THIS is the town aspect of our life: the garden of my little Oxford house at 33 Duke Street and some random pictures of the lovely, but gridlocked, city I still love. It was the house I bought when I moved from Newcastle to go to college in 1995. That move and everything associated with it was such an adventure and the start of a whole new phase of my life.
Ian and I met in Oxford. At the time – September 2003 – I lived in about a mile out of the city to the west, and he lived in Eynsham, six miles in the same direction. What made him choose me? “I’d always wanted to meet somebody on the bus route.” And no, he wasn’t joking.
I’d moved to Oxford from Whitley Bay, to fulfil a long-term ambition to do a theology degree, which I did, at Westminster College. I thought it would answer all my questions about God and religion and the Church and who Jesus really was. It didn’t. But it did make me realise how much more there was to learn which can’t be a bad thing. And I enjoyed being a student enormously. Especially when I went to study for six months at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
Ian on the other hand had been amid the dreaming spires since 1986. Here’s his first house, in John Street in the centre of Oxford. I was surprised to learn he was the telecommunications manager for Oxford University; he had neither a mobile ‘phone nor a watch when we met and he’d given up driving a long time before. In fact he’d studied biology and zoology at Edinburgh University back in the 60s and would have been much better suited to being a boffin. He certainly looks the part . . .
Here are some more pictures of Oxford, taken on a recent visit for a conference on Liberal Christianity.