Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Picture Post: Summer is Here!

After close to a month and a half of below normal temperatures and rain and overcast skies, the weather gods have finally decided to smile down on England.  Yesterday it probably got up to 24 and today it's supposed to get up to 26!  I'm going to have to start getting a bit creative fashion-wise - we didn't bring very much summer wear with us when we moved over here.

Yesterday, we went to see Terry Eagleton, the famed Marxist literary critic, speak on his book Why Marx Was Right.  I actually found myself agreeing with a lot of what he was saying, because if you actually look at the historical Marx, you'll find he was actually quite bourgeois and a reformist as well as a radical.  Eagleton seemed to moderate Marx, which in turn makes him look much more compelling.  Also, he stated very firmly that any present-day socialist has to admit that a) Marx was very bad at predicting the future and b) that Stalinist Russia must always be seen as a failure of Marx's principles.  Also, he was a very engaging and self-deprecating speaker.  In the 1970s, he wrote a Marxist study of the Brontes, Myths of Power, which I cited in my master's thesis.

And now, on to the photos.  I took these two days ago, which was our first very sunny day, and they mark a familiar walking route I like to take in central Oxford.

I started from the Faculty of English and first made a stop at Mansfield College to check my pigeonhole (or "pidge") for mail (there wasn't any).  This is Mansfield's lovely chapel.

I then headed south down Mansfield Road, past this glorious copper beech.  (That's what I overheard someone referring to it as the other day - mostly I just love the deep red leaves.  We don't get a lot of trees like that at home).

I went to Broad St., where the Sheldonian Theatre and the Museum of the History of Science (to its right) were looking lovely and golden in the sun.

Then I stopped at my favourite, favourite Oxford bookstore, the original Blackwell's.  I took a quick swing through the Children's and YA section and then popped upstairs to check out Literature and Poetry.  But I was very good and didn't buy a thing.

I headed back down Broad for the History Faculty Library, housed in the lovely Old Indian Institute building, for a most mundane purpose - returning a library book.

On my way back to the English Faculty (and my bike), I passed my favourite churchyard, which has quite old tombstones and an interesting mix of light and shadow, because it is so heavily treed.  Walter Pater, the Victorian essayist, is buried here.

This photo is just from last night, but it was such a nice view of Keble College's very distinctive chapel that I couldn't resist.


  1. It's so pretty! Though temps in celsius mean absolutely nothing to me, lol. I'm assuming it's probably slightly cooler than the weather we've been having in Oklahoma :D

  2. It is indeed very pretty. It's strange to live in a city that's so old!

    Also, yes, I'm sure it isn't quite as warm as Oklahoma. However, the humidity is higher than it was at homes on the prairies, so that's taking a bit of getting used to.