This past weekend Oxford got a significant amount of snow. More unusual yet, the temperatures have stayed low, so the snow-turned-ice is still here. I’ve had a pretty arduous trek to nursery in the past few mornings, and my knees and ankles are a bit wobbly after all of the sliding around. England’s snow policy seems to be that the stuff really only comes a week or so a year, so it’s not worth making too much of a fuss over. No shoveling, no road crews. If need be, things just shut down until the temperatures rise and the problem disappears. I saw one or two people sprinkling salt by hand near office buildings, and they looked for all the world like they were feeding chickens. It’s quite a shift from Ithaca, where snow treatment consumes a good chunk of the county budget.
I felt a bit silly touring town this weekend with my college roommate, Lisa. She didn’t come from Switzerland to see snow in Oxford! But we had a lovely time all the same. With the help of a babysitter, Lisa and I took a walk up the canal on Saturday, stopped for lunch, took in the view from the top of St. Mary’s church (our perch was just above the clock in the picture below), and settled in for tea and scones in the cafe once we reached the ground again. We returned home to some pretty wound-up kids (Dadda’s gone! We have company this weekend! Fun new babysitter!), but Lisa helped me wrangle them into bed–and then we settled in with good Indian food we had delivered. Yes, it was a food-filled weekend. Thanks to Lisa (who both remembered her camera and shared her photos), I have even pictures. I’ll post some from our walk below and more of Lisa and the kids in a second post.
“It’s so flat!” Lisa’s gotten accustomed to the Swiss geography, so the Thames river valley struck her as strange country.