The nethermonth

4 Oct
I’m told it’s the Uni’s freshers’ week tomorrow, at long last.
September in Oxford is this strange sort of nether-time, where for a few brief weeks, all the tourists have gone home, there are no more language school groups cramming up the pavements in their identical flourescent hats, and the students have not yet come back to start the new term. For those few weeks, the only people in Oxford are the people who actually live here. Wow. The first time you venture into town in September, you are aware of a slightly eerie quietness – but this soon becomes positively enjoyable as you can stroll down Cornmarket Street in whatever direction you like, rather than having to allow yourself to be swept along to wherever the majority of the crowd is heading. You can walk the pavements at whatever speed you like, and don’t have to dodge into the path of oncoming traffic to get around the blockages of tourists.
Perhaps that should be the collective noun. A blockage of tourists.
Some people are in such a hurry to get everywhere (are you listening, Londoners?) that they complain about people having a nice walk with their families at an ordinary pace, shoving past them, muttering loudly, generally considering everybody else to be a total inconvenience, just because they are running late (which is their own stupid fault). I am not one of those. I appreciate an amble. But it is still nice to be able to amble at whatever pace and in whatever direction you should choose – and not to have to amble in the middle of the road.
September is when I most feel like I actually do live in Oxford, and am not just here and there.
But to be honest, I still think Oxford feels at its most Oxfordy when the students are back and people are cycling around whilst reading books, wearing gowns and holding umbrellas again. So October is all right :o)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: