I may have mentioned that October is Birthday Month. Off we went this weekend to Oxford, to interpret Jess's birthday through the medium of dinner and presents. Jess is at St Edmund Hall, which is where I also spent my undergraduate days. For those of you who haven't visited the city, it looks a bit like this.
Rain threatened from time to time, in a moody and atmospheric way, but it held off long enough for us to enjoy a few wanderings and visits.
This is us, for example, in the Oxford Museum of Hogwarts Movie Sets, also known as the Bodleian Library.
We also spent some time in our hotel room playing Make Your Own Mark Rothko.
On Sunday morning, we visited the Ashmolean Museum, which is one of my top five all time great museums. Considering two of the other four are also in Oxford (the Pitt Rivers, the History Of Science), you may think me biased. The Ashmolean, recently and very dynamically renovated, is free, so there's no excuse for not going to find out how good it is for yourself. It's based on the private curio collection of Elias Ashmole (1617 - 1692), much of which was inherited from the collection of John Tradescant and son, and is the first University Museum in the world. It's full of art and artifacts that will simply take your breath away. This was the museum at dawn, long before it opened. The moon in shot is the lycanthropic orb that's been haunting me for the last few nights, bright as a bright thing, causing me to wake up naked and covered in blood at the bottom of a tube station escalator holding a beer mat marked "property of the Slaughtered Lamb, Yokelshire".
Anyway, here's what sunrise looks like in Oxford when everyone else is asleep, apart from the guy downstairs in the hotel kitchen who's warming up the grill to cook my breakfast. This last year, I have become a very early riser. And/or a werewolf.
Towards the end of our visit, a sudden heavenly insight hit me.
(A flash of insight from heaven, earlier)
Remember my account, a post or so back, of Nick Kyme in Modena? The tale of the Warm Milky Drink? Quite clearly, he should have visited this cafe in Oxford's Covered Market first: