' " .... Oh my lost youth. Here are the ducks coming up for the remains of our sandwiches. Twenty-three years ago I fed these identical ducks with these identical sandwiches."
"Ten years ago, I too fed them to bursting point."
"And ten and twenty years hence the same ducks and the same undergraduates will share the same ritual feast, and the ducks will bite the undergraduates' fingers as they had just bitten mine. How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks" '
(Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night)
Forty-five and ten years ago Dad and I arrived in our city of dreams, and today we went back to celebrate the retirement of the Master of our college. We had lunch at the Turf Tavern, walked around Christchurch Meadows (where the ducks were still begging for picnics)
and went to a gently reminiscent garden party on the Fellows Lawn. I would guess that there were 5 -10 old members from each year and a few more from the most recent years so it was a good turn out, the pimms was delicious, and the cake and chocolate jellies were wonderful. There was not a mushroom or a chicken Kiev to be seen (when I was an undergrad all meals contained mushrooms and chicken Kiev was standard fare for all special occasions!).
Oxford (congratulations if you guess correctly) on a long sunny summer's day has an essentially timeless quality - something to do with sunwashed stone and neverending lines of Japanese tourists! I loved my time there, my college is a second home and I've yet to find people from other colleges who have the same deep affection and loyalty for their alma mater - which is reflected in a remarkable statistic from today - 30% of all the former students of the college give money to support it - more than any other college in Oxford or Cambridge and any other UK higher education establishment. And anyway, what's not to like about a place that looks like this:
Those windows in the tower with the curtains closed were the sitting room part of my set in my Second year - the bedroom was the other side of the tower and looked out north above the Oxford skyline
Main quad - chapel on the left and hall on the right
The family resemblance - cheesy smiles and a combined 9 years of academia!
In other news, I had VERY exciting post this morning:
Socktopus Club installment 4 and another definite hit - I love the yarn (Dream in Colour Smooshy), the pattern is intricate and based on pistachio gelato and courgette flowers and the bag... well what isn't to like about the bag :) - I'm itching to get going on the socks, I might just have to go and see what size needles they need!
I'm still a couple of steps behind on the sock club front and I'm currently working on the third installment from the Rockin Sock Club - Cleopatra's Stockings:
Which were discovered today growing in our new lavender plant!