Yesterday was wonderful. Nothing world shattering or game changing – just ordinary and wonderful. And worth putting away in that little box reserved for warming memories of wonderful days.
As I set out, the weather set the tone by being pretty nearly perfect. It was one of those lovely tail-end-of-summer days with just enough warmth from the sun to give the cooling air the quality of liquid silk flowing across your skin.
I bumped into a friend at the bus stop who turned out to be heading for London and a seriously fun all-nighter at the Natural History Museum complete with dinosaurs and things in jars. The journey into town gave us an opportunity to catch up on personal stuff, knitting and geology.
Lunch was great. Because of the weather, we decided to find somewhere with tables outside and headed of for St Mary the Virgin in the High Street, but somehow ended up inside a café in the Covered Market. This was another chance to catch up and (for me at any rate) an opportunity to feel relieved and slightly smug about not having to put up with all the rubbish (literal and metaphorical) that comes with working for the Council a large organization.
On these occasions I usually take a post-prandial walk through The Parks or by the river. Yesterday, I headed off for the less picturesque St Ebbe’s area to take pictures for one of my (many) current projects.
At some point, I became entangled with a rather elderly lady who had somehow wandered out of the tourist areas and was trying to find her way back to Castle Street in order to get her bearings. With some difficulty and help from another passer-by, she was eventually sent off in the right direction.
After completing my photographic tasks, I walked back towards the centre and bumped into the elderly visitor who was by now sitting on a bench in the sunshine. We fell into conversation which ranged from where she was from (Hull) and was going next day (Stratford) to how I came to Oxford and what her brothers did in the War. I’ve always been fascinated by old people’s stories and it was a complete privilege to have the leisure to listen to these first-hand accounts of a rapidly vanishing era.
Like I said, a wonderful day.