka because the nice idea extended to him.

I must say, the southward journey passed in a relatively uneventful fashion. Actually, I can't really remember it. Hmph.

The fun began on our arrival. Since I was staying over in Magdalen we first scooted over to where the other two were to be kipping down. One of the brilliant things I quickly rediscovered were the Latin inscriptions, everywhere! I realise that maybe some people think this is less than thrilling, but personally I find it a tad like being (at least partially) in on some sort of secret language, covert messages spread throughout the city. In other words, really quite exciting.
They were staying in a hall originally housing monks. As this had been mentioned to me already, naturally it slipped my mind. So whilst they were upstairs stowing their stuff I sat downstairs spotting more and more religious-y thingymigummies and finally declaring to Lev when we got outside that I thought the place had some religious connection. A disbelieving stare was quite rightly my reply.

All three of us then trotted along to Magdalen. We were sent to chat to the porters who very helpfully gave me a key and in turn sent us on in the general direction of accommodation.

My room by night. Shoes already planted firmly in the middle of the floor. It was good while it lasted.
Say hello.

Having done a bit more dumping of stuff, we had tea (the appropriate thing to do considering the circumstances), following which we split off, went our separate ways, generally said 'toodles'... & etc. I had a prior appointment with dinner (in collegium) and I suspect that they had something similar.

Need dictates that I must sleep now. Cheerio 'till tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Further Procrastination

I have to write about Oxford tomorrow. After three days of perfect idolence, I can't put it off any longer. Remind me please.

There, I've told you, now I have to do it.    >.<

 Update (13th July): Well that worked. Ouch.