Day 5 - Oxford, Plymouth

I celebrate my love for you
As it cuts right down to the bone
My blood is my pride
I worship you and thank you
For conquering me like this
I’m your fool
And I’m not ashamed of it

Oxford. Though I’ve been told that Oxford would be posh, I somehow didn’t expect this. But it is a university city through and through – says I and can’t really explain what I mean by it. It reminded me of Münster. But it’s probably totally different. A stunning city – if at times snobbish – that does poetry. While the “city of learning” got soaked in rain today, the streets were filled with words of Carol Ann Duffy and Gwyneth Lewis and I bought more books than I should carry. I couldn’t resist though. Every word seemed to fit.
The buildings, streets, bikes, colleges – everything was secondary to this great relief: poetry!
I’m already excited about going to Cambridge and comparing it to Oxford. Maybe Cambridge is a little less tourist-y? We’ll see. I’m now on a train to Plymouth but will probably hop off in Exeter to take a look around there. I put the philosophy book aside for now and read Carol Ann Duffy’s “Rapture” – a work of poetry I can highly recommend and will read from cover to cover.

‘cause if you read this book and nod all the way through, if you love like this, it is right and it should be enough. Sometimes it isn’t though. But I hope you’ll find this. You’re cut out for it.

I just realized: I have less than 2 weeks left in the UK. It’s surreal. Even though almost all of the others are already home – it does feel strange to leave this country for good. It is my country now. I claim it. Its grassy hills, its stony coast, small cottages and lovely people now constitute my home as well.

After months spent in North Wales one things becomes more apparent with every mile I travel: I am falling for South England. It has me thinking of Denmark and summer holidays, back when I was young and silly (only silly now ;)). It makes me miss home. Home being Germany, not necessarily Saxony-Anhalt, more Brandenburg really, with its fields and small rivers and forests.
And the rain. The rain is our coat. It’s draped over our summer burns like a blanket and we lie on the ground staring up in disbelief, while faint music still proclaims what we can feel a little less now: We are flames. Burning.

Plymouth has the most pleasant rain ever. It is the heaviest drizzle I’ve ever seen and it soaks everything through and through. The hostel is occupied by Germans and Austrians – mostly older people who wander along the coast. I’m not really sure what Plymouth has to offer. On a rainy Sunday afternoon like this, it lies dead and tired on the coast. On big screens they show Formula 1, but nobody is watching, they are all busy with the rainy Sunday afternoon routine: staying in, lazing around, watching TV, making love.
I like it here. I like everything today.

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