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University Parks

Two park benches commemorating deceased “lovers of the Parks” simply CHOLMONDLEY, pronounced “Chumley” Some people walk or jog, or walk their dogs, at the same time every day. You see ancient dons in their old tweed jackets often talking to themselves, shuffling on scuffed soles, or well-off retirees taking their post prandial stroll, or immensely […] Read more

Fave caffs (14): Tumbling Bay

Should you crave a plate of something delicious: mushroom stroganoff, broccoli, spinach and pea soup, chickpea, spinach and tomato curry, sweet potato, kale and quinoa cakes with a small crisp salad (my favourite) then seek out the modest little community cafe off the Botley Road. It  lies at the back of a functional looking building  […] Read more

Oxford Stalwarts (2) Susanna Pressel

  Note: All italics in parenthesis  are my own views, not Susanna’s. You’ve been a Labour Councillor for 20 years, tell me about the high points and low points of your long political career. Susanna Pressel:  That’s so hard to answer- everyday I meet people who are so positive and so appreciative, but two of […] Read more

Unfave caffs: Dosa Park, Frideswide Square

What is the point of a  multi-million pound building declaiming the virtues of Mammon and Capital (and flaunting its diligent little aspirants behind plate glass in full view of passersby and skateboarders) when right opposite its sleek facade is a run-down Edwardian arcade of  shops and eateries that spell sleaze? Most outstandingly depressing among these […] Read more

Hythe Bridge- dicing with the Grim Reaper

Ever since the crossing was re-designed earlier in 2015 I have ventured out on my bike in the awful consciousness that it could be my last ride. Between myself and the wing-mirrors of cars and trucks there is a whisper of a passage as I brave Hythe Bridge Street. I signal right and make for […] Read more

Craft as Metaphor

“Who knows what form the forward momentum of life will take in the time ahead or what use it will make of our anguished searching. The most that any one of us can seem to do is fashion something-an object or ourselves- and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to […] Read more

Fave caffs (9): Oli’s Thai

In spite of their laid-back charm Rufus and Ladd are the sharpest knives in the block, having made a huge success of their compact  Thai family bistro in Oxford’s once arid culinary landscape. Oli’s Thai has become so popular that you can’t just walk in. Regulars plan weeks in advance,  with military precision, cunningly block […] Read more

Reeling Back to Basics (The Pioneer, 1996?)

The above postcard is postmarked 2 August 1906, and shows Kingston Road in about 1905. The photographer was standing just south of the point where Walton Street (which runs north from central Oxford) suddenly becomes Kingston Road. On the left is the entrance to Walton Well Road (leading to Lucy’s Eagle Ironworks, the canal, and Port […] Read more

Fellers and my chicken liver risotto

Universal Business Directory of 1794 has this description of the Covered Market of Oxford: The old shambles in Butcher Row [Queen Street] are likewise taken away, and a new general market, upon an extensive scale, is erected between the High-street and Jesus College Lane; which market is universally allowed to exceed every thing of the […] Read more

An Oxford Christmas

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