Lately

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The Natural History Museum’s glass ceiling. This is one of my favourite places in Oxford to for inspiration, even if it is really crowded all the time. I go and see the dodo and the butterfly displays, and visit the ground floor of the Pitt Rivers Museum. It is pretty much the coolest place there is – dark, Gothic, full of terrifying things, from shrunken heads to trophy skulls to Japanese Noh theatre masks. I like to imagine that more than one of these artifacts is imbued with Warehouse 13 -style powers, just waiting for someone to break the glass and activate them, unleashing some exciting horrors.
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I managed to find a view of Oxford I have never photographed before. Few ancient trees have been ordered to be knocked down lately around Oxford, and I fear for this horse chestnut by the Lamb and Flag. Dorothy Sayers mentions it in Gaudy Night, and writing in the mid-1930s she already calls it “giant”.
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It finally snowed in Oxfordshire. It was brief, but glorious, a light coat of snow fallen at night, gone by afternoon. This winter has been gentle, almost boring, in its ordinariness, after the past two winters that brought blizzards and floods and freezing winds.
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My pretty, pretty socks. I learnt how to make socks about three years ago when all my old woolen socks were falling apart (my father, back when he was still working in the church, got loads of socks as gifts from the old ladies in the parish, and often passed them on to me). I gave the first pair I made to my goddaughter, and every consecutive pair to someone else. But these, finally are mine. Warm feet at last!
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Spring visited us on Sunday week ago – the day was warm and sunny and glorious, the snowdrops all out, the crocuses starting to make their way, fresh cowparsley pushing little shoots through the mass of dead leaves, and the first brave bees buzzing the blossoms. At the end of the half term, the sky will still be light when I leave work, and oh the difference to me!
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I went back to London yesterday, to see Taken at Midnight again. I wanted to see not just the play again, but Penelope Wilton too – I waited at the stage door, and she proved to be interesting rather than lovely, though she was very nice and polite. The play packs a punch emotionally, and must exhausting to do – day in, day out – 9 times a week, for months, both physically and mentally.
Also in the picture; fabrics from Liberty. My standard outfit is a grey merino/cashmere jumper, and lately I have become bored with them – not the least because I’ve binged on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and love the richness of the period clothes. So, I’ll be adding some tops with frills to my standards. And shawls. And red shoes. Red shoes should make everything better.

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