Thursday, December 20, 2007

Almost Christmas...

Well. My essay is handed in, but I have been holed up in the library for a good chunk of most of the previous two weeks anyhow. It hasn't been unpleasant, however, as I get to spend quite a bit of time reading Irish fairy tales and ancient legends. I'm writing my dissertation on Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, and his own source material (material he stole as much as anything else) is quite extensive. I've also been plodding my way through texts on Irish Orientalism (I shouldn't say plodding. It's actually very interesting and I do enjoy it. It can make for rather dense reading, though). The worst part of all of it is that the library is COLD. It's much more pleasant if you sit by the windows, but it gets warmer when you move away from the windows. Saturday, as one of the total of six or so people in the upper reading rooms, I actually needed my hat, coat, scarf, AND gloves just to work. Ugh.

The rest of Oxford is cold as well. It's beautiful and frosty, but I am fairly sure the temperature is below the BBC's purported 2 degrees Celsius. Even my lined gloves couldn't save my hands today. I've been guzzling tea and soup just to keep myself from hypothermia, and running has been out of the question even though I've been desperate to see Port Meadow all frosted over.

My week has been quite busy even outside the library. The Christmas shopping is all done; Dean wrapped all the presents and stuck them in the fireplace with lights, and it looks very festive. Meagan came to see me on Tuesday, and Kim and I wandered around yesterday. I learned that Magdalen College's deer park has more than twenty deer, not the occasional few I had assumed. Including a white one, calling to mind all manner of literary references. There were also quite a few dead deer at the covered market, as well as a hairy boar bigger than me and more turkeys than I have ever seen in my life. And pigs, and rabbits, and pheasants, and fish, and anything that anyone MIGHT eat for Christmas. Yum. Or not.


Monkeypat83 said...

Yay for almost Christmas (ooh ooh and my birthday). I think I have got presents for everyone now I just have to wrap them. A few are done but most of them are not. I have not wrapped yours yet but you will like it lots. Arathi's was the last one I had to finish getting and I succeded today through the masses of people at Target. See you in less than 2 weeks!

Alan L. Gallagher said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS. I wrote a message, but it wouldn't take my password. So I entered once again.

The tiny white kitten is fine...healthy, playful. COLUMBUS is jealous. It will be a present for your Grandmother.

The kids are finally up. They are on college now, not little child let's get up early for Christmas time. After presents, they will go with your Mom to Joyce's for the family gathering.

I re-read Sheridan's plays THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL and THE RIVALS, noting that Father Brown solved one of his mysteries by knowing THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, where one of the characters is "on stage" but behind a screen, and thus free for mischief. The alibi was not an alibi. PBS had Inspector Morse at Oxford.