Thursday, 30 May 2013

Bumping and Streaking in Oxford

A long lull in blogging. It’s not that I have nothing to write; it’s just that I’m writing a lot. In fact, I’ve just completed a mammoth editing session and my eyes hurt. I finished writing my sci-fi novel about a month ago and, as some of you will know, the hard work then begins. I think it is just about ready now, but needs a few eBookers to read it through before publishing—any additional volunteers?
Had a good night out in Oxford on Saturday. Walked along the Thames with a friend and bumped into the crowds returning from the bumps race. The colleges of Oxford University row against each other twice a year and these May races are known as the Summer Eights. We watched as the students carried the winning boat back to its college with the Cox riding on its incredibly long hull. Wonderful atmosphere along the usually serene banks of the river —noisy, boisterous and joyful.
We had a few pints at the Prince of Wales in Iffley and were given waitress service by the charming and garrulous landlady who wanted us to stay, but we had to move on. Visited three pubs along the Iffley Road as we shuffled down towards the centre of the city: good beer in all of them.
By the time we reached the High, the light was beginning to fade so at first I thought that my eyes were deceiving me. Walking alongside University College, we heard the sound of heavy boots hitting the pavement on the other side of the street. Looking up, I saw six galloping students, strapping lads all wearing boots, yes just boots! They ran with expressions of serious intent and looked unwaveringly ahead. Shocking, yet surprisingly funny: especially after a few pints. No pictures, I'm afraid.
I am still acclimatising after our sunny adventures in Australia, etc. I have slipped back into guiding, and have led nearly thirty tours this month. Actually, my memories of Australia are mainly of the climate, the animals and the bad beer. Here my experiences are underlined by bad weather, tourists and good beer. My garden in Stow isn’t growing well at all, seeds are not germinating and it’s too wet to work on the soil. But, there is good news. Friends have visited our fruit trees in Spain and they are thriving amongst the weeds (the trees that is, not the friends) and already bearing young fruit. See the photo.