I was at BNC from 1953 to 1958, and I read Classical Greats, with Maurice Platnauer as my tutor, a fine experience. In your last issue (Trinity 2014) I read three versions of My Tech Diary. Here is my own version:
6am. I rose (in digs in Juxon Street — I was in college for my first two years). 1–1½hours of work (prose, essay or text) followed by breakfast.
8am. Breakfast & cycled to BNC.
8.30-9.30am. In college JCR. I read Daily Telegraph and Racing Post (occasionally followed by a visit to 30 George Street – my bookmaker, Fred Bailey)
10–11am. Usually work in the BNC library or in the Sheldonian, or early lecture.
11am–1pm. I cycled to lectures
1–1.30pm. Lunch — usually in college hall
2–4pm. Athletics training. In winter for cross-country (we won Cuppers for 3 successive years — Olympic athlete Ian Boyd was our captain). In summer for athletics at Iffley Road. My coach was Franz Stampf, the coach of Emil Zátopek, Roger Bannister, my orienteering friend Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway.
4–5pm. ‘Recovery’ — usually tea and dripping toast in Oxford Market!
5pm–7pm. Work usually in college or the Sheldonian
7pm–8pm. Dinner — either college, where I read grace in my turn and enjoyed beer our silver tankard; or in the Stowaway café (south of the High Street).
8–9pm. With friends in Turf, Turl, King’s Arms, Bird & Baby or Gardener’s Arms (max. 2 pints).
9–12am. Work in Sheldonian.
12–1am or later. Further work at Juxon Street.
Once a week I enjoyed a cello lesson in Norham Gardens; and once or twice a week rehearsals with the Oxford Bach Choir (B Minor Mass and Judas Maccabeus) instead of the pub. About every month I went to Snowdonia to climb with friends for a weekend, and in the long vacations mountaineering with our Oxford University Mountaineering Club in the Alps and elsewhere. I also enjoyed concerts (especially under Sir Thomas Beauchamp) and occasionally films (I remember The Wages of War, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, and we all liked Brigitte Bardot!).
I cannot help thinking that in some ways our lives were more interesting. Your three writers make no mention of music or sports, and their lives are much taken up with emails and their computers — necessarily I realise. I achieved a good ‘Second’, and enjoyed myself immensely.