So, in order to get my recent feelings of homesickness and sadness under control I have started to structure my days much more. With the storm ravaging Oxford, there’s not much motivation to do much at all. My days usually start with going to the gym in the morning and then in the afternoon I go to a café to write. This has worked pretty well so far and I am making great progress with my major project. Although I have to do a lot of changes again. But there is still a lot of time until I actually have to hand it in. Because the story is set in Australia I have done some research on my second (third?) home again; since then my wanderlust has started tickling my wings again.
Actually, up until a few days ago I thought apart from the storm that Oxford was quite well off with the weather. Waking up and looking out into the garden proved me otherwise.
Another attempt to get more active and energetic again was to get back to exploring Oxford. The weather was absolutely gorgeous yesterday. I believe it was the first real spring day. It was sunny and warm and I decided I should go see more of the pretty things in my city again. And it really helped me. I feel very happy today.
So I decided to walk up to Port Meadow. Checking Google maps it looked like a huge park, so a perfect destination for a sunny walk on a Sunday. Passing Magdalen Bridge I first realised how much Oxford IS affected by the storm and rain.
This is usually the boat house to enter the punts and the park seen from Magdalen Bridge.
When I found the little trail next to the Thames I was really astonished at the scenery. There were signs of spring everywhere; the houseboats were so cute and lovely – they did remind me of the gypsies in His Dark Materials of course, probably Pullman was inspired by them as well?; the houses that are right next to the water are so lovely, I can actually imagine myself owning one of those and just hopping into my little canoe early in the morning with the mist still lingering over the surface…
This tree had curly hair 🙂
Even the pigeons were enjoying the sun…
Definitely my favourite boat… Sherlock!!
When I found the entrance to the park, the first thing I saw: horses! Perfect!
But then there was a huge puddle that blocked the way to enter the park. I talked to a very nice lady with two very cute dogs and she had the same problem. She decided to wet her shoes and just walk through. I suggested we could walk through barefoot. Well, her shoes remained on her feet – mine didn’t. Oh, it was like walking through pure ice. And because there were rough stones underneath I couldn’t even hurry through. But it was worth it and in the end my feet were much warmer than my hands…
That’s where I had to walk through… brrr…
The Nature Reserve reminded me a lot of Australia again.
Standing next to the water was so peaceful. The sound of the waves against the stones filled the air, birds singing, dogs barking – the sound of spring!
I cuddled with a horse on my way out of the park, which was where my shoes finally got muddy.
To finish this off nicely I met a friend for lunch at the Italian place Zizzi in George Street. Yummy!
It was a very nice day, which now leaves me hopeful that summer is to come this year after all!
A fitting kind of nature-related fun fact about Oxford this time:
The name Oxford comes from the old term ‘Oxanforda‘ which literally meant a ford (shallow crossing) in the river where the cattle (Oxen) could cross safely.