I could really do with a change of scenery so thought I’d take a trip to Oxford at the weekend. (There’s only so much you can put up with looking at all the filth and mattresses outside people’s homes in Leyton and the dire mess of the Olympic Site in Stratford :-))
I used to go there when I had a boating holiday ages ago (from Datchet to Oxford) so I just think of Oxford as a ‘nice place to moor’ and ‘Three Men and a Boat’. Oxford also reminds me of ‘Jude the Obscure’ by Thomas Hardy, one of my favourite books, and the dreaming spires. I like the history, the architecture, the nooks and crannies and all the second hand bookshops. It’s all very beautiful and intellectual (though J said that’s a myth).
J used to read law and maths in Oxford and wants to give me a ‘personal tour’ but he tells me I am not allowed in the university library because I didn’t go there. The cheek of it. Not exactly very welcoming for ‘a tourist’ like me. So, already off a ‘Bad Start’.
It will be the first time I will have cycled there. Oxford is supposed to be a ‘cycling city’. But will there be a plethora of ‘Do not Chain Bicycles to the Railings’ like we have, all over the place, in London. Maybe the cycle racks will be interesting? Who knows?
At first I thought we could take the bus because it may be cheaper (but there wasn’t much difference) so we’ll take the train from Paddington.
J will be travelling from Leyton by ‘normal bicycle’ and I will be taking my Fold Up (it may be easier to get on the train) if there is limited space. I will meet him at Charing Cross and he will, no doubt, take the quick and lazy route, although safer from those goddam motorcycles from Stratford to Liverpool Street and then cycle to Charing Cross.
We hope to cycle along Hyde Park and, if we can, Kensington Gardens to get to Paddington. As it is the weekend, we don’t need to make a reservation for our bikes.
The weather is supposed to be good too!