Oxford and Alice (of course)!

We began by meeting Mark and Catherine Richards, old friends who lead the UK Lewis Carroll Society, and spent some time in and around Christ Church. I had fun looking for my room in Meadow Quad as it had overlooked the meadow and we all were absolutely gobsmacked at the massive lines waiting to get into the college. Huge tour groups of kids — hundreds and hundreds. Presumably all due to bits of the Harry Potter movies having been filmed there.

Finally we went in and walked about revisiting various places: the chapel, the door to the deanery (where I’d been with Catherine in 98), Carroll’s rooms at various points, the library, and the hall. I remembered so well the Buttery where we had before-dinner drinks. Here I am with the Richards in the hall (which was packed):

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We then met up with Mark Davies who suggested we take a quick look at the “Imagine” Alice exhibit at the Town Hall. Some of the objects were on loan from the Richards’ own collection and then there were some lovely hangings by local artist Anne GriffithsAlice’s House” and some other smaller works by her. I picked this lovely collection of small books at the bookstore.

Later Mark Davies took Tyner and me on a lovely bus ride to a spot in the country (while the Richards walked there) where we walked about a bit and then boarded an Oxford River Cruises boat (as we had the great luck that a group had chartered it one way and so it would have otherwise returned anyway empty) and headed back on the Thames to Oxford. Mark is an expert on Carroll, Alice, and the Thames and it was a glorious ride as he pointed out relevant points along the way. It was also just fascinating in terms of locks, canal boats (Mark pointed out the one he lives in), and more. We ended the day with a lovely dinner at a restaurant at Folly Bridge. I mark this day (a la Carroll) with a white stone.

Here are few rough photos I took (blurry as they were through the boat cover — it was a bit brisk!)

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The ruins of a nunnery.

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Godstow where Carroll first told the Alice story to the three Liddell girls.

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One of many canal boats we saw.

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A lock — is opened and closed by pushing and pulling as has been the case for centuries.

My great thanks to both Marks, Catherine, and Oxford River Cruises for a great day.

2 Comments

Filed under Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Summer UK 2013

2 responses to “Oxford and Alice (of course)!

  1. Oh, I am very glad I was at Oxford before the Harry Potter thing then! I used to walk in Christchurch Meadow every day, and it was always quiet and peaceful.

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    • I have been there recently when it was still lovely and peaceful — I think this was just at the time groups were waiting for the Sunday opening time. My guess and hope is that this is seasonal and only for certain times.

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