Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Cherries, Goulash and Goose


After the Ordination three of us made our way to a long-established Hungarian restaurant round the corner in Greek Street - The Gay Hussar. Would, I idly wondered to myself, you open a restaurant with such a name today without having a rather specific niche market in mind? In fact the niche market there tends to be particularly left-of-centre politicians - though both principal cnadidates for the Mayorality of London had been in recently we were assured. Thus a range of cartoons of luminaries of the Left stared down at us - but I took comfort in the photographs of the Empress-Queen Elizabeth which topped off the display.

This was the first time I had eaten in a Hungarian restaurant - despite my interest in the history of the country - and without doing a Father Z it is perhaps worth recording what we ate. All three of us enjoyed chilled wild cherry soup - strikingly pink and complete with whole cherries.Excellent. Two of us had the beef goulash - well what could be more Hungarian? However a Hungarian in Oxford has since then assured me this evening that back home goulash would count as soup. The third member of our party had gpose, which looked very good, and is again a  speciality of the country - as in Lajos Zilahy's novel The Dukays - a novel to read if you have a few spare months!

That, with wine, more than filled us, and after coffee we moved on - two of us to look again at St Patrick's and then went by tube to look at the new medieval galleres at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Yes, the labels are dumbed down, and often at the wrong height, but the actual objects on show are wonderful. Well worth seeing. With a brief visit to ther London Oratory this made a good end to an excellent day.


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