End of break recap

2006-01-15

in Photography, Travel

Obviously, going for a three hour conversation and wander with Emily this morning has not been an adequate mechanism for reducing how much IR reading I will do today. As such, I will supplement it with a bit of summarizing. I will pretend that this is useful because there are plenty of people who haven’t been reading the blog over the break, but who may care to know what’s in it:

Trips to London

Right at the end of Michaelmas Term (December 2nd), I made my first foray out of Oxford. While I didn’t take the extreme step of actually spending the night outside these stone-lined streets, I did have the welcome experience of meeting a huge mass of Canadian grad students at the High Commissioner’s Party. Definitely a thing to go to if you are a Canadian postgrad in the UK during the winter.

There were a pair of quick trips through London on the 16th and 22nd, on the way to and from the Baltic expedition. The high point of these Underground and train station based trips: getting an Oyster Card and therefore becoming about 1% cooler.

Much more substantially, there were the two days in London when I met Ian Townsend-Gault, some relatives of his, and, later on, Michelle Bourbonnais. This is approximately the quick jaunt to London that many people – including me – expected to be a regular feature of Oxford life. The fact that it happens rather less than expected just makes it more unusual and appreciated, however.

The Baltic Trip

Photos

All told, the trip was great fun. It was an opportunity to see a new part of the world, enjoy a lot of good food and company, and spend a stretch of winter in a place where the season feels extremely authentic.

The Occupation Museum also ultimately proved thought provoking.

Christmas in a deserted Oxford

While my determination to pre-read for the coming term and revise my undergraduate thesis did not really come to much, the clamour of demands for me to improve my diet was well addressed over the course of the break: especially during the Christmas period, when hardly anyone was around. While experimenting with omelets and bean stir-fry dishes may seem depressingly elementary to some, it is approaching the limit of my culinary capability and should be pitifully applauded, rather than derided.

As Oxford slowly began to repopulate, Claire’s New Year’s Party proved a tasty and enjoyable way of seeing off the dregs of 2005. That said, I am still putting ‘2005’ on all manner of forms and scholarship applications. Such changes percolate into my mind only quite slowly.

The home stretch

The last period of the break was characterized by a focus on a single individual, though it doesn’t feel much like the kind of thing that is appropriate to summarize in a few lines in a link-laden entry. Suffice it to say that time spent with Louise was a high point of the break.

Posts with substantive content

Breaking with my usual practice of a focus on the minutiae of living and studying in Oxford, I wrote a collecton of posts on actual topics over the break. In reverse chronological order:

I also shifted the blog to a new domain, moved all the photos, revised the directory structure, fixed the template, worked on a huge amount of behind-the-scenes stuff, and generally got the thing to the point when I can stop tinkering with it.

Not too bad for six weeks, though I need to get back to neorealism now.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 16, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Not to distract you overly, but I found a copy of “Around the World in 80 Days” available online for free

Milan January 16, 2006 at 7:54 pm

Don’t tell me these things when I should be doing work. My brain goes straight to: “I could read that in a few hours…”

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