I took the train from York (3hrs, £30) and arrived in Oxford at 4pm. My host collected me from the station and I spent a lovely evening listening to Radio 3 and reading the Guardian. We made a leek, carrot and chocken soup using vegetables he had froogaled from the supermarket. Oustide he had a fire set up in an old supermarket trolley and a sign saying TATTOO ARTIST leaning against the pile of scrap timber he used for firewood. Unique!
The next morning I walked in to the town centre and caught a bus to Blenheim Palace. It takes about half an hour to get out there. Entry is about £20 for the palace and gardens, but I had been dispatched with a sketch map, instructions and a cover story. If captured say nothing!
I returned to Oxford after a successful mission.
A lot of people were touring the colleges but I found them a bit boring. They’re all similar and you can’t really go in.
That evening my host took me to evensong at Pembroke College. Do go to evensong – I imagine it would be as good at any of the collegese. The organist was superb and the choir was also excellent. Afterward, because he knew the organist, we dined at the college. Plain fare – mushroom soup, followed by chicken breast, peas and carrots, with black forest gateux for dessert.
The next day I filled a bag with food (at the insistence of my host) and walked in to town.