I missed last nights Dispatches on the bin wars — the one where they collected some of our rubbish for us in a nice yellow wheelie-bin — so if anyone can fill me in on the state of play here in Oxford, that’d be useful.
In possibly related news, I realised last night that there’s at least one mouse on the loose in our house, and that when Andromache has been parked in front of her food bowl for lengthy periods without eating, this isn’t a protest against the muck we feed her so much as her patient vigil in front of the mouse-hole.
Enkidu recently disappeared for (we think) three nights in a row, which isn’t typical behaviour, and in the end I found him on the corner of Victor St and Canal St where there’s a little alleyway that goes down to the canal, and I brought him home. (This confirms what other neighbours had told me, that he spends his time hanging out down at the canal, and this may be where he finds his mice.)
Anyway, this is by way of background to the fact that my friend Max Pensky, who has been a visiting philosopher at Oxford this year, is living round the corner from us in Jericho, on the street to which Enkidu is a frequent visitor, and has now turned to haiku.
First, there was this:
Indignant but glad he’s found
Like any good cat.
Then, yesterday, this:
Glimpsed, black-white quicksilver flash.
“Flink,” the Germans say.
And, this morning, the third instalment:
Quite sharp, or quite soft.
The rubbish wars are escalating here in Jericho. About ten days ago The News of the World van was spotted driving around with a chap dressed up as Robin from Batman (pretty similar, anyway), and now Channel Four’s Dispatches tell me they’d like to have two weeks’ worth of my rubbish, and have given us an enormous yellow wheelie bin to put it in. I dread to think what’s coming next.
My street, apparently. (I hadn’t really noticed.)
Well, not yet, and the matter might go to appeal, but we live in hope. BBC report here; Oxford Mail report here; local(ish) Green councillor’s bloggerage here (though I don’t agree with him about the pub, which is just over the road from me).
I wondered why there was a police van parked just outside my house shortly before lunchtime yesterday, and why I saw several more on the streets of Jericho yesterday: the protesters at the local boatyard were being evicted. BBC report here; pictures over here; Cllr Matt Sellwood’s blog here.
Over here. The protestors seem to think this is a good thing, though there doesn’t seem to be quite enough detail in the reports to be sure about this. Let’s hope so.
Google Earth is now available for Mac.
One of the reasons I didn’t post much on the blog over the last few days is that what time I was spending with the computer was being spent admiring different bits of the surface of the earth, rather than wittering over here.
Someone needs to fly low over Oxford, though, and get some better snaps. It’s a pity that I can see the back porch of the Cambridge, MA flat I used to live in, and can scrutinise Cambridge, UK, on a quad-by-quad basis, only to have Oxford in general and Jericho in particular appear as a bit of a blur.
(For Jericho-from-the-air, go here.)
I’ve already posted on the demolition of Lucy’s. Now it’s been confirmed that The Globe, the pub just over the road from me, isn’t going to reopen, but will probably be turned into flats.
One of the reason I liked the idea of moving to Cranham Street is that there was a spot a few yards from my door from which four licensed premises are clearly visible (with three more just out of sight!). Now there are only three. Still, it won’t make much of a difference to my life, as I never had a drink there.
Someone told me it used to be a National Front pub, which surprised me a bit, so if there’s any Stoa-reader out there with a long memory concerning this part of the world, please do your bit in the comments box.
[The next instalment of Defunct Oxford Institutions will be a sadder one: the St Giles Cafe appears to have shut down, too, either for good, or for a comprehensive remodelling inside.]