After yesterday’s grueling travel, today felt like a relief. We actually did more walking today, but it’s a lot easier without suitcases, particularly if you’re blind and trying to use a white cane to probe for obstacles. Kristy also seems to be learning the bus system, which helps.
We left London for Oxford today, using a bus called the Oxford Tube. It was a pleasant ride there–90 minutes of a young man behind us droning on about his singing talents to a young lady. This helped lull us both to sleep, so the trip felt shorter than it was.
Oxford is the kind of place to which you wish you could afford to relocate. Cobblestone streets running between medieval buildings and alongside peaceful meadows. We took a walking tour that explained how every sweet-looking place was really a blood-soaked den of horror.
My favorite story involved a local noble who decided to assassinate the King of England. He had his son hide in the town cess-pit and wait to stab the king during a royal defecation. This might sound like a dumber plan than filling a plane with snakes to kill a federal informant, but it actually worked, because Samuel L. Jackson would not be born for another millennium. The successful lord than sought out the King of Denmark and explained what a favor he’d done for the Danes (who raided Oxford on the regular). The Danish king thanked the lord, then had him beheaded for being an untrustworthy prick.
More recently, the city was the site where Mary, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII burned a trio of Protestant bishops to death as retribution for creating the Church of England and calling the Pope an Antichrist. I have a cousin who says similar things about the Holy Father. Perhaps he should remain stateside.
The food on this trip has been nothing short of incredible, both in London and Oxford. In London, it’s been mostly the result of dumb luck. In Oxford, we’ve been following the advice of our sister-in-law, who studied there for a time. Of particular interest was the Eagle and Child, a pub where C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien got together, presumably to argue about whether a talking metaphor-lion could win a fight against Ian McKellen. (The answer is no.)
On the bus back to London, we struck up a conversation with some UK residents who were very irritated with the recently re-elected Prime Minister for trying to bring fox-hunting back. Fortunately, both Paul McCartney and Brian May oppose these hunts, which means aging Boomers will hear about the controversy at overpriced nostalgia concerts. This may prove ineffective. If One Direction signs on, however, a million angry emojis will flood David Cameron’s Twitter feed and put a stop to these proposals right quick.
Tomorrow, we’re staying in the capital, with more adventures planned. Check back in.