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The weather almost had us back indoors today, but by the time we got going the sun had struggled out from behind the clouds. Jen and I did some food shopping at the farmers’ market, then met Mark. As an Oxford University student, Mark is allowed into all the colleges for free, whereas visitors normally have to pay a fee (between 2-5 pounds). So we used our handy Oxford University student privileges and wandered around some colleges.

First off we went to Trinity, which has some gorgeous grounds. There is a section with a rambly path and lots of beautiful spring flowers. After all the greyness of the last few days, it was refreshing to see the green and the red so vivid in the sunlight.

We wandered back through the town and bought some Cornish pasties for lunch, then sat down at the meadow behind Christ Church College to eat. You wouldn’t know it from such a perfect pastoral-looking picture, but the main street of Oxford is just a few metres to the left. Apparently there are often cows grazing on the meadow too, but not today.

After lunch we went in to Christ Church College. If the pics look vaguely familiar, you may have seen some of these interiors in the Harry Potter movies. The architecture is something else, though; you just stare up at the vaulted ceilings in wonder. I asked Mark whether he was taken by the architecture, studying here and he said “Yes, it’s aesthetically very inspiring.”

The last stop was Magdalen College (there is argument over how to pronounce it – Magdalen or Maudlin? After reading this article, I’m no more enlightened). This is the college where people like Oscar Wilde studied, and CS Lewis taught (his rooms were in the building pictured below). It’s a huge college and very, very pretty. It also has its own deer park, because that’s an essential factor to getting a degree.

We were all pretty trashed by the time we finished walking around. I came back to the Remont and had a sleep, we had dinner and watched more DVDs and none of us could really hold a conversation of any sort. Having said that, though, it’s been so wonderful to spend such a long, lovely, uninterrupted slab of time with my excellent friends. I have missed them so.

My holiday is 2/3 over; time slips by so quickly. And yet I’m tired and feel like it would be good to hit the pause button for a bit so I can just get myself back together. If only Australia wasn’t so far away from all these places. Three weeks is such a short time to fit all this…stuff into. But I’m not complaining! I’m so grateful that I’ve had the chance to come over here. It has been a great tonic for the soul.