Not an awful lot to report.
I spent last weekend in Oxford and, after a somewhat unfortunate incident with the hotel room, had lovely time seeing old friends.
It was my first time in the city. It’s a strange place full of contradictions: we passed a mock tudor McDonalds on the way into the city by car and then, walking through the centre, we saw an actual historical building that had a Pret shoehorned into it. The city is a layer cake of architecture ranging from the Anglo-Saxon to the present, from the well preserved to the careworn and heaving with tourists at this time of year.
We were lucky enough to have access to some of the university as we were attending a wedding reception on site. I wasn’t immediately familiar with where we were until G and I wandered round one of the courtyards. It was a strange somewhat dislocated sensation as I realised I was standing in an area I’d seen in any number of television programmes and films – Morse and Harry Potter being two of the more obvious. But for me, of course, it was all about Tolkien because we were by Bodleian library, where the Red Book of Hergest is kept and some of Tolkein’s own manuscripts now live.
As regards my own writing I am still focussing on short stories while I sort out the current backlog of longer ideas. Reading wise I have been on something of fantasy binge and so, once I have finished Looking for Jake and other stories, I think I’ll be tackling something out of my comfort zone. I am also compiling the all important Holiday Reading list on which I shall spend most of my backage allowance. Happy days.