Sunday, 22 January 2012

Photo Diary: A Night with Harry Potter

I was going to title this post: A Weekend in Oxford but then I thought that the current one is probably a bit more eye-catching, even if it is bending the truth so much so as to go back on itself. Anyhow, yesterday, a huge group of us crashed Christ Church to celebrate a double birthday formal with two dear friends who had defected to Oxford after graduating from Cambridge this summer.

Song of the day: Harry Potter (Hedwig's Theme) by John Williams

The plan for L and I was to get on the 2pm coach to Oxford, but due to my lack of organisation and sheer panic at not being able to find a pair of bronze shoes to match a dress (why are gold or bronze coloured items of clothing not available during the winter!?), we ended up taking the next one at 3pm, which was just the beginning of our troubles.

This is the cursed orange dress that caused me so much grief:

According to google, black make you look like a pumpkin, white works but is too summery for winter, blue or yellow only works if the shade is JUST RIGHT, and gold or bronze definitely work...GRARGH!

And in the end, I didn't even wear it.

Did I mention we had troubles? Well, allow me to clarify. Not only did L and I forget to bring a load of stuff as we were in such a huge rush to pack (toothbrush, towel, sleeping grim... >_<:;), but also, halfway through our journey, our coach broke down so we had to switch onto the next coach. Since it was already running late, we didn't get into Oxford until 7pm, which is the time that the meal was supposed to start at. Now why does the timing matter so much? Well, the meal we attended is called "formal hall", which is a special three-course meal served by waiters that colleges in Oxford and Cambridge hold in the evenings. Students dress up in smart evening clothing, wear their college gowns, and stand up for grace before and after the meal. Normally lit by candlelight or some other intimate lighting, the main hall is transformed into a grand scene: the rows upon rows of tables look so cosy, but when your gaze is lifted upwards, you are overcome with the splendour and sheer history of the hall.

The Harry Potter hall is based on this one!

There are portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I hanging on the wall!

Depending on how strict the college is, some ones strictly enforce the start time so if you are late then you are not allowed in even though you've paid! Luckily for us, Christ Church started late and didn't seem too strict about their rules, since no one came to tell our group off for pennying (a drinking game whereby you throw pennies into people's wine glasses and if you get one in, then they have to down the glass)!


After the fellows entered to take their seats at the front of the hall, one of them read grace, which we stood up for, before taking our seats again to wait for the starter. There were bread rolls and bowls of fruit scattered periodically along the table that made the wait shorter!


The waiters were swift with delivering the dishes to us. They gave us large platters of rice and vegetables for us to serve amongst ourselves. As usual, we had to ask for more, and as usual, our table was a mess on account of the pennying that was going on!


During the meal, I discovered that the staircase outside of the hall had been used for filming Harry Potter, so after the meal, naturally, our group had to go and take a gazillion photos there...including accosting some frightened local students into taking multiple group photos whilst shouting "Cambridge!!" instead of "cheese!!" >_<:;

Saaaay Cambridge!!

I'm wearing my Selwyn college gown, the heels I got for Christmas, the cardigan from Terminal D, a white top and a purple skirt. Luckily the light ray blocks out my face! ^^

Not gonna lie, attempting to sleep in your clothes with other people's jackets for blankets after too many Jaegerbombs whilst someone else in the room snores was not a good way to go, and I was definitely looking forwards to going home the next day, so sadly, didn't stick around to watch the guys have their college boat race.

I got this book as a present from H to read on the coach journey home:

He brought this all the way from Thailand for me when it was published in the UK?!

And two dear friends, L and O got me a box of chocolate as an early Chinese New Year present!

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve! :)

Yishi xxx


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