The old stones are the best

I fell in love with this city, once upon a time.


Does everyone feel like their university years made them, in a way? Mine made me. And I slogged and read and thought and wrote so much I grew an extra head on one of my fingers, which wasn’t always pleasant, but still. These buildings are in my bones. Almost literally, because I spent so much time in the libraries I nearly fused myself to one of the desks.

It was a really beautiful place to grow into yourself. Leaving aside the extra head. I was so, so lucky.

We were here today to talk about mortgages, which is adult and depressing. But then we drove into the centre of town to eat lunch, run errands and visit at least three toilets (hey thanks, little foetus), and I got to love these streets again and be one of those irritating midweek tourists I hated with a passion when I lived here.

Also, Chinese food. Also, a giant Ben’s Cookie from the Covered Market. Also, Timothy is now off work for the next week and a half, and for at least some of that time we’ll be in PARIS. PARIS, BABY.

Adulthood isn’t all that bad.






Alma mater.

Alma mater. It’s not shrunk; I’ve grown (I mean, outwards).

Want a perfect Oxford day? Here’s mine:

Hit the Ashmolean Museum or the Pitt Rivers (shrunken heads!) early-ish before the crowds.

Tour a college – Magdalen’s a beautiful one; Christ Church is the most famous (Harry Potter alert!); or you could go to Jesus for me – or the Bodleian Library if you’re a bibliophile. 

Eat gourmet bangers and mash for lunch at The Big Bang, or try The Turf for a classic pub atmosphere.

Go to G&D’s ice cream parlour for dessert. Get the chocolate sauce. Always. 

Work off your food with some punting down the Cherwell past the Botanic Gardens. Try not to end up in a hedge. If you can make friends with a student, so much the better – most colleges own their own punts, and students use them for free.

If the weather’s not river-friendly, go up St Mary’s Tower instead for the view of the spires, and then poke around the books in Blackwells (or the toys in Boswells, depending on your preference).

Try a cream tea in the late afternoon: the High Street is full of little cafes. The Grand is the one people rave about. 

If you’re here in the evening, a concert at the Sheldonian Theatre, or whatever’s at the Oxford Playhouse, will make you feel beautifully lah-di-dah. 

Any Oxford favourites of your own? Tell me!

4 thoughts on “The old stones are the best

  1. Oxford made me too 🙂 I love that place with a passion and live down the road. I didn’t go to oxford uni though. But left home in Cyprus at 16 to attend the fe college, a huge step for Fay kind 🙂 good luck with the mortgage, horrible things, don’t forget to work out the repayments at 17% stranger things have happened.

  2. what a fantastic entry! i first visited oxford with my parents and sister on holiday when i was twenty and was immediately overcome with its history and beauty. it was no wonder then when, two years later, i was studying in london through BYU study abroad i knew i had to get back there and spend some time. as part of our experience, our professors arranged for us to stay a week with a british family to further explore a corner of our choosing anywhere in england — i chose oxford and it effected my life more than i ever thought possible, for it was your timothy’s family with whom i stayed and forged an amazing relationship. so oxford will always be one of my favorite places on earth.
    i love how perfect the blend is in oxford: small enough to feel connection to the place in an approachable way but still has the high energy and intellectualism of smart and engaged people. the bikes, the buildings, the green spaces, the shops, the restaurants. there is nowhere like oxford. oh i miss it so!

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