Friday, April 15, 2011


Visiting Oxford was a dream come true for me. Within a few minutes of arriving, I decided that it was the most charming place I have ever been. It is a small city surrounded by gorgeous English countryside. The city itself is, of course, filled with distinguished university buildings, quaint shops, pleasant neighborhoods, and tidy gardens and parks.

After walking around and getting a feel for the town, we sat on the street with our backs against a sunny wall and unpacked our hearty lunch, courtesy of the excellent Mrs. Clovis. While we munched on our sandwiches and Taxi bars, I people-watched (this is one of my favorite pastimes).

We walked past the Eagle and Child pub, where the Inklings met regularly. We didn't eat there, but I looked around inside for a bit. I could hardly believe that I was walking in the footsteps of my beloved English Gentlemen. We visited Wolvercote cemetery, the burial place of Professor Tolkien and his wife, Edith. The cemetery was a green, expansive place, and shortly after entering the Catholic section, we found the grave.

After spending a few moments in silence, we read two of his poems aloud. One was the Lay of Luthien, which was fitting because Edith was Tolkien's beloved just as Luthien was Beren's. The other poem was the lament for Gandalf, which I read because I liken Tolkien to Gandalf. We also visited the church Tolkien attended, St. Aloysius, and Merton College, where he was a distinguished fellow and professor.

In the evening, we went to Mass at the Dominican friary before catching the bus back to London. We sat in the very front of the bus's top level, which afforded us an excellent view of the passing countryside. Brian and I had discussed theology on the bus ride to Oxford that morning; the bus ride back was quite different- we joked around and were ridiculous. It was a fun time. We arrived back at the Clovis home after ten o'clock, and went to bed soon after. We needed our rest; the following day we would explore London.

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