i have adventures (sometimes)

Sunday, 16 October 2011


15:17 Posted by Ali , , , No comments
With three members of the Wits Latin Club in the country at the same time, how could we not meet up for picnics, fun times, and hopeless attempts to translate Latin inscriptions? I argued in favour of York, but Oxford won by virtue of being in the South (and, all right, because it's prettier). So Robyn and her sister Kerith came from London, and I got up at the crack of dawn so that we could all converge on Andrew in Oxford. It was cold.

It turns out that the early morning is really beautiful. It's a pity you have to get up so early to see it.   

After a three hour train ride, I arrived in Oxford, where the others found me (Andrew all dressed up in subfusc, because Oxford could never be accused of being too progressive), and we made our way back to Andrew's halls to drink tea and plan our day.

And illicitly try on Andrew's silly hat (which he's not allowed to wear but has to carry).
I'm starting to think I've already been in this country too long, because the blue sky and sunshine made me disproportionately excited. I was practically skipping when we set off to explore. I didn't even have to wear a scarf. Madness! We sneaked into a few colleges without paying by the simple procedure of striding in looking really purposeful (and trying not to take our cameras out too soon), and saw some of the important sights. Andrew, being the impeccable host that he is, insisted on buying us all lunch. I put up only a token fight, because after what I'd spent on the train trip to get there, living on oats for the rest of the month was looking not unlikely.

Team Latin outside the exam hall.
Vuvuzela angel at the Bodleian.
Being eccentric outside the History of Science Museum.

At Balliol, Andrew's college.
Blackwell's. <3
Playing the violin on a tightrope. Like you do.
Once we felt that we'd been sufficiently touristy, we bought snacks and went to picnic prope rivum, which seemed appropriate, especially considering that prope rivum was the setting of our very first Latin story. The story also contained joyful singing, so I sang a little bit of "If You Were Gay", but we didn't bother to stick too closely to the rest of the story, because we didn't have any wolves (and we no longer really remember any Latin). The only sadness was that two of our members were missing (and I'd failed to track down the love of Andrew's life, whose last known location was York).

Picnicking in the sun.

Our lower halves don't like each other. But it's ok, our upper halves do!
Posing like a swan. Posing for a portrait. Posing a threat!
We took a slow walk back to Andrew's to collect stuff, and then they walked me to the station so I could catch a train back to York in time to get the last bus back to campus. Every now and then, I'm actually good at forward planning. I surprise myself.

But not that good at forward planning, because I got to the bus stop a minute too late for the number 4 bus, which was the one I'd (forward-thinkingly) bought a return ticket for that morning. The next one was only in half an hour, so I patiently waited in the cold and dark for ten minutes until I was lured in by the warm glow of the number 44, even though it meant buying another ticket and sacrifing my forward-thought return. But getting back to campus before midnight was well worth the extra pound.

And spending the day with good friends was well worth the early morning, late night, and two long train rides. We may not remember much Latin, but that doesn't mean we don't have awesome adventures.


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