Archive for the category “The Story of O”


AKA Oxford Oxfam Group

The Robin Tax.

The Robin Tax. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t remember exactly how I got involved with this group, but it has satisfied my need for a worthwhile recreational activity that allows me to fully explore my creativity whilst also meeting a variety of new people.

I’m particularly involved with the campaigns side of OOG and last weekend we put on a Robin Hood Tax stunt in the city centre of Oxford.

What is the Robin Hood Tax? It is a small tax that governments could apply to banks to generate billions of pounds to help fight poverty in the UK and overseas. This isn’t an Oxfam campaign, though Oxfam supports it. It is an idea that turned into a campaign which has now become a movement. Supporters include charities, green groups, trade unions, celebrities, financiers, religious leaders and politicians. Hell, even President Hollande of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany support it.

The Robin Hood Tax is justice. The banks can afford it. The systems are in place to collect it. It won’t affect ordinary members of the public, their bank accounts or their savings. It’s fair, it’s timely, and it’s possible.

So back to last weekend. After at least a month of planning, the day came for us to don masks, tights and feathered hats and transform into the infamous outlaw, Robin Hood. Naveed and Danial bravely stepped up to the role of ‘Evil Banker’ and played it worryingly well!

The day’s plan was to perform ‘The Banker’ video from the RHT website (which features Bill Nighy) and talk with members of the public about the campaign to increase awareness.  Getting out and talking to the people of Oxford about the RHT was great but if I’m honest I spoke to more Japanese and Spanish tourists than local Brits. We filmed our performance so that the campaign could take on a new life online.

Filming was hilarious but the message that comes across is sincere. If you’re behind the tax, please sign up your support through the RHT website, please share the youtube video we made and please read the article on the Oxford Mail online.


Online Dating

First Date

Not even my wildest imagination could have invented how this date went.

I arrived fashionably 5 minutes late and nearly walked past the person claiming to be the guy I’d been messaging for the past week. 5ft 10? I don’t think so. Anyway, luckily my photos didn’t lie and he recognised me. I also didn’t recognise him because he was holding a drink. Oh, so you ordered without me? I’d have judged you more favourably had you bought me a drink and guessed what I’d like rather than just getting yourself a pint. Score so far? -2.

So we get a seat outside (its a nice summer’s evening) and conversation is surprisingly easy. There are a couple of false starts where we both begin talking at the same time (a verbal version of when you walk down the street and move to the left to let someone past but they move the same way at the same time and you do this awkward, ridiculous little dance and mumble sheepish apologies that Hugh Grant would envy). As we struggle to find similar interests I ask him, in a most rare open frame of mind, to explain to me why he likes heavy metal (FYI men who like heavy metal are two a penny online…no comment). Well, I learnt that the guitarist in Black Sabbath lost the tips of his fingers in some kind of machinery accident which influenced the brooding sound of their music and that the riffs in heavy metal have their roots in Blues. Who knew?

Redeemed to a neutral nil point I decide it’s time to call it a night. In modern gentlemanly fashion he walks me back to where I left my bike. Suddenly my bicycle transformed into an invaluable sidekick as it became a handy obstacle between me and him, preventing any lunges for unwanted goodnight hugs/kisses. NB bike must accompany me on any future dates. I turn to leave and before I set off I cast a fleeting glance behind me and BAM!

He’s got no hair! Being polite I’d spent the whole evening gazing attentively at his face and not once had I noticed the blindingly obvious (especially with the street lights reflecting off it) bald patch on the back of his head. FML it was like a monk’s tonsure. Did he lie about his age too? What the hell? Have I reached the age where I am now doomed to pick from a selection of receding hairlines and dentures? I ought to apologise as this is a very unforgiving portrayal but it came as a complete shock.


Beware baldies!

Unless of course they are Ricky Whittle from Hollyoaks…

After thought…

I’ve had a few conversations with girlfriends recently and we’ve come to the conclusion that we have now reached a point in our lives where the men we date are starting to lose their hair. It is a sad yet inevitable fact of life. Apparently there is a 4 in 7 chance that a man will go bald and boys can start losing hair as early as their teens. Suddenly my track record of dating younger men doesn’t seem so cougarish. Its clearly my primal instinct hunting out those who have a full head of hair. But imagine if you marry someone in your early 20’s and in five years time wake up to discover you married a bald man in disguise! Perhaps its best they lose it early, that way we can see them coming and avoid any surprises.

There’s also that age old trick of looking at families for clues of how people are going to age. Its still disputed as to which line the baldness gene comes down but men whose fathers are bald are 2.5 times more likely to experience hair loss themselves. I look forward to inheriting my Gran’s super smooth skin and thick, silvery elegant perm. Hell she probably has a better barnet than I do!


16th April 2012

Is this really happening?  Three weeks ago I had no idea that I would be moving to a city where I wouldn’t know a soul, move into a house full of strangers and start working for an organisation I’ve always admired.  This too-good-to-be-true situation, accompanied by the psychedelic music pulsing from the orange walls of the Magic Cafe (a Barrel House sister with WiFi for my internet-deprived body) almost convinces me I’m dreaming but then a child’s screech confirms reality.  I ensure all my dreams are issued with 18 certificates.

OMG I digress.  Basically I’m completely shattered from a tumultuous three weeks and now I’m in Oxford I haven’t the foggiest where to begin!  Well, obviously my first port of call was to find an earthy, chilled out vegetarian friendly cafe with WiFi but what to do after that blessed first latte?  An open bus tour?  Visit the Bodleian Library?  Join a rowing club?

Just writing those energetic words is making me sleepy.  I think Arnold had the right idea with his careful word choice when he remarked on the dreaming spires of Oxford.  Dreaming is something you do when you’re asleep.  So until next time, good night.

The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England as vie...

The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England as viewed from the tower of the Church of St Mary the Virgin. This is a 10 (2×5) segment panorama taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L at 70mm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Post Navigation