I haven’t just rushed back to icy Britain- this blog should have been posted before I left for India.
Seagulls have been crying in their annoying attention-getting way, swooping the length of the river early in the mornings. Now that the dense curtain of summer vegetation has cleared, Worcester College garden is visible from my desk: river, canal, gardens augmented by a canal boat that stole in last night and moored opposite. I always worry that they’ll be sniggering at me doing yoga at dawn- along with my accompanying rituals like burning incense,spying on next door to see what new form of rubbish they’ve deposited on my roses (sofas, broken doors, entrails of kitchen fittings etc). Oh that sense of well-being when I view the steady trickle of healthy joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers on the canal towpath. Then Lizzie the Homeopath pedals off to work at 8.15 and Mark, the Alice in Wonderland expert follows her on his way to the Bodleian. Both are boat dwellers and Mark sells copies of his Alice books from Bill the Lizard (the latest was published last year, titled Alice in Waterland, Mark Davies 2011).
Had to get a new passport. Couldn’t bear to look at my hideous photos, so handed them over the post office counter without actually looking. Went on to a meeting at the council offices with Naeem Chudry, Neighbourhood Action Officer for Oxford. This is the job he holds:
You will join the Crime and Nuisance Action Team, the City Council’s specialist antisocial behaviour team. The role will involve managing a varied case load of antisocial behaviour working with victims, witnesses and perpetrators in order to successfully resolve cases. The successful candidate will need to be able to productively work with a wide variety of people, and have experience of working in a partnership environment. You will need to have knowledge of current antisocial behaviour legislation both for social housing and the private sector and have the ability to prepare the necessary evidence for enforcement action if required.
How’s that for gobbledyspeak?
I liked Mr Chudry’s stylish shirt. (He told me his immigrant father had owned a corner shop in Cowley and spelt his surname in its approximate form-usually Chaudhri/Chaudhry- because he didn’t know English when he arrived in the 60s).
He promised he’d do his best to sort out the drug-dealing and littering that plague Upper Fisher Row. We wait with bated breath.