Posted in Oxford Odditites

Those Times When There’s … A Donkey?

You know you’ve lived in Oxford too long when… when you’ve followed a procession with a donkey all the way up High Street and only as Carfax Tower comes into view do you think to yourself; ‘Huh. That’s werid. We don’t normally have a donkey, do we?’

With thanks once again to Parker Foye who was *way* more on the ball with their camera than me this morning! In my defense, there had not yet been tea, and that is kinda essential if you want me to function… You can (and should!) check out their writing here: (

Yes, friends, in Oxford we do this thing every Palm Sunday wherein we trudge a donkey through the streets of Oxford to hold a outdoor service remembering the moment when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem by riding in on a donkey.

The things I love about these traditions is how they have been going for so long that absolutely no one thinks twice about it! You can see here that if you’re not specifically in the procession, you barely even look! And I very much include myself in this group there!

This goes great with the announcements they blast through the Clarendon Shopping Centre much too frequently declaring “If you see something odd, please report it to the authorities.” Like, sure Ma’am, but … what kind of odd? Because in Oxford, it turns out, the blatant donkey procession did not make the cut there!

Makes you wonder what *else* you could march happily down the street on a Sunday in Oxford before someone questions it… Anyone else feel like the Harry Potter Wizarding World’s Statute of Secrecy was completely superfluous? Just a little?

Anyway, just a random little snippet for today, but it tickled me! One week left of Lent for those who observe that, and then it is Time for The Easter Dragon’s visit! Who’s excited? Just me?

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Posted in Ivan's Adventures

Greetings from the Easter Dragon!

The Beginning of a beautiful hoard
Hmmm… These things look interesting… I could get behind collecting these!

The problem with having a dragon assistant continue to surprise me! Apparently dragons think that this time of the year is some huge Egg Festival, which dragon are very in favour of as you can imagine!

Ivan has been trying to amass himself a nice respectable hoard of eggs, especially these colourful ones which appeal to Ivan’s love of multi-coloured things to pile up and be proud of.

I’ve been trying to explain the point of Easter Eggs, but we got stuck on the idea of the Easter Bunny. At first there was much consternation that a rabbit would have anything to do with eggs at all. In Ivan’s view, rabbits do not lay eggs and should leave this sort of thing to the professionals. Then again, I explained that the Easter Bunny’s job is to go around the place and distribute the eggs to others, especially children and Ivan looked so utterly shocked and betrayed! To give eggs away? I think this many be a dragon thing…

King of the Egg Hoard
When your pile of eggs is bigger than you are, is it too much, maybe? Naaaaaah!

As you can see, there is nothing more dragon-ly than sitting on top of your pile of eggs and hugs another egg close to your chest so no one can take it away from you.

The fun fact I learned while trying to explain why we have an Easter Bunny, not an Easter Dragon, is that this character is a lot older than I expected.

I assumed that he was a fairly new character, maybe the product of the Chocolate Wars, as an advertising gimmick that stuck around longer than expected. But no! The first mention of his legend as a rabbit that distributes multicoloured eggs to children (and fun-loving grown-ups!) comes from a 16 page medical essay, written by Dr Johannes Richier, published in 1682!

Stolen Egg
The aftermath of an egg thief! I’ve never seen anyone look so upset over eggs before…

Apparently the good doctor was raising concerns that children who found these colourful eggs would eat them without the proper seasoning of salt and butter, and give themselves tummy ache.

Naturally I am taking no chances with this! I don’t know if dragons eating Easter Eggs will suffer from the same fate, but have you seen a dragon suffering from tummy ache? It’s not a pretty picture when you mix it with these fire-breathing little critters!

I do admit that it was extra hard to do when he retaliated with those big sorrowful eyes. Just look at him! And that was after I confiscated just the one egg! Honestly, Ivan!

Still I shall remain strong, and hope that he will forgive me in time…

Happy Easter to all of you! The season of Spring and Rebirth is finally upon us and I can only hope for great and glorious things in the year ahead!