April 2023.

Getting to what we tickers call “the Home Counties clearances” now. Oxfordshire is probably listed under North-West Region in the new GBG though.

A couple in Oxford to finish, and a chance to re-evaluate Cambridge’s historic rival. Mum tells me my home town just won the boaty race (never knew it was on), and the battle to stay in League 1 (Div 3 to you and me) goes to the wire.

A few years back I compared the merits of our 3rd and 4th best Universities (after Sheffield and the Conservatoire of Life), and found a tight contest edged by Cambridge due to superior pubs.

In 2023, I can’t update on the pubs,

but Oxford looked a gem in the Spring sunlight in Jericho,

and the flat white and posh paninis in award winning Tree Artisan Cafe.

The long-term closure of the famous Eagle & Child (top) is a pubby tragedy, but at least the Lamb & Flag still stands,

and the walk to the Ashmolean was a bit inspiring.

Oxford’s top museum is one of the UK’s treasures,

far more hands-on and enjoyable than the Fitzwilliam and packed with young folk keen to see the famed “BRAPA comatose after six pints in the Parcel Yard” sculpture.

I particularly enjoyed “Lawrence of Arabia”, a piece commemorating the efforts of pub tickers to reach Mecca to tick a rumoured micro pub in 1924.

But the highlight of the Ashmolean this Easter holiday morning was “anxious dad” rushing back in to tell “pashmina mum” and his children Hugo, Margo and Petra that he’d have to move his car somewhere cheaper as Oxford County Council wanted £6.60 an hour off him.

Oxford and parking charges; there lies a tale.

I was avoiding parking charges altogether, and I set off on the footpath through Jericho like Joshua, several years ago.

Old and new in perfect harmony. And then I hit the meadows…


  1. Sorry to see the Eagle & Child is closed. It’s where JRR Tolkien used to read his pretentious guff to his clever mates and where CS Lewis was heard to mutter “, Oh God, not another f***ing elf.’

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, elfism! I am glad pubgoers can benefit from the watchful eye of Camra stopping anything that can be interpreted as offensive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Someone who comments on this blog highlighted an old post of mine with one of those ancient “humorous” signs that say “Men without shirts won’t be served; women without shirts WILL be”, suggesting it might be reported to CAMRA as being exclusionary. I guess the same will apply to the inbuilt sexism in signs such as “Men to the left because women are always right” and the one with suggested charges for lying to the wife when she phones the pub.

        Liked by 1 person

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