A small tour of Oxford
Yesterday I finally did something that I really wanted to do before I leave Oxford, which is climbing up the Magdalen college tower! Not easy to do at all, since it's only open to college members, and even that after lots of paperwork. But a friend from Magdalen managed to do it and take us up there, which was such a lovely thing - so I thought I'd give a tiny little tour of Oxford from this angle, since it's not something that is easy to visit!
Magdalen tower is at the very edge of central Oxford, just before the Magdalen bridge that leads out into east Oxford, to St Clements, and London Road, and the vibrant Cowley:
Out there in east Oxford is where I actually live and work! Very different from the old city centre, but still quite lovely.
Magdalen is right opposite my favourite place in Oxford - the Botanic Garden, which the Pullman fans among you have definitely heard of:
This is Magdalen College itself, with its grounds and cloisters and (I'm not joking) a deer park:
A view into the city center:
The highest tower in this image is the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, which has a great viewing spot of its own at the top of the tower, and the grey round cupola is the Radcliffe Camera - part of the Bodleian Library and kind-of the central square of Oxford.
And some details from the tower itself:
That's it for the little tour! To wrap it up, I'll say that Oxford as a university is definitely a complicated place; there are things about it that I love and other things that I don't like at all. But Oxford the city is so very beautiful, and I just want to share it with other people! As a grad student I don't actually spend my days in those beautiful buildings, our life is quite different from that stereotypical posh Oxford image - but I still love the city with all my heart, and I hope its beauty can serve as some study, or travel, or writing inspiration for someone.
Bonus: the honest to God actual working key to the tower that is about as large and heavy as an average hammer
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National Black Cat Day
Happy #BlackCatDay! This is a bronze statue of the cat-goddess Bastet, made 715-343 BC in Egypt.
Whilst there are many Cat Goddesses and lion gods, Bastet is the only one represented as a domestic cat. In ancient Egypt, Bastet was the goddess of the home, domesticity, cats, fertility and childbirth. She was known to protect the home from evil spirits and diseases, especially those affecting women and children. Bastet was also the daughter of the sun god Re (the all-seeing eye).
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