Sunday, 22 April 2018

Blackwell's Books 'n' Bacon

Blackwell's Books 'n' Bacon

In yesterday's video we talked about our many visits to Oxford and the adventures we had there.
One of the highlights was being on the top of a double decker bus on a city tour and suddenly seeing a TARDIS outside the Museum Of Natural History. We both looked at each other not quite believing what we had just seen. We decided to stay on the bus until we reached the museum again and then get off.

Entering the museum we found out that there was another TARDIS inside and that it was part of an exhibition by artist Mark Wallinger.  Unfortunately, when we tried to take some photos we found that my new camera wasn't working, so a trip back into the town centre to buy a disposable one was necessary...
On that particular bus tour, the guide paused from his commentary to count to some lucky number or other as he had seen a single magpie, which was apparently an ominous sign.

We also did a walking tour of the colleges and were very nicely asked to move on as a meeting was going on inside and our party (or at least one member of it!) was rather loud.

Another history walking tour saw us being told about how Bloody Mary (Mary I) had her head chopped off and when it was shown to the crowd, the hair parted from the head and the head bounced away.  Hmm, I don't think so...  Mary I died in bed in 1558.  The Mary in question was Mary Queen of Scots who didn't even die in Oxford. The guide was showing us the cross in the marketplace where the Protestant martyrs Ridley and Latimer were executed.  I just hope the student taking the tour wasn't studying history.

One thing that stands out for me is a story we heard about the poet Shelley who was in the habit of electrifying his doorknob, swapping babies over in prams and had a menagerie of animals.

We used to enjoy going to The Story Of Oxford attraction, which took you through the history of Oxford. You would sit at an old school desk and listen to narration from either Magnus Magnusson or Timmy Mallet. We were never brave enough to try  Timmy Mallet's. Andrew always enjoyed visiting The Story Of Oxford, as it had a section devoted to Roger Bacon, an important figure in medieval science.

We always like to visit Blackwell's bookshop as it is a lovely huge space. The trouble is we always come away with a huge stack of books. Once we needed a taxi to take us from the hotel to the railway station,  as we had amassed four large bags of books in the course of a few days.

The last time we went we came back with only three or four books. Plus a small film-style Paddington Bear and a small toy version of Mr Bean's teddy bear. Oh, and a pen. And a bookmark...
We also stood where the camera was placed in the 'Callan' episode 'The Little Bits and Pieces of Love'. In our photo, you can see the tree that may be spotted in the episode, but it had obviously grown quite a lot in the near 40 year gap.

Over the years, we've also encountered a tap-dancing robot and a bloke dressed as Spiderman. But that probably happens to quite a few people...

All in all we've had some very fun times in Oxford and are planning our next visit, hopefully with young Mr Warren in tow....

(By Lisa Parker)


  1. Our library does an annual stock-pick at that branch of Blackwell’s; understandably it’s my favourite day of the working year! To be able to run around just buying stuff! I thought I was dreaming the first time I went. I do have a soft spot for Oxford, in general and filmed a lot of Sutton Park there back in the 90s because both RA and HF lived there. My first Night’s Out On The Town we’re also in Oxford and I still have friends there today!! :)

  2. We seem to have a lot of adventures where ever we go.



Bounty We've reduced the frequency of these blog posts in recent weeks as an experiment and it doesn't seem to have affected the ...