Chapter the 6th – A Red Letter Day
In 2 installments containing how…I repent the Jacobite Glasses, a stroll through the meadows, exhaustion sets in, Tour of Christchurch. Snubbing the plebs, The Chippendale stools, What to wear?, We eat dinner At Christchurch, The Sherry decanter, The Dean, The silver salt cellar, The Don’s private night tour, The Leads, Magdalen Smoking Room.
Something had been playing on my mind. In my previous journey down Cowley Rd where I secured the 2 green glass beakers I had espied in the window three glasses. Of trumpet form with a tudor rose engraved there upon, air twist stems and domed feet, these tempting gems were undoubtedly of 18th century manufacture but I hesitated to buy them as the feet had been chipped and I left them in the window. What a fool I had been. These rarities, made to secretly show allegiance to the Jacobite cause were priceless relics of the past!
Who was I to spurn them because of a few tawdry chips? As the American Pickers say, “I had to have them”. I spent a restless night in agonies that another person of discernment and taste may have found the same shop and grabbed the prize before me. I awoke in a terror, dressed and dashed off to see if I had lost my one chance to own such objects of age and romance.
I reached the window, I peered inside, they still remained!
As the shop hadn’t opened I loitered with intent and had to undergo one final trial when a snooty lady with a bag of clothes to donate was let in early and looked about her. Thankfully her attention was diverted by a gaudy scarf until the door swung wide and I rushed in to grab the glasses. One was unsalvageable, being chipped on the rim as well as the feet, but the other 2 had only foot damage so I paid the exorbitant sum of 4 pounds and left with my satchel bulging with treasure. These 2 glasses, which that oracle of truth, Google Images, shows clearly to be from the 1740s now sit with my other discoveries on my window sill and the sun shines through the Tudor roses and the air twist stems most enchantingly.
My mind now at ease and my Academic Compatriot engaged on the computer, I went out for a stroll and took a turn about the parklands surrounding Christchurch. Being Saturday and with the sun as usual blazing in a cloudless sky, I took endless photographs of the delightful prospects that emerged at each turn and staggered back foot weary but elated to the college. As we were to dine at Christchurch with The Don that evening, my colleague and I finished off the cheese and crackers for a light lunch and I lay down to rest my eyes. 3 hours later I woke in a fright to realise that we were to meet the students and bring them to Christchurch where The Don was to reveal some of the hidden wonders forbidden to the mere public.
- In which our outfits cause great alarm.
- In which is related how to impress a Dean of a Cathedral
- In which we climb an astonishing stair
You can view past chapters of Papa Bouilloire’s Oxford adventures by clicking on the links below.