I had the most fabulous time last night at the formal meal at St. Chad's college. I was invited by Robert's wife Margaret (that's her on the left), who is Senior Tutor at St. Chad's. (I'll come back later and explain what all this means, I'm too tired right now!) Anyway, we first went to a lecture by Eleanor Moreton, St. Chad's Artist in Residence for 2007-2008. She spoke eloquently about the role of art as art, art as alive and dead, the relationship between art and utility, the role of gender in painting, and other things. It was inspiring and her art is beautiful. We then adjourned to the Senior Common Room, where we sipped sherry and gin & tonics, both oh-so-British.
Then, we "processed" to the dining hall, where everyone but Eleanor and myself had on black academic gowns (think Harry Potter), and sat down to a very elegant three-course meal. We began with a delicate pastry with shrimp and scallops, then had roast venison with a blueberry-raspberry gravy, potatoes, carrots, and brussel sprouts. We finished with a gorgeous chocolate torte and cream. Of course, we also had bottles of red and white wine. Wow. I was able to sit with Eleanor, and we had the best discussion about art, motherhood, being female, and bluegrass music, as she plays bluegrass fiddle. What a renaissance woman!
We then adjourned back to the senior common room, where there was more wine, elegant cheeses, and coffee. More conversation. It was a great evening, and I hope it isn't presumptuous to say that I'm already looking forward to the next one!
Daily highlights: All of the above.
Anti-highlight: Realizing that when you skip lunch, and you consume 2 glasses of sherry before dinner, and about 3-4 glasses of wine during dinner, you might have trouble focusing on your Aquinas revisions when you get back to the B&B.