Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Pretty awesome

I saw part of the Jubilee Pop Concert on television this evening. Now I must admit that it was not necessarily the type of music I might be too keen on myself, and dare I suggest, maybe not Her Majesty's either, but that is not the point.

The point is that which stared you in the face - here was the Queen Victoria memorial turned into the setting for a pop concert, staged with panache and style for hundreds of thousands of people in the heart of London - and they definitely seemed to be enjoying it. The televison coverage was, unlike the Thames pageant, striking and impressive, using both the immediate setting and some very spectacular aerial views of the capital.

Here one could see virtually all the Royal family, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of Oxford University sitting in their own front row seats at a pop concert - not something you see frequently let's be honest. The distinguished guests could sit back and watch a different type of spectacle than that they are usually associated with.

In sum here one saw an institution well over a thousand years old quite able to sit comfortably alongside the inevitably transitory world of popular music. It conveyed a genuine, widespread popular sense of rejoicing around The Queen and her family. No mean achievement, and really, pretty awesome.

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