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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Oxford Outing- Part 2

Having spent some time wondering around the Pitt Rivers Museum and being totally amazed by the collection (if you haven't been, I can highly recommend it.) we decided to walk back into the centre of Oxford. We soon discovered that we'd gone in a somewhat roundabout route and that we'd walked a good deal further than we needed. We browsed in a few shops before finding a rather nice cafe and had tea and sandwiches, sitting outside in the street as it turned out to be quite a pleasant and sunny afternoon, despite what the weather forecast had told us. Last year when we visited we saw a television crew in the same area of the city centre, a pedestrianised area. The television series "Morse" was set in and around Oxford. The spin-off series "Lewis" is also set there so it may have been for that. But there was no clear indication what was been filmed at the time.
We headed back towards the bus station, and on the way saw some street entertainment. A band which was playing a sort of combination rock/classical music which seemed to have attracted quite a large crowd, and then further along the street a gentleman was engaged in an act which incorporated the use of a unicycle with catching a handful of flaming juggling batons, with the assistance of two people from the on-lookers. We got back to the bus station. I was in need of the toilet again (sorry, gentle reader, but these requirements happen.) Carol stood in the queue near the bus which had not yet arrived in it's bay, as I went off in search of the conveniences. But no luck. I got back to the queue in the bus station and the bus was in so we decided to board and I went to use the toilet in the back of the bus. As I was about to have a wee the lights flickered and the bus began to move off. Not the easiest of operations trying to wee when within a very dark, enclosed space with the whole vehicle moving! But never mind. It was a rather novel experience, to say the least, and it was as well someone had the foresight to install such conveniences on a bus for such an occasion, otherwise I would have been in a far worse predicament.
I managed to return to my seat next to Carol, with the bus by now heading out of Oxford. Not the easiest operation, trying to walk with a bus moving.
The rest of the journey passed quite uneventfully until we got into Milton Keynes. The bus made a circuit of the Milton Keynes Shopping Centre and came round by the place where Sainsbury's used to be (having moved to newer premises a few years ago.) We saw clouds of smoke billowing across the road, and on closer inspection saw a car in the carpark below the road. We had by now reached the traffic lights so the bus had to stop. The smoke was getting thicker and blacker and then we saw that a car in the carpark was on fire, with quite large flames rising from it. People were crowded around looking, some taking photographs with their mobile phones. Why didn't they move away? What is it that makes people want to watch this sort of thing? At any moment the whole car could have easily exploded and caused real havoc, causing other nearby cars to ignite. Then a siren could be hear as a fire engine arrived and we could see firemen spraying the car with water in an attempt to extinguish the fire. It would have been a real shock for the owners of the car to arrive back from their shopping expedition to find their car a burned-out and charred wreck. It begs the question: what caused the fire? Was it a fault of the electrics of the car? It was a hot and sunny day, so could have been something to do with that? We may never know.
We arrived back at the train station and got off the bus and then Carol realized we didn't have sufficient cash to pay her bus fare back to Eaglestone. We went into the railway station to use the A.T.M. there but discovered both of them had no cash in them so we went to a newsagents near the station and got some cash out of an A.T.M. there and managed to get a bus home to Eaglestone. The end of a rather pleasant day out.
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