Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Most Epic of Weeks, Part III: CS Lewis, White Horses, and FIRE

Phew, (my recount of) last weekend's madness is finally at an end. I know I don't usually go as into detail on specific details on this blog (maybe I should?), but man, there were enough ridiculous elements to this past weekend that I want to remember for as long as possible that I thought they deserved immortalizing on teh interwebz. As people who know me well know all too well at times, it takes some major wheedling to get me to go out, let alone literally party the night away. I very often have a good time (except maybe when getting clocked in the face with plastic tumblers... thanks Bullingdons), so perhaps I should keep in mind how much I enjoyed myself this past weekend the next time my friends are trying to pry me out of my room.

Anyway, Clare and I slept until noonish on Sunday (this still being less than six hours of sleep, I didn't feel too bad about it), woke up, and headed over to the Eagle and Child on the north side of town. The Eagle and Child is famous for being the pub where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien would hang out every evening, hashing out the finer points of religion and philosophy. Even the sign is pretty awesome. If you've ever read/watched The Lord of the Rings, have you noticed how, whenever they get to a moment in the plot that doesn't appear to have any possible solution (even in this fantasy universe) -- boom! -- a giant eagle swoops out of the sky and plucks the characters out of danger. Well, check out the sign:

(Oh look... a giant eagle carrying off a human...)

Coincidence? I think not. I visited The Kilns (CS Lewis' house) last term and saw the original sign from their era, and it was much the same. It's cool to think of JRR Tolkien getting inspired by things that are right around me.

Anyway, we shared a quick pint with CS himself (well, his picture, but close enough!) and then headed over to University Park to enjoy the sun for a little while. Besides Friday, which (of course, being the Royal Wedding and so the day that footage of England was being beamed to every single corner of the globe) was grey and gross, we've had unbelievable weather since coming back to Oxford, and despite it being weirdly windy and me almost losing my panama hat on SEVERAL occasions, it was pretty fabulous. I certainly felt spoiled, after an entire term where I didn't go outside without a coat on!

(Chillin wit the man himself)

Afterwards, we wandered back to the house for a quiet afternoon of online TV poaching before heading back out again to give Clare a taste of a true British classic: Bangers and Mash. I've already talked about my surprising love for the stuff they turn out at The Big Bang up in Jericho, and so that was where we headed. I'm not sure Clare was behind it as I was, but I ended up polishing off both our plates and had an immoderately good meal. When you're used to French cuisine, I suppose, sausages, potatoes, and peas doused in gravy must seem pretty low on the list of dream-cuisine, but for someone like me who's tastebuds have been starved by the British lifestyle they're PURE GOLD: some of the only food to be had that's actually worth the mega calories that lurk within.

(Weirdly sof-glo and maybe unappealing picture of my bangers and mash; I swear to God, they were delicious)

One of the better things about The Big Bang is that it's also directly across the street from arguably the best place to get cocktails in all of Oxford. It's also pretty pricey meaning that I'd only gone once before, so I looking forward to getting another look at the impressive 15-page drinks menu.

(Clare works her way through the epic menu)

Clare, being the daredevil that she is, immediately identified the drink that involved fire in its mixing process and ordered it. I went with something involving bourbon, soda water, and strawberry jam all mixed together and served in a jam jar, which appealed to everything I love about Red Neck America and miss so very much. Needless to say, we were both very pleased with our selections.

(Clare and the "Blazer")

(Me and the "Jam Jar Hand Shandy")

We headed back to the house after that with the very admirable intentions of doing work, but who were we kidding? We ended up watching Law and Order SVU and Real World all night. And, like the fact that Clare's very small but FIERCELY blazing cocktail cost £6, it was worth it.

The next day passed in a blur of fatigue from the weekend, a bleary-eyed 9:30 tutorial, and getting Clare packed up to go home. We had one last lunch at the White Horse (which I will always think of fondly because it was also the site of my very first lunch in Oxford with Mom this past January!), where Clare enjoyed a pint of White Horse, and then it was time for her to go and time for me to get seriously back to work. Booooo. Oh well; as they say, all goods things must come to an end.

(A White Horse at the White Horse: perfect)

Today I'm off to play some polo (!!) and get my paper going for its noon tomorrow due date. Until then, Auf Moon, bitches.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, you have to steal one of those pint glasses from the White Horse. What I wouldn't give for one!