i like sheep. they are one of my favourite things about england. on the coach journey to oxford there are many viewing opportunities, so i link them with the whole traveling-in-england experience. but beyond associative nostalgia, i admire their lifestyle. they are calm and make comfy sounds. i love to watch sheep; i call it graze gazing. occasionally one will bolt across the field and that is an exciting rarity. besides, they are fluffy, and that is adorable. ★
october is my favorite month of the year. the air smells crisp and fresh, the weather is perfectly cool, leaves are bright and daintily messy and gorgeous. while i love my work, there is the inevitable stress that occupies my mind, distracting me from enjoying my autumn. yet, sometimes the two correspond. here anne elliot thinks of autumn, though distracted by her own mind’s musings:
her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.
– jane austen’s persuasion ★
^ yoga atop stanage edge in the peak district
i used to be under the impression that athletics, physical activity, exercise – whatever you want to call it – meant team sports. it meant knowing the rules to baseball and caring which team won. it meant soccer cleats and tennis rackets. i was a theatre kid, they were the jocks. but in the past few years, athletics have become an essential part of my life. it just took me a while to find the right kind. my three practices are in rock climbing, yoga, and running. i interpret them all as sports that challenge personal boundaries. each requires small steps to improvement with steady extension of individual limitations. each is a mental exercise as well as a physical one, and each allows me to spend more time in nature. each is about breathing and focus, and practice. ★
returning to college in a new room leaves me with an undertaking: i must design my studio. my room is my living space (bedroom, kitchen, dining room), but also a place for work, but my work is literary, so the space must not encourage productivity alone, but also inspiration and imagination. i love my work, and my space will reflect that. i decorate with what i have, and what i have is what i need (or in some cases, simply what i love). these pieces shuffle about until they feel just right. finding a place for each is a little satisfaction. ★
one of the best things about oxford (but actually) is g&d’s ice cream café. the ice cream is delicious. made freshly and locally with new (and exotic) flavors weekly. the cafés have trivia questions and puzzles and waffle sundae eating competitions. the staff perhaps the most friendly in oxford. g&d’s is one of the few places where i can go to get productive work done, but i could equally meet friends for fun. the best flavor is b52, and they also make stellar ice cream cakes. i much prefer buying ice cream in parlors like so to keeping tubs in the freezer. much more special. ★