Today’s a quiet day in North Hinksey (Oxford), as I stay at home, work on my talk, rest, and do a few posts. For lunch my host took me to the Fishes, a local “gastropub”, which is what happens when rich locals take over the pub. The prices go up and the traditional accoutrements of the pub disappear. But they still have well-kept real ale, and the food is good.
On the way, a self portrait:
Inside: only two real ales on tap. I went for Morland’s Old Speckled Hen, a local brew and a creditable pint, although a wee bit too cold:
A good pint is a lovely thing, with a small, creamy head, and golden as the afternoon light shines through it:
Lunch: I went for sausages again, this time venison sausages with mash, watercress (again), and, to satisfy the captious reader of yesterday, two fried onion rings.
Genteel British ladies in the gastropub. Not a pint among them—they went for wine.
Cartoonist Dave Brown of the Independent (papers are in the pub) gives a Brit’s-eye-view of Trump, and it ain’t pretty. They wouldn’t put a scatological cartoon like this in an American paper:
And there was a closet whose legend will be familiar to many:
The local church dates back to at least the 12th century:
Can you spot the robin below? It’s not the American robin but, as my host said, a “proper robin.” The species is the European robin, (Erithacus rubecula). Its call was beautiful.
This gorgeous bird, easy to spot, is of course the blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus. Among other things, the species is famous for having learned to open milk bottles on people’s doorsteps and drink the cream, a trait that was culturally inherited. Now the behavior is of no adaptive significance since I don’t think milk is delivered to doors any longer.
And I was very excited to see my first cat in Britain, a hefty tabby in someone’s allotment. It walked like a tiger, and would not approach me. Still, the cats have been almost completely absent since I arrived here. For a while my hypothesis was that there were no cats in Britain.