First familial visit

2006-03-22

in Daily updates, Travel

My mother and I at Kashmir, Cowley Road

My mother arrived in Oxford this evening – the first family member I’ve seen since I left Vancouver in September. We will be in Oxford until early Saturday morning, when we are heading to Gatwick for our flight to Malta.

By the time my mother had deposited bags in my room and the one in college where she is staying, it was already getting dark. We took a quick spin around Wadham – looking into the chapel and gardens – before walking past the Radcliffe and across the Magdalen Bridge for dinner at Kashmir, on the Cowley Road. Fortified with curry, we stopped for a pint at The Turf, sitting outside beside one of the coal fires while something like a bachelor’s party raged within.

Tomorrow, I am planning to give a couple of short walking tours for her. The first will sweep northward, past Rhodes House and the Natural History Museum, stopping at St. Antony’s and the Church Walk flat where I will live for the summer. Heading back through the university parks, we will stop by the department before returning to Wadham via New College. The second, longer, track will go into the Codrington and then University and Magdalen Colleges, before heading to the Christ Church Meadows through the botanical gardens. Stopping at Christ Church itself, we will then go have a look at the main quad of Nuffield. That should constitute a good introduction to Oxford that includes most of the places that are personally important to me.

Along with some new clothes, my mother brought other valuable provisions. Pens – including nine of the four colour pens that are my note taking staple – and bike accessories are both very useful, as I suspect the small sling style pack may prove. She also brought a travel alarm clock, wicking toque, and book by Jeffrey Sachs that was a gift from a family friend. Unpacking it all in my room in Library Court felt like a kind of belated Christmas. Once again, I feel very well equipped.

The upcoming Malta trip is increasingly exciting, even though Claire’s studiousness is making me anxious about the upcoming exam. I will be sure to acquire what books remain at the SSL to accompany me to this small Mediterranean country, though I have no doubts about how many of their pages will get flipped while I am there. The pressure of immanent examinations is good for young minds, anyhow.

PS. Congratulations to my friend Matthew Tindall, who got his iron ring today. In Canada, they are given to new engineers, as a symbol of responsibility, in reference to a bridge in Quebec that collapsed due to miscalculations. More information is here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 22, 2006 at 10:29 pm

This photo is extremely similar to one of you and Louise in almost the same part of the same restaurant – posted back in January.

B March 23, 2006 at 2:21 am

With regard to the iron rings:

“Rumours persist that the original rings were fabricated from the wreckage of the Québec Bridge, which collapsed during construction in 1907. Although this is false, the Québec Bridge is still significant. That bridge, whose 1,800 foot main span was to be the largest cantilever structure in the world, collapsed under its own weight because of an error in the design engineer’s calculations. The bridge was redesigned, but suffered a second accident in 1916, when its center span fell while being hoisted into place. Finally, in 1917 the bridge was completed and stood across the St. Lawrence River as a symbolic gateway into Canada. The bridge still stands today as a reminder to Canadian engineers to take care with their designs and to persevere in the face of adversity.”

In any case, good for your friend.

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