Jul 23, 2019

Sunday Afternoon On Campus.

It was one of those beautiful winter weekends in Sydney.  The kind that was all sun after the chill of the morning.  The kind that give you hope for the spring that's just around the corner.

Saturday.  Everyone else was out under the sun while I was out under the cafe ceiling heater waiting for my double shot cappuccino en route to work.  Dying swan, much?

And of course, it would have to be the weekend that I was working.  Saturday was hence a write-off, my only interaction with the weather being at the crack of dawn when I went down the road for a pre-work coffee.  There wasn't any sunshine for love or money but that crisp air definitely put some colour in my pasty, sleep-deprived cheeks.



I was feeling much more optimistic about life on Sunday morning.  The hint of sun as I went in search of coffee was definitely a good omen for the day because I managed to wind things up at work by lunchtime.



Which left me with an afternoon of weekend freedom.  Naturally, I spent it a block down from work - running around the campus of The University of Sydney.



Isn't that campus an especially special part of a special part of Sydney?  My love of the Inner West has grown even deeper with this run.



The sandstone and eclectic mixture of architecture that makes up the buildings that house the university's faculties had me looking up and around so much as I ran that I forgot about my achy old woman joints and I barely felt the frustration of my pace being as slow as it was this close to City 2 Surf.  It'll be alright on the day.  Failing that, it'll be a whole heap of fun.


To break the monotony of building awe, I had ample opportunities to be in awe of that bluer than blue sky and its streak rays of sun.


The campus abuts Victoria Park so I went around that too.


There's a totem pole at the edge of the park that looks over all it surveys with the promise to protect it.  Or at least that's the feeling I got as I ran beneath its proud etchings.


Park life on a sunny winter's Sunday in Sydney.  What is not to like?


The Gardener's Lodge at Victoria Park is now a cafe.  To the right of the lodge are one set of the park's gates.  I have this thing about park gates.  They make me feel safe and anchored in whichever city I may be in when I find them on my travels.


Running right along, I looped back into the campus for a bit of an Airpod guided wonder.


The grounds seem to be a popular place to sightsee judging by the crowds I found wherever I ran.


Universities are a dynamic celebration of learning and shared knowledge.  The contrast of old and new in the architecture, sculpture and furniture give campuses life and relevance in the current society while also having solid bonds with the past. 


I am not an alumni of this university but I felt waves of nostalgia as I remembered my life as an undergraduate all those years ago.  Decades actually.  Shudder.


I remember all the study and the anxiety about exams and then jobs.  But the things that I recall more vividly are the friends I made and have kept to this day, walking around campus, the way that life was both much simpler but also harder as a student.



And here I am now with a life that I owe to those years at uni.  It's a pretty terrific life but at the same time a life that's nothing like how I imagined my life would be.  Then again, does anyone's vision for their life from the perspective of age 23 match the reality of it at 43?


Say what you like about thirst but it is a pretty effective way of getting your mind back to the present when it's been flitting between tangents.

Those ubiquitous e-bikes that seem to have invaded Sydney.  They do seem to fit in at a university campus, at least.


Rehydrated and stretched (thanks to the slick benches around the nature strips of one of the new sparkly building of the campus), I was ready to head home to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Thanks for the memories, USyd.



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