Wine in a Beatnik Bookshop - Breakfast at Hogwarts

On Thursday night I was in Oxford for the launch of issue #55 of The Interpreter's House, now under new management - editor Martin Malone.  It's a cracking collection with contributions from Martin Figura, Ian McMillan, Mario Petrucci, Terry Jones and a mass of others including yours truly.

There was a full turn-out, and readers included Merryn Williams, Mavis Howard, Laura Burns, Sharon Black, fellow Cumbrian Helen Fletcher, Michael Henry and Robin Houghton.  A wide range of poetry and poets.

The Albion Beatnik Bookshop in Walton St is one of those Serendipity places where you're likely to find the most unusual and surprising books on almost any subject.  And it does great poetry readings - with wine!

We stayed overnight in Keble College, courtesy of University Rooms - a site that allows you to book vacant student rooms at a very reasonable price (B&B starts at £30).   Keble is one of the 'modern' colleges, founded in the 19th century with strong links to the Oxford Movement - Edward Pusey, Cardinal Newman and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The Chapel is very imposing ( a Frenchman is supposed to have remarked 'It is very beautiful, but it is a railway station, n'est ce pas?).  Breakfast was like dining at Hogwarts!!

Keble is right next to the fantastic Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford where I spent a manic couple of hours looking at Haida artifacts before boarding the train to come back 'up north' for the opening party of the Words by the Water Festival in Keswick, where I'm 'doing' Norman Nicholson at 7.30pm on Sunday night. Er ... Tomorrow....? Time to write the talk then ........


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