Pagans and Pringles

Posted: Oct 14, 2003 11:31:15 AM

Oxford is a fascinating place - it's beautiful, full of intelligent (or intelligent-looking, anyway) people, and crammed with very large book stores. What I find most enjoyable about it, though, is the multitude of literary associations that can be located in this locality, and two days ago Tamsyn and I went on a tour of them.

We walked down the section of the Thames that Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddle punted down in the temperate days that enabled him to compose 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. We had a drink (yes, mine was non-alcoholic) in the Rabbit Room of the Eagle and Child, the pub room that for several decades was the weekly meeting place of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams (who really is the outsider Inkling, kinda like Ringo Starr of The Beatles). I also took the afternoon off to locate Tolkien's grave, in Wolvercote Cemetery, which was rather unfortunately festooned with offerings from fans such as poorly written poetry, badly taken photos, and even a hardcover copy of 'The Hobbit'. No, I didn't take it, although I did read the inscription.


If that day was Literary Sunday, yesterday was Neolithic Monday: I set out alone to explore Stonehenge and the Avebury Circle, two very different monuments to pre-historical Britain. Stonehenge was fascinating - the forty minutes between buses seemed to fly by - but rather crowded with tourists just like me. Well, not all of them; there were a couple sitting on a bench and (I think) silently praying to the structure. I, in a pique of tourist malignancy, decided to walk up behind them and crunch my Pringles, very loudly. Don't ask me why, they just seemed to be a wee bit daft.

Avebury was a long bus ride away, but it was worth it, because the Avebury Circle was quite a different experience to Stonehenge. Not better, not worse, just ... different. It is larger in circumference but smaller in height, and has no lintel stones. Best, you can actually walk among the Avebury stones, touch them too if you are so inclined.

As I meandered around I encountered a couple who were doing just that. As a matter of fact, they were hugging the stone. Honestly. Incredulously, I approached, and a memory was triggered. They looked familiar... yes, it was the couple from Stonehenge. I couldn't resist. I silently padded up behind them and pulled out the can of Pringles. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Today is the last day in Oxford; I will catch a train into the Big City tomorrow morning, and it will be from there that the next report will appear.


Morgan   Oct 14, 2003 1:10:16 PM


Haven't read the post yet but I just wanted to be the first one in.

Please phone Gareth when you get the chance.

umm... Yeah cool

Rimmers   Oct 14, 2003 4:13:46 PM

yeah pagans are a funny folk aren´t they.

Harlequina   Oct 14, 2003 9:42:09 PM

Pringles! *squeals*

Banjo   Oct 14, 2003 11:09:37 PM

"Crunch, crunch, crunch."


What a punkass. Good to know americans aren't the only ones annoying people abroad.

Greg Crossan   Oct 14, 2003 11:25:55 PM

John Ross would have been in York to see John Dawick, formerly of the English Dept. at Massey, who now lives in York, or just outside it. (But as for bumping into him there, what are the odds?!) My man Beddoes went to Pembroke by the way, but I suspect you've already moved on from there...

lian   Oct 15, 2003 12:30:55 AM


oH BOY! or rather,

DUDE. Those innocent pagans.


*Cough* Pringles. Cough.

Anyway. Literature Sunday sounded even more fascinating. Enjoy London!!! Eat tons of muffins :)
(yes I do connect Londres to muffins don't ask why.)

Claudia   Oct 15, 2003 2:28:43 AM

Ah. I've found you. Wondered where you've been recently. Sounds like you're having a wonderful and LONG holiday.

Will go away now and read the rest of your reports.

Binky   Oct 15, 2003 2:31:02 AM

While you're near London, don't forget Hampton Court Palace (interesting in its own right) and its maze. Easy enough to get in and out of if you know what you're doing :-)

I would have liked to catch the boat back down the Thames (having a Paul Jonas/Three Men in a Boat moment), but there wasn't enough time.

Mr Gump   Oct 15, 2003 4:03:21 AM

Ello! I'm still reading these things :) thought you should know that, don't know why... Anyway, you know my advice already - if you can't be good, be careful ;)

Have Fun!

Jaime   Oct 15, 2003 4:32:47 AM

Funny - right as I read this I'm eating salt & vinegar Pringes.


fraZ   Oct 15, 2003 8:28:04 AM

phone Garth

Damon   Oct 15, 2003 7:38:14 PM

@Greg: yes, that would be the one. The odds are exceptionally slim, but I'm glad that they came up anyway!

@Fraz: I did. Twice. He weren't there.

Oh, and hi Claudia! Am in London now, just spent all afternoon at the Natural History Museum.

Damon   Oct 15, 2003 8:24:02 PM

Oh, and who the heck is Mr Gump?

Charlotte   Oct 15, 2003 11:07:54 PM

Gah! It's hideously early in the morning, like not even 6 am and I am bolt wide awake. So naturally I turn on the computer for some spam.

Pringles? Good lad, eat 'em all up - they'll put some flesh on your bones. There sure were a lot of strange people at Stonehenge and Avebury. *grin* The Stonehuggers are probably writing on their own website at this very minute about the weird guy with the terrible eating habits....

Anyway, off temple touring today. Looking forward to hearing about London.

fraZ   Oct 15, 2003 11:09:21 PM

ok, ummm keep trying, cheers for the malta thingy, yeah, keep haveing fun

sis   Oct 16, 2003 12:45:52 AM

*waves hi*
*takes deep breath to say something*
*realises she still isn't witty*
"oh bother"
*waves bye*

David   Oct 16, 2003 2:39:09 AM

Speaking scholastics, I picked up a "Thomas Aquinas Dictionary" in the States. It's an ecyclopedic collection of quotes from St. Thomas. He has a lot of cool things to say about society, nature, and competitive games, none of which I can quite right now, except: "There is no goodness in mathematics."

Today's factoid: For everyone currently living to have their "15 minutes of fame" would take over 170 millenia.
(Cat: "What if they were famous in groups?" Me: "Who wants to be Ringo or Garfunkel?")

Get me a picture of the Elephant and Castle sculpture!

Chris   Oct 16, 2003 3:46:44 AM

Mr Gump is Mike Forrest (he chose Mr Gump, so as to not get confused with westie).

I have been following your travels too. I just don't normally have much to say. Sounds like you are having a good time though. Those pagan tourists must have thought you were stalking them.

Tamsyn   Oct 16, 2003 10:12:07 AM

I bags be Ringo.

He got to narrate Thomas the Tank Engine, remember!

footle   Oct 16, 2003 1:16:54 PM

Does that mean you were in London yesterday?

The big glowing sun thing in the Tate Modern is cool.
And entry is free :)

Damon   Oct 16, 2003 8:00:29 PM

Yes I was, and as luck would have it I went to the Tate Modern today, amongst other things (Tower of London, Globe, London Bridge, Idiotic American Illusionist...).

Hiya MikeF and Chris! Good to see you around again.

I wanna be Ringo. He rocks. But he can't play the drums for peanuts.

Banjo   Oct 17, 2003 12:12:19 AM

Ha ha! everything be all congruent and shiznit, biznatch. Swinging london, where the swingers swing baby yeah!

Charlotte   Oct 17, 2003 12:42:00 AM

@Damon: Did you throw fruit, boo and jeer or streak under the Idiot American Illusionist's perspex box like so many Brits have been doing?

sis   Oct 17, 2003 5:47:44 AM

Ringo, you'd be dreaming

Damon   Oct 17, 2003 6:02:14 PM

I didn't, but that was because he looked so forlorn up there, with his fake smile and his faint hand-waving. Like a dog or something.

Tamsyn   Oct 17, 2003 6:16:47 PM

Popular opinion says that we should leave him up there. He's great entertainment for Londoners and tourists alike - it's like having someone in the stocks! :)

Damon   Oct 17, 2003 6:20:09 PM

I say we tar him and put him in a Scavenger's Daughter aka Skeffington's Irons aka Skeffington's Gyves aka Spanish Cravat.

Er, sorry, been in the Tower of London for too long.

fraZ   Oct 18, 2003 4:13:07 AM

you'd be dreaming

Jaime   Oct 19, 2003 3:15:28 AM

Feel free to keep Blaine, we don't want him back.

...on the other hand, can we put Bush and Blair in there instead?

Jaime   Oct 19, 2003 3:21:17 AM

There's a version of the Scavenger's Daughter at the Kriminalmuseum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber that's particularly nasty... instead of keeping the person in a slightly sitting position, this one brings the knees up nearly to the chin and locks the hands on either side.


fraZ   Oct 19, 2003 6:14:19 AM

London, England, go to the underground, oh right you dont want too loose all your stuff.

Damon   Oct 19, 2003 5:57:00 PM

@Jaime: ouch - that sounds very nasty. Then there's the ol' rocks-on-the-door punishment...

Fraz, I'm going everywhere on the Tube. It's the best way to get around.

fraZ   Oct 19, 2003 9:27:52 PM

Arh i wanna work some place new foodtown is make ing me go nuts, oh yeah, go to the west end of town.

Banjo   Oct 20, 2003 3:16:26 AM

[discrete cough]Report?[/discrete cough]

Charlotte   Oct 20, 2003 3:35:53 AM

*amused* Discrete, Banjo? This is a new angle for you.

Banjo   Oct 20, 2003 4:37:25 AM

Yeah, I thought a change might confuse him. Different than my usual tactic of just whacking him with this rolled up newspaper I have.

fraZ   Oct 20, 2003 12:31:43 PM

do tell me flights from london to other eu counrtys how much are they? $$ nz? do tell,

Damon   Oct 20, 2003 8:36:13 PM

Just time for a quick word: I'm off to Denmark tomorrow morning, so I shall try to write a report once I get there. All in good time...

Damon   Oct 20, 2003 11:51:16 PM

*enters sheepishly*

Um, I have mixed up my dates - I have another day in London. Duuuuh. I'm writing a report right now. Well, not now, but you know. Soon.

fraZ   Oct 21, 2003 12:00:32 AM

so long as you go to the land fo Chocloate, & dont for get 0ctober fest, im sure you'll be a fan of that

Damon   Oct 21, 2003 12:17:50 AM

Sorry, I don't get to Germany until very very late October / early December, and then it will be the north. But I am very much looking forward to the land of chocolate. Mmmmm...

Banjo   Oct 21, 2003 12:27:38 AM

I wasn't coming here to whine about the report delay. Oh no. It was to correct the departure date. Which I so knew about. Yeah. Totally. Shut up.

Banjo   Oct 21, 2003 1:17:00 AM

*whine* con-gru-en-cy!

Banjo   Oct 22, 2003 12:17:51 AM

*bigger whine* C'mon! It's like a crooked picture...

Banjo   Oct 22, 2003 9:34:13 PM

*even bigger whine* Man! Come *on*! Fix it! ;_;

Banjo   Oct 23, 2003 12:31:17 AM

*sad music plays* Wah wah wah waaaaaaaaah. Wah wah wah wah wahwahwah waaaaaaaah.

Banjo   Oct 24, 2003 12:14:52 AM

I gave my love a chicken, it had no bone. Mmm, bone.

Banjo   Oct 24, 2003 12:53:24 AM

*darkly* He had just better have saw my message is all. Unclean!

Banjo   Oct 24, 2003 1:02:50 AM

;_; I weep, and the world weeps with me.

Charlotte   Oct 24, 2003 2:03:55 PM

Have a spam sandwich while you wait....

Banjo   Oct 24, 2003 7:49:35 PM

Actually I have a whole basket of them with me here.

Really though, I assumed that happyboy has the power to erase these. It not, um...sorry?

Damon   Oct 24, 2003 10:22:16 PM

Why would I want to erase them?

Sahi   Oct 26, 2003 4:56:36 PM

The land of chocolate? That would be Belgium right. ;)

Really, the Belgians are master chocolatiers! Hmmmmm! Leonidas!

Shads   Nov 12, 2003 12:06:44 PM

*dies laughing*
Stalked by the Mad Pringle Cruncher!

fangler   Dec 10, 2003 9:33:18 PM

the pringle thing made me laugh ot loud, it did. reminds me of the silly things i like to do to tourists. which i won't mention here in case anyone is actually reading this. :)

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