Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oxford

This was our last day in the United Kingdom, so we decided to take a train to Oxford. I think people will commute into London to work --- it is about an hour train ride. The thing is --- we fought through morning rush hour and it took longer to get to the train, via the subway system, then it did to get all the way to Oxford. Below you will see me standing at the train station in Paddington. It kind of looks like I am on the island of Sodor getting ready to get on Thomas and his friends (that was for any of you Thomas the Tank Engine fans --- which I must let you know the author of Thomas was an Anglican Priest named Rev. W. Awdry, who lived in England.) What you will see below is a certain side of Christ Cathedral, in Oxford. Why this is so important is that at this cathedral John and Charles Wesley both attended while they went to Christ Church College. But, they also were ordained into the Anglican Priesthood at this Cathedral. Oxford is one of the oldest Universities in the world and some very famous people have graduated from Oxford. We were able to go to a communion service at the Cathedral at night. The preacher that night is an Anglican Pastor who is also a professor at Oxford. His specialty is on Fredrich Nietzche. The Priests name is Rev. Dr. Giles Fraser. Judging by the website that you can link to at his name, we can see he is quite the firery figure.
After visiting the Cathedral and wandering aimlessly throughout a town that is a big museum --- we went and had lunch. We had pea and ham soup. I had fish and chips (I thought one more time would be good), and then this apple and carmel and custard dessert. The custard was served warm and this was really good. As you can see I had to take a bite even before I could take a picture of it. During lunch there was a discussion at the table next to us by some older gentlemen. One of them was an American and two were Brits. There was one outspoke Brit who made the case that we Americans still have a great deal of Puritans in us. We still expect that our Clergy and Politicians should live moral lives. Then he said that we know that the Clergy and Politicians are liars in the UK and France. What do you all think? I would have to agree --- I expect the leaders in our country to be morally upstanding --- and when I find out that someone is lying (eg. Bill Clinton) I am shocked and disappointed --- rather than just thinking that is what they do.
I have really grown to enjoy seeing all the gargoyles around. This is one that I haven't seen before --- you can actually tell that this gargoyle was designed to be a woman gargoyle.
This was the end of our adventure --- and so we thought we would take a picture next to one of our last tube stops. This is the Waterloo tube stop and yes this is the one that Napoleon is well known for. Remember all of you people that have been to London "Mind the Gap."
I am just about to get on a plane and head on back to Roxboro. I am excited about heading back home. One thing I really miss about the States (and maybe this is just the South) is that strangers will actually talk to you. What I mean is that we would sometimes be standing at a Subway stop and there would be 500 people standing waiting and you could hear a pin drop. No one would be talking to each other. It is like you are unwilling to be bothered with getting to know another person --- to such an extent that you are unwilling to acknowledge their existence. Now this might be annoying to people from the UK --- but you know what --- I think it is great that we are so willing to welcome strangers into our midst, especially in the South. I hope that we never get so silent that we forget the strangers --- because we might be entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13.2).

1 comment:

Barb said...

Phil

I have enjoyed your comments and the places you visited. Let me know if there is something special we should visit. I agree with you concerning the morals and ethics of our chosen leadership. Happy to hear you had a great trip.

Mom