Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post of 2017. I have just finished my January exams (which were intense, but okay!) and have nothing much to report on with regards to the past few weeks so this will be the concluding post on my holidays.
As mentioned in my previous post, I was on my way to Oxford. I stayed for around 3 days and did a huge amount whilst there! On arrival, I had dinner at a Korean restaurant near the station with my housemate Steph and her two friends, one of whom I had met before and another who was new. By coincidence, this new acquaintance had an old secondary-school friend who also attends Plymouth who (after showing me his picture), I realised I had seen on a coursemate’s snapchat story a few days prior! Small world!
On day 1, I went to Oxford University’s Natural History and Pitts Rivers Museum which were stunning. Both museums felt like those found in London, especially the latter which had thousands of anthropological artefacts housed in a cavernous space. Being in the museums made me look forward to the new History Centre being created opposite the university campus on North Hill. The (now-closed) Museum and Gallery was one of my favourite things in Plymouth and I plan on coming back to the city in 2020, when the new centre will be opened (something current applicants will experience!)
Across the period we visited Balliol, Christ Church and Wadham Colleges at the Uni. I met my school friend Jordan who studies at the last of these. He showed us around the college (which was an interesting experience as it was late evening and we were in absolute darkness), and we reminisced on school memories whilst he beat me in a game of pool. Christ Church college was surreal; walking up the staircase used in the Harry Potter films and into the Hall literally felt like I was a wizard student experiencing Christmas at Hogwarts. I did a whole host of other things there including going up Carfax Tower (which has the smallest, tightest staircase I think I’ve ever been on and amazing views of the city), the Ashmolean Museum which needs at least a day to get through and loads of great restaurants.
My time there was brilliant- the walk through the side passages every morning in the frosty cold to get the bus from Carterton crossroads to Oxford city centre, meeting Steph’s nuclear family, cousins and cousin’s children, cooking dinner- was all lovely. I’m grateful to Steph’s Aunt and Uncle for their hospitality, they were genuinely caring people (who also sent me home with a nicely wrapped bundle of homemade mince pies- win!). I went back to London and enjoyed spending the rest of my holidays with my family.