May 22nd, 2006


Got soaked in Oxford

Tromped around Oxford today and got rained on quite hard. Saw some of the things I wanted to see. I'll have to come back to the city when my sister has gone and my husband has joined me here in London. Which he'll do Friday. There's more I'd like to see. I'd like to see it while not soaking wet. Nonetheless, we did hit a couple of touristy high points today: Christ Church meadow, its gallery of paintings, the Bodleian, and the Radcliffe Camera.

Oxford is the kind of city I'd like to spend a few months in, just living and hanging out. Made me long for my grad student days in Berkeley. Though I guess you can never really go back. Two thoughts struck me: students look the same the world over, and man oh man, college students are looking really young to me now. Like children. Thus does middle age creep up on me.

I tried to think about the city as Giles might when he was a student. Though it's sometimes hard to notice places as places while you're there with a mission. What you think about while living somewhere is what you're doing with your life, not the place you're living as place. Hmm, I have to find a better way of expressing this concept. I mentioned Berkeley, where I was a grad student for a couple of unsuccessful years. While I lived there as a student, mostly what I thought about was my classes. Bookstores were places to buy books if I could afford them. Cafes existed to provide me coffee while I worked. I didn't really have a sense of Berkeley as a city with a flavor and a personality. I am aware of that personality now. (People do make fun of Berkeley, but I am fond of it, and would cheerfully live there again.)

I wrote a long rant about bookstores that I published on my Yet Another Boring Life Story blog thing. The rant mentions that I'd found my copy of On Forsyte 'Change at the Strand in New York a decade ago. This book has always struck me as being essentially fan fiction. Okay, fanfiction written by Galsworthy himself, so not fanfic in the needs-disclaimer sense. But Galsworthy couldn't stand to leave the characters alone. He wanted them to live a little longer. Isn't this why we write fanfic?

Read "Cry of peacock" and tell me seriously that it's not fanfic. It even ends with sex, or at least sexual longing.

Slightly frustrating

Writing ideas bounce around in my head while I'm out walking around. And then I get back to the hotel room and by the time I calm down enough to write, it's time to sleep. This is frustrating. I've had half a bottle of wine tonight, and I'm just now reaching a state where I might write. Darn it.

Well, I'm going to get into bed with the Macbook and see what I can manage to get done anyway.
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