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Escape London, to Prison

1 Nov

Escape London has been ominously quiet of late.  Apologies.  Life has been encroaching upon valuable writing time.  It’s becoming apparent that to properly blog, one must set aside a decent amount of time each week for due care and attention, not so easy when said blog’s subject is focussed on trying to get away from a computer screen.  I never owned one of those hideous Tamogotchi things for the simple reason that I didn’t want the added responsibility of keeping a digital-being alive.  Life was always hard enough as it was back then, simultaneously trying to maintain a steady flow of penny sweets and catching as many frogs as possible was time consuming.  Perhaps I should have followed in my Brother’s footsteps and gone down the Tamogotchi route, the experience would have better prepared me for the on-line beast I’m now trying to raise.  Having said that, he abandoned his after about 2 days, preferring to let my Mother (who was infinitely better equipped) tend for his pet.  At least I’m still trying to help mine grow.  I still have hopes and dreams about its future, I just need to learn that Escape London’s needs come first.  The frogs will have to take a back seat for a while…

Frogs - they can be time consuming

Despite my lack of reporting, there has been opportunity to flee London to pastures new.  Most recently, courtesy of a surprise trip to Oxford and an overnight stay in a prison cell.  This sounds as if I were caught frequenting with the wrong side of the law and perhaps there would be a more exciting story if this were true.  It’s not.  My girlfriend simply understands, begrudgingly accepts (and secretly embraces the fact) that I have a penchant for weirdness.  Generally this rears it’s head with a morbid fascination in Serial Killers, an admiration for criminal masterminds and all tales of unlikely heroism and adventure.  So, as a surprise she arranged for a couple of days in Oxford, staying at the rather magnificent Mal Maison , a working prison up until the 1970s.  They have done a brilliant conversion, complete with Shawshank-style interiors, imposing ‘cell’ doors and moody lighting throughout.  The difference being that Mal Maison have gone to town with luxurious fittings and interior design, making this feel like a prison for very. important. prisoners.  The restaurant and bar were also superb, with great service, amazing food and suitably fancy drinks.  There would be no attempts to tunnel out of this prison, quite the opposite, we left reluctantly.  A 25 year sentence would be welcomed here.

...The only prison where inmates plead to have their sentences extended

A quick note on Oxford.  It’s great!  For those of you who have never visited I would heartily recommend it, we managed to fit LOADS into our trip.  We punted our way down picturesque waterways until we reached the Thames and the Oxford Boat Club where we lost our nerve at the sight of the Oxford Rowing Club in training and promptly about-turned.  We visited the Harry Potter-esque Bodleian Library which was every bit as magical as you could hope for.  The covered market is also well worth a look whilst there.  As far as a short break away from London goes, Oxford manages to tick every box, it’s easy to get to (1hr 30min from Paddington), has plenty to keep people occupied, hundreds of places to explore and has a prison to sleep in.  What more could you want?

A Magical place to learn

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