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Sunday, 28 October 2007
This Xmas Santa wants you to curb your consumption


This is a close-up of the stencil graffiti in Oxford that I posted in my last entry.  Earlier this year, Oxford Inciter reported that an Oxford graffiti gang was rounded up by the police

Here are some more examples of graffiti in Oxford: Political Statements, The Ox, Chapel Street Stencils and Saks (all from Flickr).

Posted by bigblue on 28/10/2007 at 10:12 AM
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Santa wants you


Some stencil art which was spotted at a hole in the wall in Oxford. Apparently the words “This Xmas” are obscured by the pink poster above the Santa. Indymedia has some other Oxford graffiti photos (This has links to a further 8 pages).

Graffiti removal is a headache for the Oxford City Council.

The Oxford Student writes informatively on graffiti at Oxford University:

All across the city, in every corner of the university, students are busy scribbling. Against the ravages of infrequent but devastating paint jobs, the threat of fi nes for defacing books and the onset of the Hilary term (when overcast is a good day and rain a constant threat) they put down their thoughts in pen, pencil and chalk on the toilet walls, library books and pavements of the city.

Deriving from the Greek ‘graphein’ (to write), and passing via the Latin ‘graffi to’, our own anglicised ‘graffi ti’ is instantly associated with the urban art that symbolised the hip-hop fl avoured New York of the 1970s.

The accepted wisdom says that an anonymous local delivery messenger in Brooklyn began to scribble ‘Taki 183’ whilst delivering documents around the city, and soon a number of copycat ‘tags’ (an acronym for Tuff Artists’ Group) began to appear, a much needed means of self-expression for alienated, under-privileged youth. The fact that Oxford has a graffi ti culture is perhaps a little odd.

Read the article in full.

Posted by bigblue on 28/10/2007 at 10:09 AM
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
A foot on the diagonal


You can play the candidate match game to see which candidate you should naturally support in the 2008 US Presidential Elections.

Posted by bigblue on 27/10/2007 at 11:27 PM
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Wednesday, 24 October 2007


This is Mukhwas or pan, an Indian snack.  The word pan can have many meanings, for example it refers also to the Greek god of nature.

Posted by bigblue on 24/10/2007 at 11:02 PM
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Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Oxford tourist bus


This is the tourist bus at the Broad Street stop. A reviewer in 2005 commented that:

Touring around your native city may seem like a busman’s holiday (ho ho!), but on a clear day, an open top double-decker bus is an invigorating place to be.  Should April showers strike, the driver has a plentiful stash of plastic macs.  One full tour lasts one hour and you are free to hop on and off to your heart’s content.  Younger passengers are kept busy with free activity packs, which include felt tip pens and their own ‘passport’.  Guests from out of town provide the perfect excuse for taking a tour; the live guide speaks in English but taped commentaries are available in German, French, Spanish and Japanese.  I join the tour at the railway station but you can climb on board at over a dozen sign posted stops around the city centre.  The Sheldonian theatre, Queens College and Christ Church are the most popular major stops.

Our Guide, David, is a mine of local information with specialist knowledge of archaeology and paints a vivid picture of Saxon ‘Oxenford’ with its four gates and its city wall (see the remains in New College garden/the back garden of The Turf Tavern).  He makes many suggestions for diverting things to do in Oxford, and advises on current exhibitions and museum opening times (many with free admission).  Spending the day as a tourist in the city in which you live is liberating, and I discover some museums for the first time, such as the Museum of History of Science on Broad Street (which houses in its basement the chalk board written on by Einstein when he gave a lecture here).  David introduces our courteous driver, Widge, who is to be congratulated on giving us such a smooth and steady trip, and who reassures us that City sightseeing/Guide Friday buses use ‘green’ low sulphur fuel.

The tour bears jewels for young and old alike.  Christ Church appears in the Harry Potter film, whilst Inspector Morse fans may recognise the Randolph hotel from the TV series.  Local details that feature in Lewis Carroll’s books are mentioned (such as the Treacle Well at Binsey, the stuffed dodo museum piece and the ‘Old Sheep Shop’, aka ‘Alice’s Shop’ on St Aldates).  Having a live guide, as opposed to a recorded commentary, brings the cityscape alive and makes our afternoon.

Posted by bigblue on 23/10/2007 at 11:06 PM
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Monday, 22 October 2007
Bicycle parking


There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of cycle parking in Oxford, unlike car parking. There is a Park and Ride scheme but this is not convenient if you are dropping off a student with laptop, bags, laundry and assorted paraphernalia .

Posted by bigblue on 22/10/2007 at 10:46 PM
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Sunday, 21 October 2007
Cycling in Oxford


I drove bluemeanie up to Oxford today. Once again I was impressed by the number of people cycling around. It reminded me of a typical (continental) European city but without the trams or buses. Nonetheless there is a hop on hop off tourist bus that does the sounds. I’m tempted to ride it to hear the narration.

Posted by bigblue on 21/10/2007 at 10:35 PM
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Saturday, 20 October 2007
Iced again


There was ice on the windscreen this morning for the third day running.

21.10.2007: Oops and I had to manually “activate” this post - which I made via my mobile phone - which I forgot to do till today.

Posted by bigblue on 20/10/2007 at 03:04 PM
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