Sunday, 14 October 2012

frost, gang warfare, typesetting, editing, landscapes

Up fairly early this morning because I'm marking finals scripts later. A misty start to the day.

There was a frost too and cycling was chilly as well as beautiful. When I had to brake because of an oncoming car along Calcroft Lane, I felt the tyres slip and the memory of when I came off last December returned to me and made me shudder. I've continued to feel twinges in different parts of my body all year and it's only recently that they've pretty much gone. Do not want to repeat the experience!

Yesterday, I worked at the Taylor. Had a lovely walk down the Oxford canal beforehand but when I turned into Gloucester Green bus station, heading for Caffè Nero, I suddenly noticed police tape across the entrance to the square. I asked the guy selling London tickets what was happening. There had been a fight between two gangs after the clubs emptied and one person lost an eye and another was critically ill in hospital with stab wounds. 'That's where it happened,' he said, pointing. 'There's the blood.' The pool was magenta and looked surprisingly fresh. I decided to get away from the scene-of-crime police and photographers and head for another café on St Giles. As I walked along the top of the square looking at the debris and little yellow numbered markers by the discarded belts (weapons, I suppose) and other evidence, I felt very sad for the young lives blighted by the drunken evening--both the victims and the people who'll end up behind bars.

Meanwhile, I've been typesetting and editing A Conscious Englishman. Apart from anything else, I'm enjoying reading the novel again. The wonderful descriptions of nature and landscapes seem so far removed from what I saw at Gloucester Green. Btw the novel's author, Margaret Keeping, has just started a blog about her experience of the StreetBooks publishing process.

Which is about it for now.

1 comment:

  1. I like the compassion in your thoughts about that horrible fight, Frank. A different Oxford, one I used to be much more aware of when I(and Marc) worked at the Probation Day Centre in the 90's but now never see.