Oxford digs

I’ve just arrived in a little attic room, up the top of The Banbury Road. The ceiling boards come across at just a tiny bit above six foot, so I’m *just* not gonna clonk my head if I bounce excitedly out of bed in the morning. That’s a relief, as it was my silent concern when I saw the pictures that I’d end up knocking myself out. This little room will be my home for the next three weeks, and I like it.

The blinds have been handmade – I’m sure Lou would have things to say about them. There’s a little bit of light wooden furniture including a nice old desk. Opposite the bed on the shelves there’s an old replica Absinthe poster, a deco clock, and a selection of children’s books. “Where’s my rabbit?” – perhaps an infant version of the great Kit Williams Masquerade book from the 1980’s. The bed itself is double with a decorative metal frame. This is better than my beige Jersey hotel room, despite the heat.

It’s rotten hot up here. They’ve given me a fan, thank God. It’s chuntering away on top of the chest of drawers as I write. I couldn’t sleep with it on as it raises hell as it works. But I’m gonna cook tonight if it’s off.

Thankfully there’s a little ensuite shower for morning cooldown, and looking on Google Maps I am right next to Sunnymead Bathing Place. If it’s open its the perfect solution, first thing in the morning, if the hot weather holds – a plunge. So long as it’s open, what with Covid. I’ll investigate tomorrow. As it happens I actually have my swimming trunks.

Bergmann took me up here from Brighton, smoothly all the way. He blew cold air on me and played me radio 4. It was hard saying goodbye to Mao for a few weeks, and double hard to know that I’m just going to miss seeing Lou, especially as her birthday is coming up. She’s back from a festival just as I leave her flat to come up to do this silliness. Mao gets to hang out with her instead of me. I’ve just got Bergmann up in Oxford for company tonight, and he’s not allowed inside.

I’ve given him a parking pass for tomorrow and he seems happy to rest here a little bit and wait. The digs owners are happy to give him permits for every weekday he’s waiting. He has seagull shit on his door, and he’s not happy about it so I’ll probably have to get that off for him before long. But I’m tired right now and the heat is making me dizzy. I’m not gonna be washing down a car no matter how proud it is of its bodywork. He will just have to go to sleep with shit on him. On the other hand, I’m getting in the shower. It’s one rule for people and another rule for cars.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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