I’ve decided to take a few days off work and travel to the college to spend some focused days on my assignment. The journey to Ruskin is one which I really enjoy. Travelling on the Oxford Tube coach from London you pass some interesting countryside and architecture.
Today I expected loads of delays due to the snow but my journey was very smooth and extremely pretty. The rolling hills between London and Oxford are nice anyway but the snow has added to that somewhat. The white stuff hasn’t yet been as heavy as predicted and so it’s had that wonderful effect on the landscape where it can’t hide all the features. Rocks and boulders, small shrubs and grasses still rise up from the earth providing a contrast that’s pleasant on the eye.
Driving past Hyde Park and then out into the countryside there were numerous sledging sites. I felt quite jealous of people doing this because I have fond memories of sledging in Lincolnshire as a kid. Yes, we had a hill in Lincolnshire. I think it’s the kind of activity that’s tricky to indulge in if you’re a bloke on your own, for fear of looking a bit weird. One of the areas where people were sledging was the Northala Fields Mounds, something I’d been meaning to find out more about. They’re hillocks built from soil extracted from the Wembley Stadium site and constitute a space of public art. I need to put this on my list of places to explore at some point.
One of the buildings the route takes us past is the old Hoover factory building in Perivale. This art deco corporate construction now houses a Tesco supermarket with art deco style entrance. It makes quite a contrast to the more imperial structures of Lancaster Gate and the shops of West London.
Once you’re out of London it’s just an opportunity to let the iPod take over and watch the scenery. With the occasional bird of prey hovering over the edge of the M40 there’s always something going on. There’s also some interesting parallels to studying something in-depth and taking a trip. You spot things on the way, it changes your views and helps you remember things from long ago. In the case of travelling these may not be directly linked to what you might be studying but they become part of the overall experience.
Meanwhile I came here to study. This is not entirely necessary and I could have done what I’m doing at home but there’s something I like about being in the college environment and close to the library if needs be. The assignment is due in just over a week so I best get cracking. I’ve found a nice place to study and it currently looks stunning.