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.

Friday, 13 July 2012

An inhabitant of the Isle of Wight

On the brief journey from the car ferry terminal at Fishbourne up to Quarr Abbey I espied through the car window a red squirrel in a suburban garden. This was the first time I had ever seen a red squirrel, and remembered that the Isle is one of  the few parts of lowland Bitain where the red squirrel has not been deprived of its habitat by the uincreasingly ubiquitous North American grey squirrel - a late nineteenth century import. I was, however, surprised ro see it in a garden - I had assumed they would have retreated to the wooded areas of the island.

Profile of a red squirrel

Image; 2009photolibrary.com / BBC

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