The Monday Muse. The downfall of the human race.

Oxford. The city that saw me trawling museums as a child and drinking holes as a teenager. It is also home to a reprobate character or two…

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Five things I learned this weekend.

  1. A man (that you do not know) will find no qualms in stealing a sheepskin rug from under your bottom on the rooftop of a bar because he is cold and there are no blankets left.
  2. A man will also find no qualms in standing with his bum pressed up against your shoulder even though there is a shedload of floor space around him and you have spent the last 30 minutes shifting your chair across his toes.
  3. The Ashmolean Museum is filled with staff members on ‘backpack watch’ (probably because they’ve seen a knuckle-headed tourist wipe out an irreplaceable Ming vase with the oversized load on their back). The dunderheads always ruin it for the rest of us.
  4. Massage therapists will touch your feet even when you ask them not to (and then look shocked when they narrowly miss a roundhouse to the face when they do lay their paws on yours).
  5. Waitresses no longer find it necessary to apologise when you inform them that there is a hair in your cucumber sandwich, and they will only replace it once you’ve fully tucked into your scone and hence no longer have the palate for savoury. Of course at this point you have also forced yourself to power through the high tea, forgetting all thoughts of said hair and her return only reminds you of the discovery and makes you want to throw the jammy creamed cake at her phlegmatic face.

Otherwise the city of spires is quite a delightful place to spend your hours.         giphy-2

Thank you to the Daily Post for inspiring my photo-taking for the second time this week.

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Fortune.

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Day 16 of Photography101… “Treasure”.

Fortune.

The gong chimed, a bellowing command came from above, and from all corners they scuttled up the stairs, past the boxed bugs and through the dinosaur bones, onto the streets of Oxford. He hadn’t seen me. I stood looking over the curiosity filled cabinets and antique occupied closets, entirely alone with millions of years of treasure.

 

Watching.

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Day 12 of photography101… “Architecture”.

Watching.

He had seen his type before. There were hordes before him and there would be masses to come. Their footsteps, they journeys, their sins… he witnessed them all from his stone pedestal.

 

 

New Balls Please.

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Laura turns critic for the night at the Oxford Fringe’s new sketch show from Mullins & Gladwin…

There is something deliciously awkward about an expectant audience awaiting a comedy show. But there is something even more appetising about an expectant audience perched on the chairs of a Baptist church, the ones where the bible sits tucked behind the derrière of every spectator, just willing you to read it whilst you are waiting.

So it was amidst my education on the likes of Deuteronomy and Exodus that I was given my first taste of tonight’s comedic pair. It came courtesy of the kind of retro tune that wouldn’t have stood out of place on an 80s Saturday night sports show. The music teetered for a few moments longer than was natural, those extended seconds that comedians have revelled in since the likes of The Office and Family Guy discovered that audiences do like to be pushed past the extreme point of unease. I could only laugh… first serve to Mullins and Gladwin.

Behind their simple staging, the duo was kitted with a dress up box that even Mr Benn would have crossed mountains to claim, and thus we were treated to a compilation of colourful characters. There was the shop owner that had an insalubrious affection for the word ‘balls’, and the golf coach whose career goals were entrenched more in the West End than on the putting green. There were carefully tailored parodies of characters that even those who never even entertain the idea of sports-watching could recognise, such as the gum gnawing, talks-out-the-side-of-his-mouth, unresponsive football manager. Some sketches played with our sense of the familiar and the unexpected; a pair of boxers gearing up for a tumultuous game of tiddlywinks, and the snooker player who really is listening to THAT commentary.

It was with a shrewd wit that the duo took on the England squad’s notorious affection for the National Anthem, treating us to a dance that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Sadler’s Wells… here we had two performances for the price of one.

Mullins certainly tickled some funny bones with his love affair with a cardboard cut out of Jessica Ennis – if only he knew she was having another man’s baby – whilst Gladwin delighted with his uncanny impersonation of Chris Tarrant; it was all in the twitching eyes…

Laughter is without doubt the best medicine, and there is certainly no scientific formula as to its creation, but you might just be able to self medicate if you catch these two in action.

Catch Mullins and Gladwin in Oxford at the end of July for the Oxford Archway

www.archwayfoundation.org.uk

My Oxford museum home… with dinosaurs.

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A life sized cabinet of curiosities…

Its heavy air still seizes my nostalgic nose from my very first footstep inside. Its stuffed creatures still monitor me from every corner and kink of the room.

My feet must have contributed to the eroded curves of its stone entrance steps. My instinctive untamed child fingerprints will have joined many along its endless glass cupboards of oddities. My neck still cranes to take in the skeletal giants, as was required when I was two foot nothing.

An archaic collection that repeatedly takes centre stage across my own historical timeline.

Day 94.

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A sunny Sunday of penguins, Cotswolds countryside, rum&raisin, dead fish and birds both winged and womanly. The cherry on my weekend cake came disguised as a duo of mischievous parrots that are forever trapped in a toxic world of green gloop beneath a drinking cup, all courtesy of my little cherub playmate for the day. I will grant them a good abode. #100happydays #day94

Day 93.

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Old friends are the very best of friends, and Mr T Rex and I go way back. #100happydays #day93

Day 68.

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Two months ago my cynical self wouldn’t have found anything happy about a bed bound day of illness. But the mini angel on my shoulder tells me I have found joy in catching up with The Face and my favourite fashion lion, Erin O’Connor. It may be terribly last season, but you try watching a girly reality show when you live with a man who couldn’t tell his McQueen from his M&S. I met her once in an Oxford service station, she asked if I was a fashion student, oh the grin she sparked, it effervesced for weeks. Pass me the alka seltzer… #100happydays #day68