I had a project to finish, and I was craving a retreat of sorts in the English countryside. I pictured lots of walks, bike rides, writing and reading. Enter Mimi, my friend of over thirty years, who lives in Oxford, England. When I spoke of my fantasy she said, “Come visit me!”

So I did! In May! She was able to get me a library pass which allowed me behind the walls of all the colleges. There are 38 (I think?) colleges that make up Oxford University, and I think I explored 12 of them. Each and every one was incredible. The card also got me into the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera Library, where I was able to complete my project. I also got in lots of walks, bike rides and reading. It was a perfect trip.

The best part about it was regaining my faith in intelligence and achievement and art and architecture. These buildings, many dating back to the 12th century, are awe inspiring. I could feel the ghosts of C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, JRR Tolkien and others as I roamed the halls and streets and libraries. Mimi said Oxford is a bubble, but I was happy to be in it for ten days in May. Here are some pictures:

Radcliffe Camera Library
Magdalen College
Recognize this from Harry Potter?
Downstairs at the Bodleian Library
Christ Church College
Mimi and I pretending we are 16 again and playing with filters!