Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Maidstonian Werewolf In Oxford

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:


Phillip said...

Oxford is a really beautiful city. It gives the feeling of being back in time without the inconvenience of time paradoxes and no indoor plumbing.

Some really great pictures Dan!

Anonymous said...

Nice pics, Dan!

Mike Dunford said...

Nice pix.

Oxford is one of those places that's on my must-hit list on the too-rare occasions I get to visit the UK. The Ashmolean and History of Science museums are on my top 10 list for museums, and the Natural History Museum is in my top 5. (It would probably be there on the architecture alone, but I'm also a biology geek.) Between the museums and Blackwell's, I think I'll probably find myself there again early in my next trip to the UK.

Dju said...

Wow. The latte picture.
There are no coincidences. Something must be up with milk. Good thing I don't drink any.

Matthew Churchill said...

What is it Nik always says? Coincidence shows the world is working properly? Something like that.

Nik Vincent said...

Matthew - Something exactly like that.


sredni vashtar said...

I can't speak for anyone else, but Oxford is one of those places that just looks weirder and weirder every time I go there. It must be the drugs

Unknown said...

Definately one of the cities (inside one of the countries) I need to visit once I return from overseas.
Great pics! Especially the "Heavenly Inspiration" one. Scenes like that are just amazing :)

Xhalax said...

But where's the lamb?

Oh crap.....this means I'm going to get my face chewed off now, doesn't it?


Nick Kyme said...

No way, Abnett. No f-ing way... That sign can't be real. It's like that dodgy TV show we watched 'Naked News' was it? Or 'Naked Words'? Something like that.

Ha, ha - I think I'll print that picture out. I actually went to Costa today and asked for a gingerbread latte (don't judge me) - let's just say I didn't get a spicy glass of milk... ;)

Nik Vincent said...


I can attest to its existence. It did make us laugh, and Dan nearly tripped over a poor family trying to have coffee and cake, in peace, to get the shot.

Matthew Churchill said...

I'm sure Dan will be hopping into his TARDIS soon, and will engrave the sign there for himself to find in his past. And then Nick won't order the grande latte after all, leading to a temporal blog meltdown and the collapse of the space-time continuum. Or something.

Oh, and Nik - something VERY WEIRD happened to me this morning when I was doing a google search. Enter 'carl thonius' into google images. Look what's the number one image hit! If google says it, it must be true!


Nik Vincent said...

Matthew - I know! Shocking!

Big said...

Dan-The Oxford
Why is it when i wake up in that state i just think is was a great night out!?

Nick- you are "The Latte King!"

Matt- i just looked it up on google hahahaha