Ultimate Oxford Fun Times

5 Aug

… involves:

Meeting a nice bunch of strangers. So I was invited to partake in this weekend of Ultimate Fun by my friend Jom, who was spending it with three of his friends I’d never met. They were good value – thanks for having me :)

Climbing St Mary’s tower for an amazing view of the city. One member of my party seemed to work for the paparazzi, but with this view, that was just about acceptable.

Checking out the Natural History Museum and the Pitt Rivers – except the shrunken heads. I hate the shrunken heads, they make me feel faint. Debate why land animals nowadays aren’t as big as dinosaurs. Thanks to James for later on providing me with a plausible hypothesis.

Picnic in the University Parks in amazing summer weather – with a packed lunch made for me by someone who hadn’t even met me yet.

Two hours of punting, with ‘Pimms’ that doesn’t actually contain any Pimms. Here’s a tip for you – leave a load of strawberries, cucumber and mint marinading in a bottle of lemonade for a couple of hours and the resulting mixture tastes pretty much like Pimms, without the expense. And impedes your punting ability less.

Go for an amazing dinner at the house of a couple you have never met. This is what has stayed with me. I think this is one of most genuine ‘Christian’ experiences I’ve had in this country. Only one member of our party knew these guys, and wanted to call in on them while she was in Oxford. They responded by inviting five strangers to dinner. They (and their lodger) were so welcoming, so interesting and so loving towards us, and so clearly involved in a lot of very cool and genuine stuff in the community, that I left wishing I was more like that. I don’t normally like having to make small talk with lots of new people, but it wasn’t small talk, and I was sort of sad to go home. Amazing people to meet.

Visiting a church you never go to, with people you never go with. Namely, St Ebbes. I wanted to shout “amen!” during Vaughan Roberts’ sermon, but felt it would be a cultural faux-pas.

Lunch at the Turf Tavern, outdoors in the sun. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten food there before. I recommend PIE at all times. At the same time I had a great chat with some more really interesting strangers about Ecuador, Catholicism and cults. In Spanish.

Afternoon tea at Jane’s Teas. Which never disappoints. I was satisfied by my friends going into raptures about the cake and the general insanity of the surrounds.

And afterwards…

Doing not very well in the pub quiz. Okay, but that wasn’t part of the weekend.


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