Drive by blogging

Here I am again, blogging in the car. It appears to be my preferred method at the moment. We still don’t have the internet at home, so among other things this means that I can’t see the comments on my last post. So if there were any particular questions that I’m not answering, don’t take it as an uppity silence . . . it’s just me being blissfully out of touch with the rest of the world. And why don’t we have the internet? Don’t ask – it’s a long and painful tale of trying to get service in a socialist country when you have to get the government phone agency to hook up your phone and they don’t feel like they can be bothered with it. I’ll spare you the gory details – no one really likes to sympathize with other people’s tales of being on hold for hours and no one returning their phone calls. So suffice it to say, we’re working on this whole project and in the postmillennial vision you will one day hear from me from my living room and not the minivan.

But right now it’s dark and we’re parked just outside the gates of Tom Tower, Christ Church. It’s pouring rain and there are huddled groups of soggy students hurrying along the pavement under their umbrellas, those little streamer thingies on their robes fluttering behind them. Since it is now it’s 9:05 the enormous bells of the tower are ringing 101 times like they do every evening at 9:05 in honor of the original 101 scholars who were enrolled when the college was founded by Henry VIII. Some poor drenched souls are struggling along on bikes with their grocery shopping dangling from the handlebars. Speaking of poor drenched souls, Ben rode his bike home from German class this evening and squelched through the door for dinner looking like he’d just gone for a dip in the river. Damp doesn’t even remotely cover it. He was spouting water from every seam like a Versailles fountain.


But what are we doing parked outside in the rain? Ben had a meeting in college about rowing for Christ Church. And since we hadn’t really seen each other all day we thought he might as well take the whole family along for the ride. (Just for the ride – not to the meeting.) So we put all the kids into their pj’s and bundled them into the car . . . and had a cozy little car ride and then the kids and I waited while he ran in to his quick meeting. Several of the children fell asleep right at the outset, and the others are reading and coloring. If only I had a Starbucks then this whole thing would be perfect. But the English seem to have no idea what coffee is for and the Starbucks close at 7:00. It’s ridiculous.


I always love driving through the center of Oxford at night. Everyone is always on their way somewhere and the people watching is fantastic. Ben is forever getting invitations to formal dress this and black tie that . . . when they’re really dressing down they specify that the attire is a lounge suit. (I confess I had no idea what that meant and had to google it – last year in the happy days when I had access to google – and discovered that a lounge suit doesn’t actually mean a double knit disco outfit, but rather a suit and regular tie as opposed to suit and black tie.) Ben doesn’t attend these functions unless they’re mandatory (like drinks with your tutor) because, saint that he is, he dislikes dressing up and toodling out for a night on the town leaving the family at home. But the point remains that he gets these invitations constantly and thus it is that when you drive through Oxford at night you get to see some really pizzazzy outfits on all the people who are attending these shindigs. I have, I kid you not, even run across top hats. But not tonight. Tonight everyone is racing along under their umbrellas trying to get out of the deluge.


But now my soggy husband is back and it’s time to head home to bed and carry sleeping, pajama clad children through the rain and up to their cozy cushions on the floor.

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5 thoughts on “Drive by blogging

  1. oh, rebekah, it’s so glamorous and romantic! sleeping on the floor in oxford so your precious husband can follow his dreams. i love it!
    my husband studied at oxford for just one month when our first baby was just 6 weeks old. we had such a great time! we lived in a dorm… which taught me the importance of GETTING OUT of the house with a newborn. i bonded with that little baby in the park, museums, and tea shops while poor hubby had his nose in the books. i had forgotten about the formal events every night. i kept asking “is it halloween here? what’s going on?” and are there still fireworks every night? what’s up with that?
    i spent a fortune at mcdonalds there, b/c at the time it was the only internet cafe in town. a couple pounds for 30 minutes, something like that.
    i loved those late-night little take-away stands. i remember outstanding fries, but i can’t remember what else they served. curry? burgers? tacos? surely not tacos?
    i hope you’re having a fabulous time. it sounds like there are plenty of difficulties and inconveniences, but i pray that God’s grace will wash over it all. Blessings.

  2. Rebekah, you’re bringing back so many wonderful memories for me of my time at St. John’s! (Right across the street from Eagle & Child!)

    When I was there, those stands served something akin to gyros (falafel?) with those outstanding chips….with vinegar and salt! Mmmmm…and at least THOSE little carts were open late into the night….I wonder if they serve coffee?

    I was only there for a summer, during my college years as part of a study abroad program, but I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat (I keep hinting to hubby that he should try for Doctoral work at an Oxford college…maybe I’ll be sleeping on the floor some day!)

    Thanks for posting from your cozy car for all of us to enjoy!

  3. Please don’t stop posting on living in England… it has been my life’s dream to visit, and dare I say, to live there. The Lord had something else in mind for me, however.

    Yes, there may be some inconveniences, there are plenty of those no matter where you go. I am sure, however, some can be easily overcome (e.g. make coffee real quick before you leave the house and take it with you in a to-go cup, you save money and you won’t care if there’s no Starbucks). 🙂

    You are living in a beautiful season of life and I am sure you will treasure all these moments in your heart. Thanks for sharing some of it with us.

  4. Hi there! As one of those Oxford students who runs through the rain dressed in ridiculous clothes on my way to silly formal shindigs on a regular basis, may I say it’s good to hear about it from another perspective? I am usually complaining about living in a socialist country and all the other stuff, so your positive attitude is good good good to hear! Keep it coming!

    Am off to New College for a formalish thing tomorrow night — will think of you and pray for some furniture for you and the kidlings to sleep on!

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