Finally, after all those years of peering in behind half-open doors and signs saying "Closed to Visitors" and at last I get a sight of the college world behind the dreaming spires. Possibly taken for granted by those who have spent a few years there, possibly not, but for those of us who never made it, here are a few early morning stolen glimpses of Corpus Christi.
The quad and pelican sundial just feet away from the road but a secluded and completely private world.
Through a few tiny gateways and I discover the cloister
Slightly flummoxed by all the Latin inscriptions but thankfully this one was in plain English.
Suddenly look upwards and see this most unusual of roof windows,
and realize I am outside the college chapel
Beautiful silent space and at the far end countless In Memoriam boards bearing all the names of the war-dead from the college. As I studied the rows and rows of names surrounded by that early morning silence, I had that strange feeling again that I experienced when I first read Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. A shockingly truthful understanding of exactly how vast the impact of the Great War had been, and how many of our future movers and shakers may have been lost. Looking at all these names confirmed it.
But also good to see recognition for the working man and one with a famous namesake too.
Out to the gardens where I come across a beehive. Lots of bee activity on this warm sunny morning so a good sign that this colony have over-wintered well, Corpus Christi honey will be on the toasted crumpets again this year. Then one of those unusual garden seats with a simple dedication carved on, this one to Kit Molloy 1934-2005 A Prince Among Men, what truly magical secret places these colleges are, all who tread there are very fortunate indeed.