Posts Tagged ‘Will’

Lyra’s Oxford

March 20, 2011 2 comments

To Oxford with 11-year-old daughter, touring some of the traces of Philip Pullman’s Lyra and Will. Summerdown Avenue: the hornbeam trees a real presence in an otherwise undistinctive urban 30s arterial strip. Hard to imagine this A40 is ever quiet enough for kids to disappear out of and into thin air there… the Museum of Natural History, as horrifically thrilling I ever remember. No one college quite equals Jordan, but the racked combination of medieval alleys, glimpses into grandly obfuscational courts, shut-off lawns and the sense beneath one’s feet of bottomless subterreanean book racks does the trick, for me at least. Most touchingly, someone has scratched ‘Lyra + Will’ into the bench in the Botanic Gardens. But the best thing, Bill Spectre’s excellent ghost tour aside, is the moon, giant, so close it appears to have evaporated every wisp of vapour. Close enough to make the towers of All Souls seem to glow with a strange inner light of blue and red; close enough to make the crust of the earth crack, to make powerful men trigger-happy.