Old Blighty


After Belfast I flew to London for a couple of days before taking the bus to Oxford. Since I’d been to London before I didn’t really need to see the main sights again, instead I concentrated on some things I missed last time I was there. However I was glad to get out of it after a while, it’s just way too busy, noisy, and is just general mayhem.

I must confess again, I’m not much of a city person. Oxford is a lot nicer in my opinion. The hostel I was staying in at Oxford was exactly what a hostel should be like; clean, lots of character, friendly staff, cool guests, free internet, and a fully functional kitchen. I had a lot of fun in that hostel and met some really cool people, including an Aussie girl who thought my accent sounded Australian! She said I didn’t have the usual strong kiwi slur whatever the heck that means.

I was actually in Oxford to see my friend Lloyd, who’s a doctor there, so he showed me round the city. What a beautiful place, most of the buildings are gothic in style and very well kept. And of course it’s mainly a student town so they create an atmosphere of their own. It must be a really inspiring place to study at, it almost makes me want to go back to university, almost.

Most of the town is taken up with famous colleges which collectively make up Oxford University. You’d think a place like that would only attract intelligent people but nevertheless I certainly saw my fair share of knuckle dragging yobs roaming the streets as well. Speaking of lack of intelligent matter, Oxford had a ‘heat wave’ recently meaning the temperature maybe crept up over 24 degrees (this is England after all). In the hospital Lloyd works in he had a few patients come in to ER complaining of a painful rash that had developed as a result of the heat. They’d never had it before and had no idea what it was. His diagnosis? Mild sunburn. You know what my recommendation would have been? ‘Get some sun pasty boy!’ In saying that, the weather wasn’t too bad while I was there, nothing like southern Europe but still very bearable.

We did a ‘ghost tour’ around the city which was actually very interesting. The guide showed us round various dubious parts of the city and described weird and unexplained events that had happened there whilst putting his own spin on the explanation. Can you imagine though? Walking past ominous gothic buildings, through narrow alleyways, the sun is going down, and some guy with crazy eyes and dressed in an undertakers suit is telling you ghost stories? Very memorable.

My flight back to Holland was at 6 am so I slept my last night in Stansted airport. I only got about three hours sleep because some kind chap opposite me decided to snore rather loudly. Jolly decent of him, he did look a bit Chilean too. Probably just as well, I only would have had nightmares anyway. Oh well, at least I managed to sleep on the plane to Eindhoven and train back to Rotterdam which made it pass a lot easier. I think I’m over public transport after this. Now, on to trying to sell my bike.