I believe, to date, the UK has vaccinated nearly 11 million people, which is great. I assume I’ll join that group in the late Spring, so in the mean time, I’m staying in my flat, masking up, and testing when necessary. Last month, the college asked us to take three rapid tests, and I was thankfully negative for all of them.

My days, except for Tuesdays which are my class and seminar days, are untethered blurs. I try to set little goals for myself and celebrate the little things in life. A long walk. Discovering a new historical fact. Meeting a new friend. Beers at the Three Benches, the fictitious pub that a friend and I created in a park, that has just three park benches, near my flat where we sit, talk, and have a beer or two. And walking to college for take away lunch or to pick up a package.

I miss Philadelphia, my Emily St. home, my family and friends, and the life I took apart to make Oxford a reality. The mornings and the hours before I fall asleep are the hardest. The loneliness, emptiness, and doubt are real and raw. Some mornings I wake up thinking that I am home in Philadelphia, and it takes me a few moments to remember how I got to #41 Stonemason House that, for now, is home.

2020/2021 is by no means the experience I thought I would be having, but it is yielding fruit. I feel better about me and my mission to become a historian, researcher, and professor. I have met so, so many amazing people who are filled with passion, love, and dedication to their fellow man and their craft. I have seen a world I NEVER thought that I would. And I am learning from professors and advisers who are masters of their craft. With so few distractions to worry about, I focus on my readings, soon to be tackled thesis, and class work. And I have submitted three applications to PhD programs — one at Oxford and two in the US. Unfortunately, one US school has already said no, but I am hopeful one of the others will come through.

Remember my friends and family, COVID may be new to our shores, but the crisis and trauma that came with it is not. We have been through hurt like this, and triumphed, before. Yellow fever killed thousands and thousands in the 1700s in Philadelphia. So many died that there were mass graves dug and filled around Christ Church. There were rebellions in Western PA because of a whiskey tax that could have toppled the US government. The British burned the White House. In the 1900’s millions of people died from the flu. There were pro-Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden. And WW I and WW II ground us down, destroyed nations, and led to the death of millions. Sadly these are Sisyphean times, but that does not mean we cannot love, and laugh, and find little jewels to make our days, and the days of our loved ones and fellow human beings, better. So, keep smiling, keep reaching out to those you care about to give support, take care of yourselves, and keep pushing forward.

This will be my last blog post for a while because I have a huge essay due in a few weeks, and I need to shift my focus to that. So, I will sign off for now, by sending you lots of virtual love and support until we next reconnect. Stay safe my friends and family.

Not Snow, But LOTS Of Water

I took this picture some months ago when I was exploring the Angel and Greyhound Meadow before it became a lake. The arrow is pointing to where I was standing when I took the above picture.

This is what it looks like now. I so want to plan a long hike to an abandoned Abby a few miles north west of Oxford, but until this water goes down, I’ll keep that idea tabled.

Spring Is Springing At St. Cross

The courtyards are looking great as the days slowly get longer. Thank god it no longer gets dark at 3:30 p.m. This weekend we are supposed to get snow, so I hope these flowers will be OK. If you are like me, a burst of color here and there makes all the difference.

The Things Cameron Has Seen Walking Around

I’m at a loss. Is it 7:55 or 12:20?

This guy has more hair than I do, and his is moss. HA! He reminds me of Bill Nighy.

These little guys are all over the place, and seem to be TOTALLY fearless. Does anyone know what kind of bird this is?

Bernie! He is everywhere.

This is a picture that I took from my favorite pathway by the Lamb and Flag Pub. I try to find as many different ways to get to and from my flat as I can to explore the city and mix up the journey.

The Indian reliefs at the top of this tower struck me. Also, take a look at the elephant and ox at the base.

If only this was a cottage in the English countryside, I wish I was in the English countryside — #$%^ing COVID, but this is the accommodation, I believe, of another college’s staff and groundskeepers.

This is the Hertford Bridge, or the Bridge of Sighs, joining the two parts of Hertford College over New College Ln. Edmond Halley’s home is just down the street on the left, and I have no idea why it is called the Bridge of Sighs. It reminds me of Venice.

Is this not the most Dickens lamp post you have ever seen?

In Oxford, we don’t do round manholes, we do, well, this.

I often pass this gate on the way back to my flat and cannot help but think this would be a great place to shoot a movie featuring a Renaissance sword fight, run away carriage, or Monty Python sketch.

I’m interested, but not willing to give them a try. I think my sister would love them. BTW, she HATES beets.

These guys look down on High St. and I think they look like Alfred Hitchcock, a witch, one of the seven dwarfs, and a Polynesian warrior.

The Covered Market comes through again. I bet 3/4 of this seafood was in the water the day before I took this picture.

This picture is from another shop in the Covered Market, and I only wish I could share the store’s smells with you. It is, simply put, amazing.

Beautiful right?

Best guttering EVER!

I can’t deal. My Type-A gene flared up when I saw this van parked outside my flat. I so wanted to go down and clean up this catastrophic mess.

It’s PRIDE here!

Look closely at this grave. The carvings have been in the shade so long that the lettering is now home to mossy, fuzzy lettering.

I am reading as much as I can about the Washington administration and the origins of the presidential cabinet, because it, and the role of “operatives” like Tobias Lear and Alexander Hamilton, will be the subject of my Master’s Thesis. This book, which I brought with me, was published in 1933 and baffled me with this little surprise. I’ll be honest with you, at the time, I didn’t know what to do.