Bonn Square, OxfordWednesday. I went into town for the second time this week, only to be reminded of why the centre of Oxford is best avoided in the middle of the summer. It didn’t help that the weather was hot and muggy and airless (now there’s an odd expression – there must have been as much air as there ever is, just with less oxygen as usual). It didn’t help that the town was crammed with tourists and the well-heeled youth of Europe on a mission to improve their already impeccable English. It didn’t help that Aethelthingy the Unwatsit thought that it was a good idea to build a town in a dip that acts as a collecting point for every kind of miasma that seeps out of the unforgiving mud of the Thames flood plain.


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Summer in the city – the triumph of hope over experience

Lunch and a heated argument light conversation with an old friend in the well-ventilated and crowd-free Castle Café had a restorative effect. Conversation revolved around the rightness or otherwise of commemorating the outbreak of the First World War and the use of language. We’re still speaking. Just.