I love oysters and near my old university in England is Mersea Island which produces some fine oysters. During my three years at uni I never went to Mersea Island once, because like most students I was poor and didn't have acquired taste back then.

我很喜歡吃牡蠣,以前在英國就讀大學附近的 Mersea Island 以出產牡蠣著名。 在大學的三年裏我從來都沒到過 Mersea Island,因為跟其他大部分學生一樣,我當時沒餘錢更未認識到牡蠣這美食。

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Several years ago (many after I had graduated) I went back to visit my old uni. Things had change quite a lot since I last set foot on campus. This futuristic looking lecture hall was new and was named after our ex Chancellor who used to be a UK political commentator many years ago. When I joined uni, he headed up our Government department which was one of the top two in UK. That's why I jumped shipped from Sociology to Government a few weeks after I started uni.

前幾年(已畢業多年後),我重回大學校園。 這次踏足校園發現多了不少建築物。例如這一座以前校長命名,比較前衛的演講廳。當年我們的政治系全英排行第二,而他就是系主任,亦是英國的知名政治評論員。所以我進入大學後馬上從社會系跳到政治系。

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My uni was built in the sixties so it was a rather ugly campus. It's linked up by what we called Squares. The photo below is Square 2 and the second photo is looking down to Square 3 which is the main square and the busiest during term time.

大學建於60年代,校園像個石屎森林,沒有甚麼美感可言。 矮矮的建築物連貫起來,形成中間有好幾個廣場。這是第二及第三廣場。第三廣場在校園的中央,平常會很熱鬧。

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We do have quite a nice functional library that is away from the rest of the buildings and faces the lakes and Wivenhoe Park. The scenery is very relaxing with a carpet of verdant green, great for us students when we got bored of studying.

圖書館遠離其他大樓,面對一個很美的湖和 Wivenhoe 公園。 當溫習到無聊的時候,從窗外遙望一片綠油油的景象,休息一陣子,真的很舒服,當然之後還是要繼續拼搏。

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The best part of the library wasn't the view, its these paternoster lifts which are one of the two remaining in UK universities. I had so much fun jumping on and off them during my three years there.

圖書館最有名不是景色,而是這一對帕特諾斯特電梯, 應該是全英國只剩下兩家大學仍在使用。 三年寒窗苦讀,不知在這個有趣的電梯跳上跳落多少次。

University of Essex – lifting you up from University of Essex on Vimeo.

In my first year, I lived on the 7th floor of Eddington Tower, one of the 6 high rise accommodation towers on campus. We were a leftie uni and apparently in the previous year some students had thrown a fridge out of one of the higher floors in protest of something.... students always had something to protest about, especially lefties!!!

大學第一年我住在愛丁頓大廈七樓,是校園裏 六棟學生宿舍大樓其中一棟。 我們是左翼大學,聞說之前一年有學生因為抗議,在樓上的單位把一台冰箱拋到街上。至於抗議甚麼就不得而知,然而所有學生尤其左翼,總會有事情要抗議。

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Anyway, I've digressed. The main reason for going back at uni, was really to go to Mersea Island which was about half an hours drive away. To be honest, apart from the oysters I don't really know much about Mersea Island, but I figured that now I was working, and had a decent income, I should try the famous Colchester oysters at source.

言歸正傳,回去大學主要的原因是想去 Mersea Island,從校園開車大概要半小時。其實除了以牡蠣聞名外,我對 Mersea Island認識不多。只知道既然現在已畢業有穩定收入,也懂得欣賞這美食,總該到原產地嚐一嚐吧!

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If you ever go to Mersea Island, you need to go to the Company Shed and try their seafood. They don't take reservations, so get there early especially on the weekends otherwise you'll have to wait in the queue. Also bring your own wine and bread as they do a lovely seafood platter. I didn't take any photos as I wasn't into taking food photos back in those days and never thought I would need them to write a blog. Now is different, I find myself taking photo of even a drop of ketchup on the table!! (Just joking)

如果你在Mersea Island,一定要到 Company Shed 吃他們的海鮮。他們不接受訂座,如果假期一定要早去,否則要慢慢排隊等位。外國人一般會自備白酒和麵包,配海鮮拼盤絕佳。 我沒有拍照,因為當年我不太喜歡拍飲食的照片,更沒想過有一天會在寫文章。今天就不一樣,桌上一粒飯也要拍!!! (說笑而已)


Photo source

If you can't get into Company Shed, don't worry, you can always go to their stall at Borough Market in London. This was taken during my last visit to Borough Market.

如果你沒機會到 Company Shed 也不用擔心,可以到他們在倫敦博羅市場的攤檔,同樣可以吃到他們美味的牡蠣。這是我上次到博羅市場時拍的。

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The west side of Mersea is called West Mersea, and is the busier more touristy side. I went there in September so it wasn't that busy. West Mersea has a marina along the coastline and lots of small boats were moored their. Around August/September, the island holds the Mersea Regatta, an event that started in 1838. I wonder if some of these boats had just took part in the regatta?

Mersea Island的西面較多遊客,但我去時是 9月中,遊客不多。海岸邊有一個碼頭停泊了不少小船。 每年8, 9月份島上會舉辦一個帆船賽,而這個比賽從1838年已開始。不知道這些小船是不是剛參與這個週年帆船賽呢?

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I'm going to leave you with my favourite photo. I like it because I can imagine quite a lot about it. The couple on the left who are a bit older looks really relaxed. They're out on an afternoon walk, coffee in hand walking their dog who has snucked underneath the bench away from the sun. The couple on the right rode their bike here, took a rest and started chatting to the other guy who has a much larger dog. They three parties don't know one another, but one beautiful day in September bought them all together allowing a bystander to capture this moment.

最後,我想跟大家分享這張我最喜歡的照片。我覺得, 左邊一對年紀較大的應該是夫婦,很悠閒地帶着狗逛街,在陽光下喝喝咖啡。狗狗也很懂得享受,躲在櫈下避開太陽。 右邊那對較年青的,騎腳踏車到這裏休息,然後跟旁陌生男士在聊天。陌生男士的狗狗比年長夫婦那一隻大很多。9月風和日麗的一天,把三方互不認識的人帶到一起,讓我這個旁觀者拍下這一刻。

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