08 July 2013

Roll Up, Roll Up

Well, we Brits were granted several wishes this past weekend: not only did we have gorgeous, sunny weather throughout, but Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon. I didn't see very much of the latter, as I was at the circus, but more of that later. It was my grandmother's 75th birthday last week, so I headed back to Oxford on Saturday to celebrate with her and the rest of my family. The cats were pretty unimpressed with the heat, but the rest of us were very pleased.

Sleepy Maisie.

We had an epic barbecue on Saturday night, involving — yet again — far too much meat. My favourite was, of course, the bacon cheeseburger, but the bites of chicken and sausage I had were also delicious.

Hamburgerology, BBQ edition.

We took a few family photos with the trademark red sunglasses, before it was time to set up the pop-up cinema on the patio.

And I couldn't resist putting myself on the big screen, while we waited for it to get dark enough for us to project the movie. I had prepared a long-list of family-suitable films, and the chosen movie was Midnight in Paris, which I quite liked, and which I thought would go down well with the group. It was great to sit outside watching the film, long after the sun had gone down. I'm starting to wonder whether I could fit the screen on the balcony in my own flat.

Leaping on the big screen. Almost.

Oxfordshire's newest pop-up cinema.

As there is no rest for the wicked, Papa, The Bro and I were up relatively early this morning to go for a run around Christchurch Meadow, trying to beat the heat. I'm not sure we succeeded on the latter count, but after such a hectic fortnight, I was glad to squeeze another run in. On the way back, we stopped at the top of South Park to take in the view and do a few leaps. This view is new to Papa, it seems, even though it appears in most of the "Dreaming Spires" postcards of Oxford and even though he always drives past on his way into Oxford.

Dreaming Spires leap.

After we'd breakfasted, showered and changed, we went back into Oxford for lunch at Browns. Back in the day, when Oxford didn't have many interesting restaurants, we used to alternate between Browns and Pizza Express for family meals out. These days, it's less exciting, although the food was nice, if a little too much for such a hot day. And certain family members would rather have been watching the tennis. A cute new kitchen shop on Little Clarendon Street called The Oxford Pantry was more tempting to me, but I got there in the end with my patriotism.

Un air de famille.

Then, it was time for our date with Giffords Circus, which had set up its big top in the University Parks. My family went to see it last year, in a muddy field in a nearby village and had enjoyed it. Unfortunately, today was so hot that the tent felt like a sauna, and by the interval, we were all starting to droop, so we called it a night. The first half was good fun though: the tight-rope walkers and fire jugglers were my favourites.

Roll up, roll up.

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