Monday, August 03, 2009

My Cut-Rate Grand Tour, Day Thirty-two: Epilogue

Friday, 6 January, 1989 (concluded)
Back in Oxford

I was set down on the Banbury Road a bit before 6:00. Thought I was going to be balked at the last minute, when I stood at the bus stop across from Coverdale*and could not find a break in the traffic. Once across, though, I had no trouble getting in . . .

Yes, yours truly hadn’t even considered that she was supposed to turn in her keys when she left.

My room was used over break; the furniture was rearranged just enough to make the place look uncanny when I walked in. It was too clean, too.

I soon solved that. Mrs. Smythe* [the housekeeper] was in for who knows what reason this evening and let me have the key to the storeroom. I liberated my possessions and by 3:00 AM had put them all back in order. That work included sorting out papers from last term, so the lateness of that hour isn’t as bad as it looks.

I’d intended to do the wash this evening; had it all bagged up and ready, but found I didn’t have enough 20p pieces for the dryer. Which perhaps was a good excuse to go find something to eat and get change at the same time.

I knew Lukas* was coming back today, too, and so when I saw the light under his door I had the temerity to knock.

Well, I don’t know what his problem had been in Switzerland, but he seemed all right again. He invited me in, gave me some tea, and we talked for a half hour or more.

And just as it had in Olten at the train station, his appearance affected me in a most troublesome way. His hair has gotten longer and it looks quite well on him. I shan’t tell him that; else when he gets it cut I’ll be thinking he’s done it to spite me. Tonight, despite the extreme casualness of his dress (he had on some old slacks and a magenta T-shirt), I found him more attractive than he has any business to be, especially considering our differences on liturgical matters.

Though maybe those needn’t have anything to do with one another.

He’d already eaten and around 8:00 I went out. Tried the Lamb & Flag and the Eagle & Child, but the former was too crowded and the latter had stopped serving. Pity. The food people were eating looked quite good.

Ended up at the Fasta Pasta on Little Clarendon and spent entirely too much for a plate of tortellini. Took the half I couldn’t eat home with me and put it in the fridge in the little kitchen. I’ll finish it off sometime this weekend.

And that really is the end. Due to my indolence I don't have any more complete trip diaries, but may have a vignette to share here or there, of Oxford life or various short excursions. We'll see!

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