The Oxford Food Riots

Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 1, 2012

Off to Hampshire for the Jubilee long weekend - not particularly for the celebrations though we might indulge as and when appropriate but just because we have four days off. Oxford Travelodge was 15 so it was identified as a good place for a stop-over because Julie could get there easily enough by train.

I was last in Oxford for any length of time in the mid 1990s on a training course so it looked like an opportunity to take a look at the town centre. I got the park & ride bus from the hotel and met Julie on George St where it was drizzling a bit, just in time, after 12 days of fine weather, to affect the Bank Holiday. I hope the Queen has an umbrella.

We popped into a handful of city centre pubs where we managed to accumulate quite a few pounds of winnings on quiz machines, thus demonstrating that this university education thing is not all it's cracked up to be. Included in our circuit were the Lamb & Flag and the Eagle & Child, at least one of which has its own page on Wikipedia, mainly because it was a regular meeting place for The Inklings who were not a 50s/60s soul band but a group of distinguished writers and academic, of whom the most famous today are probably C. S. Lewis and J. R. R Tolkein. Both rather nice pubs that seem to cope with the presumably quite large number of literary and nosey tourists that come inside for a look and perhaps don't spend as much as they should.

By 11 p.m. we were quite hungry and it was then that we discovered that Oxford is one of those strange large and sophisticated British settlements that doesn't cater to people who fancy a curry after a night in the pub. I think this explains the heavy police presence. There really were a lot of uniforms on the street. In Shrewsbury I can go out for the night, visit several establishments and not really notice whether there were any law enforcement officers on the streets. In Oxford they were everywhere. I can only imagine that this is because there would be large scale riots if a pizza delivery person took a short cut down one of the busier nightlife streets just after closing time.

Eventually we found a couple of kebab stalls that were closing down but still had some residual food left, so we bought ourselves a couple of portions of doner meat and chips and took them in a taxi back to the Travelodge to eat. Class.

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