Oh Oxford. What to say about Oxford? If I didn't want to go to school here before, I sure do now. Actually, before I was more on the "yes" side of "not sure". But whatever.
I did have to go buy earplugs today. My little B&B is lovely, and I had my first hot breakfast in 6 weeks (this from someone who used to have a hot breakfast every single day). However, aside from the fact that I'm a light sleeper, and especially in a new place where the new sounds tend to keep me awake, there's also a grandfather clock in the downstairs hallway that strikes the hour, every hour, all night long, followed abut 30 seconds later by a much larger clock doing the same thing somewhere outside.
Oh earplugs, you magical things.
But it's so nice to have my own room and a nice hot, ample breakfast in the morning. Also not having to use a communal shower (the bathrooms are shared, but at least they're one person at a time) is great.
I met up with a friend from McGill today, whom I hadn't seen in over 2 years. It was great - the weather seemed to be threatening rain this morning, but by the time we finished Mass and the lunch that followed it was warm and sunny. So we walked around all afternoon, and she took me in some of the colleges just to give me an idea of what they were like, and we talked a lot about people we used to know, other things in our lives, and what it's like living and studying at Oxford. It was really lovely - besides seeing an old friend and being able to catch up, it was nice to have someone to walk around with on my first day. I feel much more situated now, and I can associate things on the map with things in real life.
Though, as happened in Iowa, I have completely lost my sense of direction. It's because I have changed my relative position to the magnetic north pole, I'm convinced. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. At least in Dublin the wind is always blowing from the west!
The architecture is striking - I feel half the time like I'm wandering through a movie set or fantasy land. I haven't gotten used to this whole idea of Europe having thousands of years of preserved history yet. It's not like we can randomly walk through 1,000 year old Iroquois longhouses at home.
Now I have to get some work done. My original plan had been to do some reading when I got home at 5, but I ended up sleeping until 8:15pm (right through the clocks chiming, I might add). But I do have to sound intelligent when I head to the Bodleian Library tomorrow and then meet with a professor who I hope to eventually work with, so I'll be hitting the books for the next little while. And also looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast. =)