Saturday, November 10

afternoon ride

After lunch I bicycled to Merton St. as arranged and called for Jenkin. We set off along Parks Road, then through Wolvercote and Port Meadow. We went by the tow path, between golden trees, crossing many bridges, to Wytham village. Here, in defiance of the notice "strictly private" we entered with bated breath just under a game keeper's house, where my bike made a great noise. We met no one. The wood was glorious. It contains all kinds: in places there are open glades of green trunked oaks and brown bracken, elsewhere the intensest thickets. We got into open country on top of the hill — grassland with a lot of little valleys walled (partly) with some kind of white rock. Below was a huge landscape, behind us the edge of the wood, chiefly silver birches. It was at once so lonely, so wild, so luxurious, that we both thought of Acrasia's bower of bliss. To add to that suggestion, Jenkin saw at no great distance, a very comely couple in flagrante.

We went down the other side of the hill, emerging on the road at Swinford Bridge. We turned right and came along the river bank under the side of the wood. At Godstow we had a cup of tea in the Trout Inn, and so back to town.

-- C.S. Lewis, journal entry 14 October 1922, in All My Road Before Me ed. Walter Hooper