I should have known when it snowed at Christmas that it was going to be a “proper” winter. I’m delighted that it is, of course, I’m lucky enough not to have to drive in this weather (although even walking the streets can be hazardous, I was sliding all over the pavement today).
Here are a few photos from the past week, Oxford in the snow; beautiful.
This is our backyard after the heaviest snow a week ago. It’s a photo taken around dawn, but between the light from the snow and some exposure tweaking, it nearly looks like daytime, but there is a surreal light that is sort of magical.
The view out our front window the same day, neighbours having a snowball fight. We walked Megan over through the fields near the park and there were dozens of families playing in the snow as the roads were closed meaning no school or work for most people.
The view across Botley Road towards the allotments:
St Frideswide’s Church. This is our neighbourhood church which was built in the late 1880s for the people of Osney Town and the growing population of Botley Road.
I went to go feed the ducks, and the geese have come to the island as well, and they were hungry! The ducks and geese came running to me across the snow.
Osney Island, our home. More properly called Osney Town as that is what the area was called when it was built during the 1840s to house the workers of the new railway system when it came to Oxford. “Osney” or more properly “Oseney” was originally the area east of the island where there was once a magnificent abbey, the third largest in England at the time, and supposedly the most beautiful building in Oxford in its day. Gone, except for a piece of wall of a workshop on the grounds. Now a cemetery sits on top of it. Where we live was called “Oseney Mead” for hundreds of years, a little hump of land in the middle of the streams that The Thames (or more properly, The Isis, when in this area), breaks into when it passes through Oxford. Being in the floodplain, in the middle of a river, no one considered building on it until the commercial opportunity was imagined by a man who decided to purchase the area, fill it in to raise it above flood level, and sell out plots to enterprising builders taking advantage of the housing boom from the railway. Of course, anyone familiar with the area knows that Osney Town has flooded regularly since the time it was first built, the terrible flooding of 2007 just one more chapter in a long history. Flooding is so common here that the townspeople called everyone crazy enough to live on the island “frogs”.
In town, the tower of St Michael’s at the North Gate is the oldest building in Oxford, dating to Anglo-Saxon times. It’s about 1000 years old.
One of my favourite views in Oxford includes “the emperors” outside of the Sheldonian Theatre.
The History Faculty Building, my main library. I love to sit in the large bay windows while studying, it’s wonderful to look up and glance outside and watch the people on Broad Street.
One more of a hungry goose!