Oxford – it always ends in beers!

Back on the rock and collecting my thoughts through a dissapating haze, I feel I should at least sketch in a few details of the oxford leg of my short UK tour. Lack of easy internet access, a moody camera, and most of all large quantities of real ale meant I neglected my posting duties, but it was good fun.

Luckily it didn’t rain much but most days started with a frost, making my walk into the city centre, about 3 miles from my parents, chilly but bracing, I could have got a bus, but denied my regular swimming, it meant I still got some daily excercise. I like to see what’s changed in Cowley and in the approach to town, mainly more pubs closed and more bargain stores opening, there were a few other pleasant surprises, posh leggy students on bikes are always distracting, and a young ladies lacrosse team heading down the High Street filled my mind with images of St Trinians.

As always I spent too much time sampling the ale, winter warmers abound at this time of year and a few bottles of Youngs Banana Bread Beer at 5.2 % had me looking all yellow and bendy. I could have taken up other temptations, a Wednesday night concert by The Proclaimers at the O2 Arena might have been fun but I passed it by. The big finale for my final night should have been The Oxford Beer Festival but a little too much practice in the day meant I retired early feeling tired and emotional. I did bump into quite a few visiting CAMRA (Campaign For Real Ale) fans during the day, although I find it a little excessive how they all start jotting down notes about each half they try of a new unticked ale.

So it was a hazy early set off for me to Gatwick Airport, and just a few quiet beers before flying. The main pre check in bar contained the Northern Ireland under 20 football squad, on their way back from the World Championships in Egypt, they were well behaved, but amused, like everyone else, by the young chap in just a pink mankini, no doubt off on a beery lads trip – well there would be no need to ask him to empty his pockets at customs.

 Maybe next trip I can fly in and out of Oxford, Kidlington Airport on the edge of Oxford, mainly a school for young pilots, is about to launch its first commercial service with flights to and from Geneva, in line with various other airports that are miles away from London, its new name is London Oxford Airport – well it’s only about 52 miles away. Anyway it’s good to back in the land of Dorada and 30 degree sunshine – I feel a punishing schedule of swimming coming on to kick start me back to rude health.