Monday, June 6, 2011

In England

The sky is gray, it has been raining on and off, and so the weather is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from England. We're in Oxford again for a couple of weeks, for me to get some work done, and to see if Jonathan remembers anything of the year we spent here when he was 3 and 4.

So far, he remembers only one playground. He does not remember our old neighborhood, the park we walked through daily, our church, his school, or double cream. No double cream?

We visited our old church this morning, and I recognized at least half the people there, although I had forgotten all their names (and they had forgotten mine). People were very friendly. Remarkably so. Tim commented that he wished we were staying another month, to spend a little more time with people we used to know.

As I said, Jonathan pretty much has no memory of the year we spent here. So we've been reintroducing him. He is a big fan of the double decker buses, and wants to take the bus whenever possible. In one week, he has been to most of the museums around Oxford, and he has the stamina now to appreciate them more than when he was only three.

Friday, after I finished work, Jonathan took me through the Pitt Rivers museum. He and Tim had toured it the day before while I was working, and I wanted a turn. The museum website says that the museum "displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world." Pretty much it's a huge room full of stuff, much of it from time of British imperialism. I found it partly creepy (19th century shrunken heads) and partly truly horrifying. For example, the label next to a suit of chain mail reads something about how the mail was taken from the body of a dead soldier after a battle in Africa, in which the British, seeking vengeance over something, slaughtered about 10,000 poorly armed people. At least they are upfront about the history.

Tim has been working nights, and I have been working days, and Jonathan has been swapping parents midday. This weekend, our only weekend in England, we did that which is unacceptable tourist behavior. Instead of getting up early and taking the train to see all of London, we slept late, then slept some more, and spent Saturday reading, barely leaving the house. It isn't what we had planned, but somehow the schedule, or the jet lag, or something had been wearing us down, and we were all happy to rest. Tomorrow we'll go back to the serious business of work and tourism.

In all, it has been nice to be back in Oxford, if only for a short time.


Anonymous said...

You rented the house to rest didn't you? Take it easy and have fun - isn't that what a vacation is supposed to be?
Hope you have a great time.

Letterpress said...


I made Dave promise to take me back to York. I may end up going there some day in my ghostly dreams, at the rate we are going.

Have a great time--really great. And yes, get some rest, too.