Oxford has many things, but it doesn’t have a zoo. But for a few years in the 1930s, it did, and it’s a fascinating story that starts with marmalade and ends with a geocache.
With thanks to John Amor, whose book Gosford Hill & Oxford Zoo (ISBN 978-0-9544474-5-8) answered my initial research questions, and to the Bodleian Libraries for giving me the resources to go deeper. Also thanks to my Alphamattic teammates for listening to me talk about a different bit of Oxford history and encouraging me to make this video.
Music: Don’t Turn Around, by Ivan Chew (ramblinglibrarian), used under a CC-Attribution-NonCommercial license.
Some footage of Oxford provided by Steve B (@bigantvideo), used under the Pexels license.
Uses photos taken prior to 1925 of unknown provenance or subsequently released into the public domain.
Parts of this video were filmed during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Appropriate social distancing practices were applied.
There comes a point where you’ve run out of new lockdown activity ideas, and you just start combining random pairs of activities you’ve already done. This morning’s first activity was… “Pyjama Party / Water Fight”.
Is it just me, or does “Pyjama Party / Water Fight” sound like a PWL song title?
Why can’t she get this right? WHY!!!
Yesterday, I shared with you the introduction video I made for my new employer. A few friends commented that it seemed very well-presented and complimented me on my presentation, so I thought I’d dispel the illusion by providing this: the “outtakes”. My process was to write a loose script and then perform it multiple times (while being sure to wear the same hoodie) over the course of several days as I walked or cycled around, and then take only the “good” content.
That I’m able to effortlessly make a longer video out of a selection of the outtakes should be evidence enough that I’m just as capable of mucking-up a simple task as anybody else, probably moreso.
You may observe in this video that I made a number of “Hey, I found a…” snippets; I wasn’t sure what would scan best (I eventually went with “Hey, I found a… nothing?”). Folks who’ve seen this video have already criticised my choice; apparently the cow I found was more photogenic than me.
New employees at Automattic – like me! – are encouraged to make a “howdymattic” video, introducing themselves to their co-workers. Some are short and simple, others more-ornate, but all are a great way to provide the kind of interpersonal connection that’s more-challenging in an entirely-distributed company with no fixed locations and staff spread throughout the globe.
In anticipation of starting, tomorrow, I made such a video. And I thought I’d share it with you, too.
I’ve just cleared out my desk at the Bodleian in anticipation of my imminent departure and discovered that I’ve managed to successfully keep not only my P60s but also every payslip I’ve ever received in the 8½ years I’ve worked there. At a stretch, I might just end up requiring those for the current tax year but I can’t conceive of any reason I’ll ever need the preceding hundred or so of them, so the five year-old and I shredded them all.
If you’ve ever wanted to watch five solid minutes of cross-cut shredding shot from an awkwardly placed mobile phone camera, this is the video for you. Everybody else can move along.
Expedition by bike from Kidlington to the to the 2019-08-01 51 -1 hashpoint in Charlbury via the Oxford Canal towpath, Begbroke, Oxford Airport, Woodstock, Blenheim Palace, and Stonesfield, and back via two geocaches.
This video also available at https://youtu.be/pGboZkJTm0A.
Music: Pitx Remix by Martin Cee (softmartin) Copyright 2019, used under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/softmartin/59963
Well into the afternoon and the party is still on.
09:20 and the revellers – most of whom have been partying all night – are still at it outside the Clarendon Building on Broad Street.
Our eldest singing a classic song.
“Ammo can” style cache containers are commonplace in the USA but very rare in the UK. As a result, British cachers coming across them for the first time sometimes report difficulty in opening or closing the containers or accidentally removing the lid and being unable to reattach it. This video quickly examines an ammo can cache so that you might know your way around it.
#strawfiechallenge – 1 minute of simulated breathing difficulty in recognition of sufferers of cystis fibrosis
Today I’m attaching a clothes peg to my nose and breathing through a straw for 60 seconds. As I won’t be able to talk while I’m doing this, I’ll type an explanation why:
Like most people, I’ve spent most of my life lucky enough to not really know anything about cystic fibrosis. I first really became aware of it when my friend Jen‘s son Lorcán was diagnosed with it (you may remember I shared a video of hers previously).
It’s a lifelong disorder with no known cure.
It’s a genetic disorder, and as many as one in every 25 people carries the gene that can cause it. Inherit two genes and you’re a sufferer. Among other symptoms, it causes frequent lung infections and difficulty breathing.
I’m taking part in the #strawfiechallenge as an exercise in appreciating how difficult it can be to cope with reduced lung function. A new drug, Orkambi, is helping to extend the lives of sufferers in other countries around the world. But it’s not yet available in the UK. :-(
CF sufferers want #OrkambiNow. They need your politicians to act.
Find out how you can help: www.cfsupportgroup.org
This video is also available at: