Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Oxford's underwater again. Much as I dreamed of being the Little Mermaid when I was younger and would love to go scuba-diving, it really doesn't fit into The Masterplan of getting on with life at the moment. I've given up all hope of using cycle lanes when it rains - it's lucky enough to find a non-submerged bit of road on either side to get past. As for running in the University Parks, well, my trainers still haven't dried out from last week. Goodness know how bad it is for people living at the bottom of a hill.

I know it causes chaos for so many people, but a little part of me likes the change brought about by the flooding. Little things we usually take for granted suddenly seem so important - going in the basement of a shop; eating at the Cherwell Boathouse, watching punters in the summer from Magdalen bridge - it really is a different world now.

Forced off my bike from fear of death, I've found myself walking everywhere. It's not actually as boring as I expected - I have the time to watch people rushing past - the goggling tourists, the bustling shoppers, the book-clutching students. Cliches, I know, but they're definitely there, and it's fascinating watching people interacting with each other whilst oblivious to all but their own worries.

So if you're feeling fed up with the flooding, try using it as a time to see things from a different perspective. Oxford doesn't need to become a sub-aqueous civilization to be fascinating as a hidden world.

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