Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Flowers

I am incredibly belated at writing my blogposts this year, for various reasons (for posterity's sake, I'll note that I'm writing this in November). Honestly, for most of the year I haven't done anything terribly exciting (and certainly not to blog about), but I'm going to spend a couple of posts just throwing out snapshots of my summer.

Spring this year was pleasant; summer would soon become, to my mind, pretty ghastly, but that's still a way off as these photos were taken.

With my holidays burned up visiting Japan, coupled with most of my office taking summer holidays and a pretty strict policy that I can't take leave in early autumn, it would be seven months before I was able to take another break. This would prove to be something of a mistake, but never mind. The main event of May was therefore a weekend away in Oxford, my old home one of actually quite a few places where I've lived.

Blossom in the sun on the way to my flat

A ladybird settles peacefully on my hand as I study Japanese in the park.

Geese and goslings in Oxford

More geese and their young in Christchurch Meadow

I ate a delicious rendang at Banana Tree with a camera-shy friend

Part of my continuing series of "plants in close-up along surfaces", though not my best work. I can't believe just how sunny it was, basically the whole time.

Lesser-noticed, but still nice, bits of Oxford. I got a bit blasé about the nice architecture after a while, and slightly more interested in things like the fact that 99% of the theatre was either revivals of the Greek classics or very earnest student-written experimental stuff, or the fact that I couldn't ever afford to upgrade from living in a 10' cube to something with my own bathroom that wasn't in a flood zone. Now that I don't live there I appreciate the architecture a little more again.

So very sunny, and green.

I successfully developed a solid, reliable sugar-free recipe for making Healthy Breakfast Scones. This one is chocolate and cherry and as big as my hand.

I was invited for a meal with my Chinese teacher and a few others. They kindly prepared all kinds of things for us, including these chicken feet. They're very grisly, and thought I had a bash, I couldn't really work out either how I was supposed to eat them, or really what part of them was supposed to be eaten. Other cultures are a lot more open to textural variation than Western Europe, from what I've been able to tell.

More charmingly green plants under the sun.

I brought back a lot of edibles from Japan, and wasn't able to usefully distribute all of them. I ended up with this box of sakura chocolates, so tragically I was forced to eat them. To my astonishment I managed to stick to eating one a day. They were delectable.

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