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.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Oriel out on the town

Last night I was dining with a friend at my usual Italian restaurant which has recently had large parties of students booking for what can be rather noisy and boisterous dinners. The owner had warned us that another such group was booked in, so we were forewarned. After a while a large party of smartly dressed young people turned up, with the inevitable bustle.

However before they stated a young man stood up and reminded his companions that there were others in the restaurant and to be thoughtful of us. A little after he came to the tables of the other diners to express the hope they would not disturb us. Seeing he was wearing an Oriel tie I said I was certainly not going to object as a fellow Orielensis. It emerged this was a party from Oriel JCR - second year males and first year females. All very courteous of him I thought.

Better was to follow as they ate and drank, and sconce one another for matters, well not quite the things I aim to raise on this blog. Never mind - some time later another student came round to see again if any of the other diners were upset ( they were n't). He was the JCR President - so I identified myself as a former MCR President.

The whole party was full of youthful energy, obviously intelligent, smartly dressed, good humoured - what, in fact, Oxford students ought to be.

When they were leaving the first young man and another came round again to be sure they had not disturbed our meal. My friend ( a town rather than a gown man ) assured them it had not and we thanked them for their concern and politeness and for their courtesy and wished them all well.

My friend was impressed by all this, and for my part it was very good to see the good humour,self deprecation and high spirits - typical of Orielenses. As I told all three they were good ambassadors for the college - a community that works hard and plays hard, but also with style and courtesy.

Floreat Oriel!

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