Yesterday’s transport was well fouled-up, worse for many others than for me, and perhaps it would be insensitive to talk about a Black Hole on wheels. Still, enforced intimacy with the other wedged standees made occasion for the kindness of women, hot news from the Hong Kong riots mingling with sisterly or motherly encouragement for the youngest, late for her interview. Hope she got it.
Falling feverishly out of the train, I encountered more womanly kindness: the church ladies supplying home made scones and tea, jokes, and advice to take five minutes quiet upstairs. It was good advice too, and I wish I could have fitted the whole ceiling into the shot.
The rain held off, the cathedral filled up, the parents did their thing, and one of the nearests-and-dearests shared Emma with me by earbud to mask the announcer, but she left me in the lurch just before the Chancellor’s speech, when I needed Austen the most. The Chancellor read a “poem” – a long poem – what he had wrote. It was … bad. Other excesses of the day included scarlet cloth and purple squiggles (jacquard? brocade? I never know) and a pink tie. And a bonnet.
Today: a forced march in the damp morning to look at a teeny place face-lifted by the upwardly mobile. Is it Destiny or a dud? I have opened a bottle, but so much progress has been made in the kitchen that for a moment I thought it would have to be drunk from a chipped mug or a marmalade jar.
There’s rather a lot for one.
Ah the pleasure of the slow stopper:
How one relaxes into the solitude…
Much later, and across the Severn by road, Wales began (as usual) to rain.
A black carpet gives you warning, and blocked plumbing realises your worst fears. One of the nearest-and-dearests reconstituted himself as the Human Plunger and, with a technique never matched except in the most dramatic fake CPR seen in medical soaps, dislodged the sludge. (My hero.) This left us with the problem of walking without touching the carpet (fairly easy) and of sleeping without touching the sheets (fairly difficult).
The event itself involved the usual scrum, with an excellent mitigation: an official quiet room. Here I joined the autistic-spectrum mates and rellies and ate my plate of buffet in peace.
one instalment of an indefinite journey. On this basis it could be a long one.
Bother Oxford, I thought sniffily, going out as the rain slowed. So I turned left, interested by the curious mixture of pretension and seediness that characterised the area. (Click an image for the gallery)
Today I travelled home. Someone burned the toast at Oxford station and we evacuated, but luckily that was the only drama.
And yet the sea was calm.
Mindless after heavy reading, simultaneously watching hail slither down the conservatory roof and watching the sea from the bridge of a ferry trundling on its route, drinking tea, hitting the refresh button at half-minute intervals.
Jet skis flicked in and out of view, in and out of the wake, playing the fool, sometimes only deducible by the lines of their own tiny wakes. Inbound container ships leapt past. Smokers risked the outside deck for a single frame. Black shower clouds loomed. The wake was lacy and beautiful on the smooth water, the buoys came up, the wake shrank and vanished, the ferry nosed into her berth.
When it isn’t being the Landslip Blog this tends to be the Old Walls Blog. Today’s old walls were a trifle melancholy, but also analgesic. (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)
in an Edwardian businessman allows us still to enjoy this for free. (Click thumbnail for gallery)
There was far more than the eye could digest in one visit. And I forgot to put anything in the collecting box (which was not shoved under one’s nose at all, and therefore deserves to be filled generously). And there is what sounds like a really interesting lecture coming up. Three very good reasons for making a swift return visit.