A wet weekend looking at houses in Oxford, where we lived for a while 30 years ago.
The city feels prosperous and welcoming. The Westgate shopping centre has at last been rebuilt. There’s a roof terrace with views over the snowy rooftops and spires.
Memories, of course. We used to have to sit outside pubs in cold January because we had a child with us – now the pubs are full of young parents. The food has got better. Our best meal was at the SoJo Chinese restaurant; I’d forgotten the joys of sesame toasts.
Near where we used to live, the corner shop used to stock one kind of white wine and one of red. The shop’s still there, the wine selection has grown a bit.
Lots of bookshops, laundrettes, hairdressers, Indian restaurants. A proud Syrian cut my hair in what I should probably consider a Prince William cut. Barbers in the UK are reasonably priced – this cost a tenner (one of those nasty plastic ten pound notes).
House prices in Oxford are absurd. But not quite as absurd as we’d thought.