My phone’s dead, which means my camera’s dead, which means no lovely visual to entice you into the text. Just boring words.It’s Friday, last day of summer school for London’s Faculty of Astrological Studies, sojourning in Oxford for a week. I type this from a spacious attic room in Magdalen College, where I’m gradually growing hungrier and hungrier for the breakfast part of B&B. I’ve been up half the night drinking tea and going through the detritus I’ve collected during my week’s stay. Some stray conclusions reached:
1. Tetley tea is bracing for the first five days, then is dull. Switch to Lapsang Souchong.
2. Only rich women study astrology. Women of means. Most of them seem to be married. Or gay men, or men who failed to realize they’re gay.
3. Irish theater is incredibly powerful and we don’t see enough of it. Of course, most people don’t realize Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and Samuel Beckett are Irish, since they account for 50% of England’s best dramatists within the past 200 years. Was Sheridan Irish? Am I biased toward Irish playwrights? Isn’t everybody? Why wouldn’t you be?
4. I love church bells.
5. I love steamed mushrooms, not overcooked. They served them one day, for breakfast, with roast potatoes. Maybe left over from a banquet? Luscious.
6. I love wearing flip-flops, something I never thought’d happen in England, ever. They saved my life last week.
7. I love beer. I drank a lovely local bitter, White Horse, in the White Horse, although not a house brand. Oh, god, I’ve got 3 beers in the mini-fridge. Got to remember to drink ’em before I leave. Although maybe the next guest won’t complain if I don’t. You have to know how to leave things for others.
8. I prefer books to people. I like people, but I prefer books to people.
9. There’s something deadly about Oxford. A bit too tidy, a bit too clean. There’s hidden power and hierarchy, hinted at by all the heraldry. I’m always on the outside of this stuff. The power’s locked up tight. I can’t get near it.
10. Number 10 represents all the things I mustn’t say or can’t remember. Number 10 is legion.