Brass In Pocket

It was a more rainy forecast today, so we planned to be able to duck indoors when possible. In particular there was a museum we had passed yesterday that was free and looked interesting but it had not been open yesterday so we were pleased to have saved that in our back pocket for a rainy day. Both sun and showers were on the cards and I had a go with the bird app in the morning sunshine. The very loud bold call were from the tiny bluetit. Later more clear calling was blasting out, a robin I turned round and there he was bold (and loud) as brass.

Master blaster Robin

Shane was feeling chilly with me stopping to listen to birds and wanted a brisk walk into town to warm up. It is getting towards the end of the shorts season methinks.

As we made our way into the old centre the rain started. It was high time we had a morning coffee and so we went to a patisserie and found an array of delights. Sometimes it is hard to choose between pain au chocolat and a croissant aux  amandes then the very answer was here and if you don’t know which fruit tart to have then choose a mixed one. The day was definitely off to a good start, whatever the weather.

Delicious pastries to start the day

We had a window seat to watch for the rain stopping. It was upstairs with a better view and Shane noticed a Rowing Eight on the roof of a passing bus. Oxford and Cambridge are famous for their boat race but advertising painted on the roof of the bus seems to be showing to a limited audience. The roof wasn’t quite wet enough for real boats.

As the rain eased we headed out and cut through an indoor market. Lots of lovely sights and smells there so we resolved to come back for lunch. A little street weaving and we were at the History of Science museum. It’s fair to say there a number of exhibits that were things I hadn’t heard of and didn’t understand but the range was very wide and there was plenty to keep me entertained plus new exhibits still planned. It was a small museum but a pretty wide collection of instruments and exhibits (typhoid vaccination needles, a wax model of facial nerves, cameras, orreries, sextants, clocks, telescopes, slide rules). The popular choice for a scientific instrument seems to have been brass for several hundred years.

We both found it interesting and pored over the cases on both floors until we were all brassed out and broke out in the fresh air. Shane was ready for lunch so we did head towards the covered market. There was always a distraction or two on the way with many interesting buildings around. In the market we were led by our noses to choose an oriental cafe and slurped up udon noodles. I had a particularly mixed textured dish with a curry soup, the fat udon noodles, veg of various levels of strandedness and slipperiness and dumplings all together.. there was a touch of spatter as I tackled it all with chopsticks. The challenge of working out what I was eating and how to eat it was just as satisfying as the food. On the way out of the market, Shane thought he would be left hovering while I browsed a wool shop but I decided I really did not need any more wool shopping but the window display was diverting.

Crocheted Crown, flanked by knitted frog in a jumper (jumper in a jumper perhaps) and pumpkin paraphernalia

I had recommended the gardens at Christchurch and a walk in the Christchurch Meadows was appealing and we thought we might see some punts. However the rain began to get pretty heavy so the punters were not about. The trees gave pretty good shelter and the visitor centre had a toilet so a successful visit nonetheless.


I fancied showing Shane the old pub I had remembered visiting before, and we managed to find it hidden down an alley as it is. It was a 12th century tavern and I ordered one of their own ales, but Shane was not warm enough for beer and had a cappuccino. He was impressed that it had a tap and stack of glasses for people to help themselves to Adam’s Ale. There were several rooms and we were in a particularly low lit one so there’s a golden glow to the pictures. I’ve not seen a brass qr code before.

We decided to head back before it got any cooler and continued to catch new sights on the way that we hadn’t noticed before. Did this huge thing just appear today? We passed here yesterday and neither of us can remember seeing it.

The pink pen is writing.