The Christmas Present from Rex (BR, p. 149)

It was a small tortoise with Julia’s initials set in diamonds in the living shell, and this slightly obscene object, now slipping impotently on the polished boards, now striding across the card-table, now lumbering over a rug, now withdrawn at a touch, now stretching its neck and swaying its withered, antideluvian head, became a memorable part of the evening, one of those needle-hooks of experience which catch the attention when large matters are at stake.

Waugh’s Dialogue: On Point

Brideshead Revisited, Chapter V

“Members?” asked a stout woman, in evening dress.

“I like that,” said Mulcaster. “You ought to know me by now.”

“Yes, dearie,” said the woman without interest. “Ten bob each.”

The club is hot, noisy and disagreeable but the boys are extremely flattered when, “without its being ordered, the waiter immediately brought a plate of eggs and bacon.”

They immediately fall to.

“That’s another six bob,” said the waiter.

The dialogue is absolutely delicious.

Stay tuned.

Alas! BR, Chapter III

  • I returned home for the Long Vacation without plans and without money.

To Be In Such a World! BR, p. 50

It’s not like self is even getting that much of a Catholic vibe, to be honest.

What she is getting a lot of are the aesthetics of being young, male, white, and attending Oxford:

It was the last Sunday of term; the last of the year. As I went to my bath, the quad filled with gowned and surpliced undergraduates drifting from chapel to hall. As I came back they were standing in groups, smoking; Jasper had bicycled in from his digs to be among them.

I walked down the empty Broad to breakfast, as I often did on Sundays, at a tea-shop opposite Balliol.

DSCN0030

Oxford University, November 2018

A Word of Advice, Cousin

Brideshead Revisited, p. 36:

“None of these people you go around with pull any weight in their own colleges, and that’s the real test. They think because they’ve got a lot of money to throw about, they can do anything.

And that’s another thing. I don’t know what allowance my uncle makes you, but I don’t mind betting you’re spending double. All this,” he said, including in a wide sweep of his hand the evidence of profligacy about him. It was true. My room had cast aside its austere winter garments, and by not very slow stages, assumed a richer wardrobe. “Is that paid for?” (the box of a hundred cabinet Partagas on the sideboard) “or those?” (a dozen frivolous, new books on the table) “or those?” (a Lalique decanter and glasses) “or that peculiarly noisome object” (a human skull lately purchased from the School of Medicine, which, resting on a bowl of roses, formed, at the moment, the chief decoration of my table. It bore the motto Et in arcadia ego inscribed on its forehead.)

“Yes,” I said, glad to be clear of one charge. “I had to pay cash for the skull.”

“You can’t be doing any work. Not that that matters particularly if you’re making something of your career elsewhere — but are you? Have you spoken at the Union or at any of the clubs? Are you connected with any of the magazines? And your clothes!”

Advice for the Oxford Freshman

Book One, Chapter One:

  • ‘Change your rooms.’ — They were large, with deeply recessed windows and painted, eighteenth-century panelling; I was lucky as a freshman to get them. ‘I’ve seen many a man ruined through having ground-floor rooms in the front quad,’ said my cousin with deep gravity. ‘People start dropping in. They leave their gowns here and come and collect them before hall; you start giving them sherry. Before you know where you are, you’ve opened a free bar for all the undesirables of the college.’

 

Eights Week, Oxford

Brideshead Revisited, Book One, Chapter One: Et in Arcadia Ego

“Gentlemen who haven’t got ladies are asked as far as possible to take their meals out in the next few days,” he announced despondently. “Will you be lunching in?”

“No, Lunt.”

 

Oxford in the Early 1920s, “Before the Fall”

from Frank Kermode’s Introduction to Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh:

  • The beauty of the city itself, in the days before it was quite ruined by the motor car, was enhanced, at any rate for its transient occupants, by its being an almost exclusively male community. Waugh remarks that few of his contemporaries had ‘any serious interest in women’ though ‘very few have developed into homosexuals.’ They were in some respects, he said, sophisticated, in others barely adolescent.

Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 87 – REFLECTIONS

Miriam Hurdle: “I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles.”

Self is, too!

Here are three from her archives:

  • Two snapshots of the London Eye,  taken from the next bridge over, November 2019
  • Lily Pond in Front of Christ Church, Oxford, UK, 11 November 2019 (Armistice Day)

20191111_113318

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

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