Nestled into the corner of one of the ledges lining the cloister that houses the Great Hall of Sydney University, amidst the grandeur and gothic standings of the sandstone building, there is no way not to remember the time – deep in the throes of a British winter – that I sat very similarly against the ledge of an Oxford cloister; hands buried deep within my coat, and my fingers stuffed neatly into my grandmother’s vintage leather gloves for they felt as though they’d fall off from the cold. I looked out upon the historic grounds just as I am now in the heart of Sydney, and the feeling is just as magical. I think I forget, often, that Sydney has pockets of absolute beauty (the water fringing every aspect certainly plays a major role to this) but it has areas which hark back to our British heritage. Reminders of a time lost long ago, but still within our grasp if we just take a moment to sit and indulge in it.
The sky is certainly a much richer shade of blue here, and the sandstone – though old and gothic – still holds up better than the fading colours of Oxford’s Christchurch Cathedral. I almost wish it were cloudy, so I could pretend just for a moment that England wasn’t a world away. There is the slightest chill in the air today; winter is finally descending.
Above me, to the right, I can see one of the fading glass windows propped open, old-school style where the entire window tips in a solid sheet. It draws me in, wondering what is housed behind the dark glass – perhaps remnants of an experiment conducted in classes before the summer hit, or else stacks of books leaning over precariously, just demanding to be opened and the dust between its pages dispelled x