Happy post-Halloween! This is a picture, taken not too late at night but because of the time change it looks like I took this at 1 a.m. — I think it was around 8 p.m., at the churchyard around the corner from my flat.

Friends, this is a post made during troubling times. At home in the US, we are preparing for a presidential election of epic proportions and, fingers crossed that it does not happen, a contested election and widespread protests. Here in the UK, we will go under a lock down in a few days. COVID is spreading in our communities, and thanks to the time change, it is getting darker, earlier everyday. I don’t know about you, but I feel something deep in my gut, that things are not right, and that the fix, whatever it is will come, but it will not be quick or easy.

The next few weeks will be full of reading and writing, so I will be posting again soon, but I want you to know that I so appreciate that you are here with me during this term. I feel alone from time-to-time, but know that I’m getting more and more comfortable in my adopted country, and continue to be lifted by the adventures, the challenge of my program, and the little notes, posts, and Zooms that you send me from time to time. So, I will send you hugs and love from my little flat, and will post again in a few weeks when this wave of work is done. So, in closing: Please vote. Please stay safe. Please keep loving your friends, family, and neighbors. And, above all, please keep smiling because you’re pretty damn awesome.

The Things Cameron Has Seen Walking Around

These are plates covering something in the sidewalk along Cowley Rd., maybe they are natural gas or water access points. I love how each one of them are different and so very UK. Some of them are easy to understand, but a few of them are pretty baffling. I wonder if there was a contest or committee who selected them.

After a wonderful chat in the pub with a chap named Simon, it turns out that James St. was the home of William Morris who was the UK’s auto pioneer. Think Henry Ford, but without all the antisemitic beliefs and fascism. Also, Cowley Rd., where this picture was taken, during the 70s and 80s was not just the home of working class people, but it was a very integrated part of the city and home to many protests and advocates who pushed for social and political change. Today, it is still very diverse and, as you have seen from my posts, home to many Black, White, Asian, Middle-Eastern, French, and hipster shops and stores.

I passed this restaurant, and then paused. I don’t think that I’ve seen a decoration like this before.

Cutest ketchup packet EVER!

I don’t know if this is phone or cable, but it seems to be a bit out of code, but, I’m no engineer, so I’ll rely on the professionals to sort that out.

This just caught my eye, I’m not sure why, but I think it is kind of cool.

Many UK residents use these little 18 in. tall cans to recycle food scraps.

The local mall has this set up for kids. It is a combo bungee trampoline amusement. I looked to see if I could try it, but sadly I was too big.

Send port, can you tell that I am attending a university with rather refined pallets.

This self-serve check out station was, real talk here, utterly amazing. All I did was put my purchases, all at once, in the bin and it scanned everything. I believe it was sorcery, but I’m not sure. The US has lots of catching up to do because we all need these devices, and credit cards that are tap and pay. By the way, none of my cards do that, so it is a pain in the rear every time I want to use them.

I am told, this butcher, is the one and only to go to in Oxford. It is a few blocks from my flat. Again, I need to get my kitchen up to speed, so I can take advantage of shops like this.

Once again, the appliances in my kitchen baffle and amaze me. What I thought were handles on the drawers in my freezer, are actually ice cube trays, and there seems to be freezer hieroglyphics on the door. I’m not sure what they mean, but I appreciate the happy fish and the little cake with the candle.

What do we think, barbecue flavor?

I bought the one on the left first, and I thought it would taste like — well — Greek yogurt. It was not even close, it was sour cream, and I actually did a spit-take. The replacement is on the right. HA!

This is the Oxford observatory, one of the oldest in the UK and, from what I understand, the keeper of the longest, continuous meteorologic record in Europe.

One of my favorite places here, and a friend we met many years ago. Watch the Professor and the Madman and you will understand why it is such a monumental place in our history.

Just a little lane downtown.