Latimer: Last week we finally managed to go on our long anticipated trip to Oxford!
We had planned to go as a treat to ourselves after Legend Unleashed was published. But well, it took much longer than we thought, because life and work got in the way, but FINALLY we went… and it was glorious and freezing, haha.
It’s spring and you wouldn’t think it in Ireland, or England as it turns out. But, we didn’t mind, we were there to enjoy the place, rain or shine.
The Oxford Odyssey will probably take a few posts :) For today, let’s take a short trip down the rabbit hole!
Myself and Ridley were staying in Christ Church College, which I continuously referred to as the Harry Potter College! I felt a bit bad reducing the 467 year college to the ‘Harry Potter College’; but well, currently it is… But it’s actually also the Alice in Wonderland College :)
Alice Liddell’s father (Henry) was the Dean during the time that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was teaching there. Dodgson is the real name of writer Lewis Carroll.
He was a lecturer in Mathematics at the college, and he befriended Henry Liddell and his children. Alice in Wonderland was born from the stories he would tell to amuse the children. While his book was very popular in the 1800s when it was published, he was a very shy man and he didn’t want to be ‘known’.
Supposedly fans of the book would write to him at Christ Church, addressing the letters to Lewis Carroll. When people tried to give him the letters, he was look at the name, then back at the person, replying with a smile; ‘oh, I don’t know this man’. And so, he managed to duck away from the fame.
Walking the corridors and cloisters of Christ Church, I found myself trying to picture Dodgson walking with the Liddell children and dreaming up Wonderland. In the grand meadow that surrounds the college, you could just picture the little Liddell’s racing through the icy mists chasing white rabbits.
Across the road from the meadows, there is a small shop called Alice’s Shop.
Alice Liddell used to visit the shop to buy her favourite barley sweets. And became the inspiration for The Old Sheep Shop in Wonderland.
We had fun poking around the shop and taking some sneaky pictures; well I say sneaky, sometimes I don’t know if people don’t like customers taking pictures… I just always assume they don’t, so it was sneaky to me (I do it all the time though! Got caught in Tokyo… one of the guys in the shop came up to me and crossed his arms in an ‘x’ sign, basically telling me ‘uh-uh, no pictures!’ hehe).
While I was taking some pictures, Ridley hissed, ‘Tá sí ag feachaint!!’ (Irish for she is looking’). Sheepishly I withdrew my phone. Basically the girl in the shop thought I was stealing, oh crumbles, that’s embarrassing.
Anyway, we both ended up finding lots of nice things to buy in Alice’s shop.
We both bought one of the Cheshire mugs! I love mugs.. I really really do! I constantly pause while drinking tea and will hold up my lovely cup and turn to the person in the room and say, ‘isn’t this a lovely cup?’ (haha :))
The Cheshire one has this great trick… when you put hot water in it, Cheshire disappears leaving only a grin. You have no idea how much fun I had showing that off to people… yes, Latimer is easily amused :)
Find more of our Oxford Tales here :)