Tag Archives: North Parade

North Parade, Oxford surprises once again

GOOD OLD North Parade.  It’s so good they named it once.

I was alerted to the fact something was going on by the fact that loud alarums and tuba players were filtering through my not very thick windows – it’s -4 Celsius here tonight.

Naturally, I investigated. What was going on? Here’s the video.

Charming, no? After the lasses had finished their last song, one of them turned round, put her candle down and burst into bitter tears. Her friends all rallied round. “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?”  The matter, it transpired, is she was very very cold indeed.

And it is. We couldn’t take a proper snap of Santa Claus on our SnackBerry, but here’s one we snapped earlier in the same street.  Tashi Ji, from the R&C, was serving food in the street in his shirtsleeves. He’s a Sherpa. Must seem like summer to him… Σ

Sleigh bells ringing in North Parade

WHAT A lovely scene. A Christmas tree, bang outside the Rose & Crown, one of the lovely pubs in North Parade, Oxford.

The Rose & Crown, North Parade

The Wood Pigeon escapes me snapping him

JUST OUTSIDE my tiny back yard is a tremendous Holly Bush – it was redolent with berries, just in time for Yuletide.

When I go out there, this huge Wood Pigeon sits there avoiding the thorns and snaffling up the berries.

It doesn’t care about me, it cares not for the thorns on the Holly Bush. I could reach it with my good arm and cook it for Yule. Obviously I would not do that.

But every  time I try and snap it from above or from below, the Wood Pigeon gets in a terrible flap. Only in Oxford. The robins and the wrens here are tame. There’s Ivy out there, too.  ♦

Ashmolean opens tomorrow. North Parade refurbed

THE ASHMOLEAN museum opposite the Randolph Hotel opens tomorrow, I’m looking forward to browsing through it at my leisure.

See this piece on TGD, here.

If you’re in Oxford, check out the Pitt Rivers museum too – it’s full of strange strange things like poppets and shrunken heads.

No shrunken heads in North Parade, where I live.  But they have widened the pavements in a strange chicane sort of way. No, I don’t work for the Oxford Tourist Board.

Only in Oxford: an occasional series

WE HAVE IT ON very reliable authority that when Al Murray tips up at Borders later this month, the resident landlord will not be unrelated to the landlord of the Rose & Crown on North Parade.

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Oxford is always messing about with roads and pavements. Here’s a helpful piece of advice if you want to get run over on the crossing between the Randolph Hotel and the Ashmolean. It appears to be on the deck.

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Culture clubs around my yard

IT’S A LOVELY little street, North Parade – and today was the day of the summer fair, complete with Morris dancers, a string quartet, and shops and stalls along the street.

This string quartet before was a particular delight, with the four young but very accomplished players entertaining passers-by and yours truly. Pictured in the back, behind them and next to a face painting table is Andrew, genial landlord of the very nice Rose and Crown pub, just down the street.

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The second view, down the street towards Banbury Road, shows on the right the very nice Italian restaurant, Luna Caprese, while in the distance you can see a couple of Morris dancers doing what comes naturally – that is drinking pints. Near the dancers, on the right, is the rather lovely Town Garden. North Parade really is an oasis in what’s otherwise a mix of large houses and colleges between St Giles and Summertown. I fell on my feet here – two pubs just yards from a thirsty Mad Mike.

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 Not pictured is the bouncy castle for the kids, at the other end of the street, nor the other pub we have here, the Gardeners Arms. The guys were working hard to set it all up when I popped out for a newspaper earlier on today.  There’s something on the Wiki about North Parade – here.

Robins fledge – a living nightmare

I WAS TRYING to work for TG Daily today but when I went out into my little back garden space a strange sight awaited me.

This little fledgling, probably a bit up more in intelligence than a bee, was gazing at me, wondering what was going to happen to it.

I hadn’t a clue myself – the Robin fledgling – and by the way the European Robin is way different from the American Robin – seemed to be dashing its brains in my little back area, trying to fledge.

The birds must just have fledged today. The parent were tirelessly and unceasingly trying to persuade the kids to flee the nest. Every time there was a little cheep, one of the parents came up with a tidbit to attempt to persuade it to fly.

Naturally a small mammal like me didn’t make things easier, crashing around as I did. I wish I’d videoed the sequence. Eventually the one trapped fledgling managed to get over the garden wall. But it won’t stop tweeting. Ah yes, Twitter. And twittering.

With a bit of luck, the Robin family will all fledge. There are few katz in this part of Oxford. The tigers were all killed by the ubergraduates.

Robins are way harder to rescue than bees, because relatively speaking they have higher intelligence. Probably more intelligence than humans. Must be tough to have been shoved out of the nest to make your own way in the world!

Strange May 1st stuff happens on Oxford street

OXFORD, 1 May 2009.  Outside the Rose and Crown pub in North Parade some strange and very Englishe stuff is happening today.

The street is decked out with streamers and an audience takes note of people dressed in gaudy colours and one even appearing to be a tree. Because it’s May Day, that’s why. What’s going to happen in the video below? Well the tree is going to stand around a bit, the Morris Dancers are going to get a drink, and pretty soon they’ll start waving handkerchiefs.

Here’s some stills.

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