By Veronica

Autumn leaves

A day in Oxford today; I got up lazily late and walked into town, doing my best to remember Oxford geography. Unfortunately the weather was really miserable, but it was a good excuse to spend some considerable time in bookshops. I came out of both Waterstones and Blackwells heavily laden. But by the time I'd stopped for a toasted sandwich lunch (mozzarella, marinated chicken and bacon, I do like the fact that sandwiches in Britain are more exciting than they are in France) -- the weather was so miserable I didn't feel like walking further to either the Ashmolean or the NHM, which had been my original plan. The light was getting worse and worse and I still didn't have a blip, so I had a quick whiz round Balliol's quad, when it occurred to me that in the ten years I worked in Oxford I'd never visited a college.

Back at base I caught up on email and did another stint on my photo book (a surprisingly time-consuming task!). Then this evening out to eat with Arachne (Bundle nobly staying behind to work on her thesis). It was lovely to meet her again as I missed her the last time I was here (she had cunningly escaped to France). We walked in the rain to my old stamping ground of Cowley Road and had very good tapas in Arbequina. It seems a bit ironic to come all the way to Oxford and eat Spanish food, but it was very nicely done. I highly recommend their fried aubergine with molasses and whipped feta -- an Andalusian classic but done a bit differently here.  Reasonably priced too. My only criticism is the size and hard furnishings of the place make it a bit noisy. Most of our talk was about politics ...  back at Bundle's we dragged her from her computer for further Brexit-related conversation over mint tea. Lovely evening, thanks both!

Tomorrow I'm off for a blast from the past.

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