Here is a Bank Holiday treat for you. Travel to the city of dreaming spires in the company of Washington Post columnist and Oxford Reuters Fellow John Kelly. John is spending a year in Oxford with his family studying journalism but his blog shows that he is really examining the strange and lovely way of life in an English University town.
He does a good take on the May Day morning fun at the river where the authorities try to stop students who want to commit suicide by jumping into two feet of water.
Check out his wonderful mini-documentary on the ancient ceremony of ‘beating the bounds’ which has had to become a bit more modern now the ritual takes the parishioners through Marks and Spencers.
I lived in Oxford for eight years and my children were born there so I have some affection for the place. Although if you are not a University person the relationship is ambivalent. In the spring sunshine with the blossom out it is one of England’s greenest and most charming of places, despite the braying privilege and self-satisfied scholasticism that lurks around every medieval corner.
Kelly is an intelligent and ironic guide to the oddness of living there and a great example of how blogging can share an experience and, I suspect, revitalise his already-excellent journalistic ability.
Thanks, Charlie. You’re right that on a day like today Oxford seems a magical place. But even IN the place it can be hard to feel OF the place. Perhaps if I was wearing a robe….