Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Oxford weekend


I spent the weekend in Oxford, a place I prefer to my alma mater Cambridge.

Oxford is the most beautiful city outside Italy. Beautiful Christian colleges that are no longer Christian sustain a civilisation that no longer believes in God or in its tradition. 

The four taxi drivers I used were respectively a Filipino, two Pakistanis and a Lithuanian. They first three probably are believers. 

I always think London, Oxford and Brighton are the only three places to live in England. I was always Oxford in the boat race and wanted to go there. I associated it with romantic Tory Catholic reaction and snobbery, but in fact Cambridge in 1980 had more famous reactionaries and now both places are in the hands of the left. See the current Peterhouse saga.

Oxford on Saturday night is full of very loud, very drunk, fat, female townies. I don't object to this. It is simply an observation.

I am told gangs of drunken women are a fact of English life and have been since the 1990s at least.

I went to a wonderful sung Latin High Mass (Novus Ordo) at the Oxford Oratory (next door to my digs at Somerville) and in the evening to Evensong at Christ Church but, unlike the wonderful Mass, Evensong wasn't my thing. 

Why was I unhappy there? The priestess was one reason. But Evensong itself is another. It was created by Protestants to replace monastic evening prayers. It brings to mind the Reformation and all the harm, physical and spiritual, that the Protestants did. I came fifteen minutes late and after another fifteen crept away.

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