Crustacean crossings

Things you never quite expect to see in suburban English cities: crayfish carefully picking their way across the road.




The first photo feels like I should edit in some 5mm-tall people fleeing the monster.

Photography was suspended briefly for a car to drive over it. (Literally: the wheels passed several feet to each side) The driver couldn’t see what was in the road, but guessed we were photographing something small and fragile, and looked at us with a very guilty expression as she passed…

One campaign pledge down, already

When quizzed on a range of local issues before the election, our candidates – well, most of them, at least – were strongly in favour of the idea that “food recycling should be rolled out to the whole of Oxford as soon as possible”.

I say “most”. The candidates for the Socialist Equality Party and the Conservative Party, perhaps accepting that their campaigns weren’t going to get very far anyway, didn’t reply. (The former’s grasp of local issues was, in any case, made a little more difficult by living in London). The candidate for the Equal Parenting Alliance was a little vague on the topic:

I’m not sure what food recycling is – sounds pretty dubious. If it means waste food going to animals or to help others, I’m all for it.

whilst the UKIP candidate disagreed on principle:

I don’t throw food away. Only people who manage their household badly do so. You should buy and cook only what you need.

I think that was cribbed from the financial section of their manifesto, come to think of it.

Anyway, the Labour, Green and Lib Dem candidates were all for it. We duly returned one of them on Thursday. And, as I was leaving for work on Monday, the council came around distributing food recycling bins.

Two conclusions can be drawn from this. Either a) Andrew Smith is an astonishingly influential local MP, whose word is law one working day after being returned to office, or b) …none of them had realised it was already planned to be rolled out across the city by the end of the year.

(I have to say: on the basis of one day’s use so far, I’m all for the system. Let’s see how well it works out in the long run.)

Snow, snow, snow

It may not have escaped anyone’s notice that Oxford is under six inches or so of snow. I called into work this morning, to see what was happening, and got told “— isn’t coming in, nor is —. And neither are you.”

Well, I know better than when to argue. So, a day off to go photographing!







The real delight was Hinksey Lake, which was entirely iced (or at least slushed) over. Large amounts of it were covered in loose drifts of snow, with occasional duck-tracks; here and there were small craters where a duck had flown in and landed too heavily, or some snow had fallen in and broken through the crust.










The last couple make me think of photographs of an icy surface somewhere in the outer solar system; craters on Europa or Callisto, perhaps. (The one with a buoy, meanwhile, looks like an Antarctic research station seen from the air.)