One of the silver linings to our current regime of semi-internment is our daily walk around our local park, and our subsequent reacquaintance with one of world’s genuinely iconic (a much overused and abused term) urban views. Fortunately for us, our local green space is South Park (no relation to its animated Colorado namesake) and the view it offers is over the venerable and elegant city of Oxford and its famous “dreaming spires”*.

*…And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June for beauty’s heightening…

From the poem Thyrsis, by Mathew Arnold, 1865

From the highest point in the park, just before sunset; the steeply sloping greensward foreground, leading gently yet intently to the gleaming city and shimmering spires and towers of the middle-distance; with the hazy cobalt-tinted Cotswold hills rising in the west; the visual effect has a kind of confidant and – in these anxious times – reassuring drama about it.

It is almost as if, this most famous of university cities, with all its generations of accumulated human wisdom, represents a salutary counterpoint to the current narrative of our apparent ephemeral humanity.

Whether or not these rather flat iPhone generated images can give even the slightest impression of this heartening scene is another matter altogether, but I do hope so.

6 thoughts on “DREAM-IN’SPIRE-ATION

  1. Did you use a filter on your phone? The photos, in particular, the banner photo, have the look of one of your paintings.
    Alie visited Oxford but the closest I ever got was Blenheim and the Cotswolds. We had planned to wander about England in the fall, but events have gotten in the way of that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well spotted Ray, although the filter is not on the phone, it’s on my Photoshop. It’s called dry brush and gives a gouache effect which I use a lot. Hopefully we’ll be here to welcome you when you do eventually make it here…


  2. They are beautiful images. I do get a sense from them of the beauty and restfullness of the place. It’s very helpful to someone like me who is unwell and has had to stay indoors 24/7 for weeks now. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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