Oxford, United Kingdom
Still sniffling and snuffling, I packed a small bag of essentials, slung my hoop and headed off to Oxford on a bus for my next big adventure. It’s fair to say that I had not prepared for this portion of the trip at all and even if it had occurred to me to do so, I wouldn’t have known how because I had no idea what to expect. When you accept an invitation to go camping and canoeing from former-wild-child and anarchist, Liam Cooper, you’ve got to be prepared for anything, I was prepared for nothing… except a little hooping.
I met Liam back in my temping days in London – not only were we both ‘Office Angels’, we were both one time ‘Temp of the Month’ Office Angels and as such, were treated to a dinner by the agency – it was free, I went and there I met Liam who stuck in my mind for his extraneous set of nostrils. I was working at Elsevier at the time and when I returned after a two week visit home, who should I find at my desk but that cool nostril guy! He stayed on and we became the best robot-double-building team that Elsevier has ever seen! Since then, Liam spent time in America where he met and married the single most stunning woman there, Megan – together they are gargantuan and gorgeous! Last time we all met, we dressed as pirates along with a hundred or so others and terrorised London flash-mob style. So you see, anything could happen.
As the bus pulled into Oxford (where Liam and Megan currently reside) several hours before we were due to meet, it occurred to me that I didn’t even have a map. Of course I’d been there before many years ago but even then, I was just following the leader. My head was too fuzzy to register this as a problem so I just headed off in the most obvious direction and guess what – it worked! Somehow, I managed to take myself on a pretty comprehensive walking tour of flea markets, covered markets, college buildings and yards, historical buildings, quaint laneways and churches and all in time to be at the designated meeting spot for a very happy reunion.
On the way to a tiny little pub, Liam was able to supplement my earlier amblings with some actual information, most notably which buildings were used in the most recent X-men movie. A couple of pints down, we headed for their home just outside of Oxford proper – Liam on his bike, me on a bus with clear instructions on where to alight. Luckily Megan was waiting at the other end just in case and just as well.
Continuing my tour of the cutest homes in Britain, I was delighted to step into their fairytale cottage, an image only enhanced by the incongruity of the very low ceilings and the very tall inhabitants. Megan had already prepared a delicious meal that was not too hot, not too cold but just right!
After a good catch up, it was time for we three bears to get a good nights sleep ahead of tomorrows adventure.