The Cowley Road, Oxford

In Oxford for the weekend and I was determined to stock up on Moghrabia. Last time we were here we went for a walk up the Cowley Road and came across a couple of middle eastern shops that were selling it. So this morning we went back.

Twice we were asked if we missed the Cowley Road. Walking up and then down it again I was bound to say that we do. Where we lived was within fifteen minutes walk of any number of good pubs, restaurants, shops and record shops. There was even a decent music venue down the bottom of the road where I saw Giant Sand twice, Therapy, Ash, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead and Supergrass before they were famous, That Petrol Emotion, June Tabor, Gong and any number of obscure bands on a Saturday night.

Eighteen years later it does not seem to have changed a great deal.Some of the pubs are more themed up and The Bullingdon Arms is a faint shadow of its former self.Twenty years ago all it sold was Guinness, the covers were ripped of all the seats, there was the occasional lock in when we would crowd into the room at the back curtains closed and continue our drinking. All that has gone and it now sells Craft Beera and all the seats have their covers.

I found Moghrabia and bought out the shop. There were about six kilos of the stuff I had to lug home. If anything there is now more diversity on the Cowley Road than when we lived there. Back then most of the restaurants were Indian (there were at least a dozen) with a couple of Chinese and Italian. There are less Indians now but there was a place doing Russian food, Turkish and two or three Lebanese.

There was even a good record shop which would be expensive to live close to.

It still looked a good place to live.

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