I had my hair done in the morning, then taking advantage of the 3 hours of car parking in Mansfield Road, I went to the covered market and got two 'vegan specials' from the pie shop. They may be vegan and special, but sadly they don't taste of very much.
Then I went to MAO to see the current exhibition, which actually finishes today (Sunday) so you are probably too late, ha ha. It was certainly the freakiest thing I have seen there. Downstairs, it consisted of a mocked-up cinema foyer with the entrance to the 3 screens (two of which were blocked and one which lead upstairs). In the room to the side upstairs was a reconstruction of the artist's workshop which, let's face it, is an ENORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMOUS cliché in the happy world of modern art. How many of these have there been at MAO / MOMA in the last few years? Rather a lot, if I recall correctly.
Then the main gallery consisted of a wooden tunnel covered in sand, which you could walk half way through, then retrace your steps and go up and admire the other side of it also covered in sand from the top of the other stairs into the main gallery.
Then I went to Borders and failed to buy anything except Millennium People by Ballard ( on the strength of a recent good review, though it has been out for a while). The latest 'Wired' looked pretty useless so I didn't buy it, is it me or have they severely lost the plot?
I also looked at the computer books as part of my monitoring of the relative number of books on different subjects, the main two thing I have noticed recently:
a) from a promising over hyped start, C# has dropped to having approximately the same shelf space as C/C++.
b) VB.NET has all but disappeared from the shelves, plenty of VB6 books however. I guess that everyone using 'the language with 3 syntaxes but only one semantics' is using the C# stylee of the syntax!
Then I started on my planned stroll north, detouring to admire the British Council building in Beaumont Buildings. You would have thought the British Council would have been closer to St. Anthony's College really, wouldn't you :-)
I bought a double scoop cone from G & D's in little trendy street. Just as I was finishing it whilst walking along North Parade my plans were abruptly changed as I literally bumped into cloudhigh. I am using the word literally in the traditional English sense of figuratively, obviously :-). No bumping took place, although I did say 'hail fellow, well met', and shook him warmly by the hand. He was stopping for lunch in Chez Gaston (or stopping for lunch Chez Gaston one might almost say) so despite the pie and the ice cream, I joined him for a drink and some garlic bread.
At this point I had to power walk back to Mansfield Road through The Parks before my parking ticket finished. I was struck by how much Oxford looks like a suburb of Oxford, whilsy many cities (still) have distinct architectural styles, Oxford has the same mix of Victoriania, nasty cheap 50s / 60s / early 70s brutalist and 90s/ 00s light brown brick and smoked glass, all in close proximity. Perhaps it is a suburb of London :-)
In the afternoon I did things to the garden. There is much much much much more to do, but at least I did something.
In the evening we went to a curry at Jamal's (which was good but faintly chaotic)
... Then we went to see Japanese Story as the Phoenix, for which we emerge from the cut, in order that I can warn you that it was awful, definitely up there in the 'awful films I have paid money to see' pantheon. Without going into spoilage details that would require a cut, the portrayal of the Japanese guy and the Japanese in particular was stereotyped and clichéd to a much greater extent than Lost In Translation, which a lot of people complained about but I didn't really get from it. The filming managed to make the scenic bits of Australia look pretty boring, bits of it just didn't really make sense, and the female protagonist, whilst supposed to be partner in a company with a bloke, was treated by him as though she were a dumb 17 year old. Avoid.