2018.07.21 Last day at the Randolph. I spent most of the day reading – what a luxury! We are supposed to be reading with a critical eye and ear for style. This is to help us discern how we would like our own style to evolve. Today I focused on one of the books from our reading list, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller. It’s a compelling memoir of her childhood in Rhodesia as the daughter of white settlers during the devastating 1970’s civil war. Fuller employs detailed and lengthy visual and sensory descriptions of the heat, insects, etc. to make the story’s setting come alive. Sadly, as is often the case, my ADD-afflicted self became restless and I began to skim over them. That suggests that I do not possess the patience to write that way. (Not that I could touch her work!)
The Reading List
I also spent more time on the streets of Oxford. They are a teeming mass of humanity – mostly young people who are clearly from all over the world. Skin colors, languages and mannerisms are wonderfully diverse. Ethnic food establishments, especially noodle houses, appear 2-3 times in a single block with some, well, other, varieties mixed in.
The last thing on my list for the day was to attend one of the many concerts offered around Oxford each evening. They are advertised by placards leaned against fences, doors, and bike racks. My affiliation with the Bach Festival Society, led me to the Oxford Early Music Festival’s “Bach Night”. I bought my ticket and rehearsed the route to the Exeter College Chapel, just a five minute walk away.
The concert was due to start at 8:00 PM and wouldn’t you know! At 7:30 the skies opened up and the first significant rain in almost a month soaked Central Oxford. I admit I had a raincoat and umbrella, but a walk at night, even just a five minute one, in a downpour turned me, once again, into a chicken. I settled in with a pot of tea (ok, it was a glass of Merlot), one of my books, and called it a night!