• Oxonian in Cambridge

    A teapot

    Time for Tea?

    I'm writing this on the day a new exhibition opens at the Bodleian. It celebrates the works of five literary luminaries — and personal heroes of mine — but I see little immediate prospect of being able to get to it. My only comfort is a cup of tea.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    April Blues

    April Blues

    Geoffrey Chaucer's emaciated Clerk of Oxenford must either have spent too long in the library or suffered a fourteenth-century winter as long and punishing as the one we're still enduring, over six hundred years later.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    Motor Cars in March

    Motor Cars in March

    Given the inherent tension of my alter ego as The Oxonian in Cambridge, I sometimes wonder if I'm the perversely willing victim of a peculiar variant of OCD — Oxford Cambridge Disorder — from which, though painless, there's little respite.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    Does This House Believe?

    Does This House Believe?

    Founded in 1815, there's an embarrassment of riches at the Cambridge Union this term. Having issued over a thousand invitations, the Speakers Committee has put together a decent party.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    Oxford’s Almanack

    Oxford’s Almanack

    Over a new year drink, I discovered that one of our neighbours — at the bottom of whose garden we live, not vice versa — has a remarkable Oxford connection.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    Scouts and Celebrations

    Scouts and Celebrations

    The invitation, just arrived, is to a college gaudy. It's the third to which I've been asked in twenty years and a tempting prospect, even admitting the bald truth that inclusion on the guest list has nothing to do with merit.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    The Canterbury Connection

    The Canterbury Connection

    It's November and I'm spoilt for choice. I was tempted to write about Merton's arcane Time Ceremony but I passed on the grounds that the port-fuelled prancing only began in 1971, when I was but a few days old.
  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    The Folly of Bridges

    The Folly of Bridges

    Good news this week, via television, of the reopening of the old rail line between Oxford and Cambridge. Neither new nor true, actually, and worse for being a curate's egg; a deception redeemed, in part, by the irresistible glimmer of hope that it might happen, as if in the repetition it might materialise.

  • Oxonian in Cambridge

    Food in Due Season

    Food in Due Season

    It was no secret, though the target of some teasing, that I considered the then-famed excellence of Merton's cuisine an important factor in choosing where I wished to study.

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