Arrived back in Balliol this afternoon, and College is cold and dark. The only people here are the porter and I, or so it feels, my room on top of the lodge, together guarding the frontier between the dark and empty quadrangles and the rest of the world outside. It’s very often cold here of course but it is strange to see Balliol so dark. I have seen the lights on in one tutor’s room and in one room which could belong to a tutor or a student, but other than that all the lights that are usually on all the time, aren’t on, which is striking. The various lantern-like things that ring the quad are shining out haphazardly, but every staircase is black, the SCR is dark, and all is very quiet. In the front quad it’s striking to see the library so dark, it’s usually a constant reminder that Studying Could Be Taking Place.

It’s as if the garden quadrangle is taking a deep breath along with me ready for the term ahead. I’m the only one here, let’s use that to get a head start on myself.