Female. 21. British. Student.
This blog details the life of a University student as she tumbles down the rabbit hole, while living in the Wonderland of Oxford. From posts about daily events, and purchases, to odd recipes, and quotes that have inspired me.
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Yesterday, I was quite the naughty vegan, but I’ll come to that later. This week is the enrollment/induction week for my Masters course in Book History and Publishing Culture. As an ice-breaker, my fellow classmates and I were asked to come up with a Literary Tour together. Due to past volunteer work, I have previously had the pleasure of going on the Blackwells Literary Tour in Oxford, as we as the Bodleian Library Tour. From this I learnt that even the local Pizza Express has some history.
Behold, The Oxford Preservation Trusts, ‘The Painted Room’, project. The now Pizza Express encapsulates the remains of the 14th century Crown Tavern with remarkable Elizabethan wall paintings. There is also a Shakespearean link as he was friendly with John and Jane Davenant, the vintners, staying with them on way between London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Pictured is where Shakespeare would have spent the night.
Obviously creating a Literary Tour is thirsty work, so other than treating ourselves to a couple of pints in various literary pubs, we also nourished ourselves at the Pizza Express. Now I love creating my own meal with sides and starters, rather then set menu items. Therefore, I treated myself to a lovely Mozzarella & Tomato salad, served with fresh basil, pesto and extra virgin olive oil. As well as some Polenta Chips, with rosemary, and finished with Gran Moravia cheese, served with honey and mustard dressing.
— The Medicine of Hope
As I attempt to amuse myself, while I stare at my packed bags, stressing over tomorrows moving day, I thought I’d share the pretty (dare I say) girly hardback (cloth-bound) editions of Lord of the Rings I have on my book shelf. Which, also include The Hobbit as well, and are produced by HarperCollins. I actually bought these in last years Black Friday event via Amazon - this purchase was quite stressful in itself! The Tree of Gondor on the spines just about makes up for this though.
This set originally retails for around £50, so I was overjoyed to get it for £20. Due to my impulsive nature, I originally panic bought the 3 book set, not realizing that the 4 book set would be on offer later in the day. So, I simply cancelled my original order. When it was time to ‘claim’ the larger set, I couldn’t! It was supposedly out of stock… until about 10-20 minutes later when it was suddenly back in the deals section, in stock. Good job I waited around eagerly! I was quite annoyed.
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
A ‘graduation present’ seemed like a alien concept to my parents, until I mentioned it about a million times (subtly of course). However, fortunately enough, about a month after my graduation we travel to Bicester Village, in Oxfordshire for a ‘graduation shopping trip’. There, in the Vivienne Westwood store is where I gazed upon my new favourite possessions, a Mini Bas Relief Pendant in Light Topaz, and the matching bracelet. A pair of earrings would complete this set, but my lobes are not pierced, and neither will they ever be (conventional earrings don’t suit me for some reason). Nevermind, a VW bag will be my next purchase!
— Warsan Shire
Don’t you just think that is one of the best brand names ever? Especially for a sunglasses brand - Jeepers Peepers. No, no one else seems to understand my appreciation for such wittiness either. My excitement may actually be stemming from the fact that my new pair of sunglasses are an exact dupe of the pair I bought from Forever 21… three years ago, and subsequently broke tragically a couple of months ago. I was distraught when I broke my last pair, and have subsequently been attempting to superglue them to death, until I stumbled upon these on ASOS here.
In the intermittent months I have tried sporting a pair of River Island half metal framed ones, which have done the job well enough. I also dabbled with a pair of Topshop 60s round framed ones, due to my Taylor Momsen idolization, but alas I looked rather odd in them. Sunglasses are a necessity for me, due to sensitive eyes (even at 3am in the morning), however finding styles that suit my oddly shaped head is hard. I subsequently require less-mainstream style sunglasses, but I’m going to consider this a blessing though, as this way I don’t have to look like a Ray-Ban drone. Although, given half the chance I would love a pair!
“When you have cancer, people send flowers; when you lose your mind, they don’t.”
— Elyn R. Saks, The Center Cannot Hold
Obviously, this is beyond long past due. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, third year of University is like no other experience - you will never be so stressed in your life, between meeting coursework deadlines, revising for exams, writing your dissertation, and actually having a social life. Currently however, I feel these may be famous last words, as after having finished my Undergraduate Degree in Publishing Media and having consequently graduated, I have taken the plunge to carry on and do my Masters.
It looks like June’s celebrations won’t be the only time I’ll be graduating in my life. I now have yet to look forward to graduating from my Postgraduate Degree in Book History and Publishing Culture. Oh, and did I mention that I’m doing it full-time alongside a full-time job? Yes that is correct. Back in May my time at Taylor & Francis also came to an end, and I am now working as a Publications Sales & Marketing Assistant for the next year.
To say that this year has been difficult, personally, not only academically, would be a slight understatement. As a course we had to deal with a loss that we didn’t ever expect, and it was greatly felt at graduation. However, by completing my degree, and surviving such a time has made me more ambitious, and more driven than ever before. I will miss my old course mates, and it will be strange having new ones, but I can’t wait for the great adventure that this next year will be, and new opportunities still to come.
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.