"I HAVE seen many things in Oxford and I will not forget them for a long time.”

Thus spake Queen Elizabeth I on a visit to the city in August 1566. (The royal ‘we’ had yet to be introduced.) Apparently mayhem reigned. On May 23 we are invited to re-live the event – questionable acting, stage fires, collapsing sets, the lot.

Gloriana is not the sort of event St Mary’s University Church education officer Penny Boxall usually writes. But along with fellow poet Andy Parrott and helped with cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund, they are putting together a programme that includes a play that goes wrong and other embarrassing incidents certain to make the day one to remember. No wonder the Virgin Queen waited another 20 years before risking a return to Oxford.

Penny is also organising a poetry competition for the under 13s, the 14-17 age group and the over 17s. The winners will be invited to perform their work as part of the show – Tudor doublets et al.

Knowing our present Queen’s delightful sense of humour, Penny and Andy might have dreamed of HM portraying her ancestor and namesake.

However, they chose to approach theatrical royalty and signed up Charlotte Lloyd Webber – Andrew’s daughter-in-law – to play the part.

This sounds like a date for my calendar.

SMUG? Me? Surely the middle-aged visitor with a cut-glass accent from Ely – that’s in Cambridgeshire – was mistaken. After all he raised the subject of the Boat Race – or rather Boat Races which our Oxford crews, male and female, won at a watery gallop on Saturday.

“You won’t win next year!” he exclaimed somewhat pettily.

As Mr Asquith once said, wait and see.

TUESDAY'S sunshine tempted me to stay in the city long into the evening. What was on offer to keep me around?

Posters of an academic or cultural nature, arranged for all to see in Broad Street, spoke of pleasures to come. Only one referred to an event in Oxford Town Hall that evening.

It was an all-welcome lecture and questions session from the Oxford Gnostic Fellowship – something new to me.

It read: ‘Circumcision: the Tribal Mark of Abram of Isaac and His Seed only.’ Not a subject for the squeamish.

A supplementary notice suggested the world as we know it would end soon after May 2018.

Therefore, anxious to put my affairs in order, I headed home.

FINALLY, Wednesday marked the 70th anniversary of the relief of Buchenwald death camp. It was also the day 400 people fleeing from religious and political persecution were drowned when an unsafe boat capsized in the Mediterranean. Can anybody tell me what we have learned in 70 years?