Monday, July 11, 2011

Periodic visits

It's very nice to be back in Oxford again: last time was two years ago on an Alice-themed visit. This trip is student-focused, and we're staying in Keble College - one of several that rent out their rooms during vacation time. It's the real deal: three-storey buildings forming quadrangles around squares of fine, neatly-mown striped lawns, and a high-ceilinged dining hall where we'll be having breakfast tomorrow.

There was also a brief dodo-detour at the Museum of Natural History across the road, to see the complete skeleton there and the feathery reconstruction: rather more impressive than the sad display of remains that's all they have to show off in Mauritius.

It seemed only fair to try out the Oxford version of punting, having done it in Cambridge last time. To be brutally frank, it's prettier in Cambridge, as there's more to see of the colleges, and more bridges to pass under, but Emilio, our very English punter, was charming and so was the enterprising pair who sat in the middle of the river in a punt full of Pimm's ingredients, even down to pots of mint, so we were able to pause for them to make us all a large glassful each, and then glide on our way, fully content. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon?

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