One dark early evening a few weeks ago, I was walking down a narrow street in Oxford, medieval buildings looming tightly over me, when two students ambling along in front caught my attention. They strolled casually, chatting and laughing and making jokes, all in impossibly posh accents which I soon realised were put on for their amusement, and possibly that of everyone around them. What caught my eye was that one had a bright red electric guitar slung over his shoulder for no apparent reason. No case, just the guitar, as though he was about to burst into a rendition of Livin' on a prayer at any moment.
As we walked past a college chapel, I was momentarily distracted by the amazing stained glass window that was illuminated brightly by the light inside. I had never noticed it even existed before, yet now its dazzling colours were unavoidably beautiful. Just as I was thinking this, one of the two lads said the same thing, marvelling that such an attractive sight had previously gone unnoticed. His friend (exaggerated posh accent long gone) replied, "Well, you tend to look at the floor when you walk along, don't you? Otherwise you'd accidentally kick puppies and things." The first one nodded, glancing up briefly at the window before they carried on their way, presumably looking out for small dogs as they went.
This made me smile. There was something about the whole scenario that just made me feel so happy to be in Oxford. Where else would you find people joking loudly but entertainingly whilst walking around medieval streets with cherry stratocasters over their shoulders, contemplating beautfiul stained glass windows as they walk along, being careful not to step on any puppies?