THE storm seemed to be conking out a bit, as PG Wodehouse’s immortal character Bertie Wooster once put it, adding that “even the rain showed a disposition to cheese it”.

Such was the situation on Tuesday as locals and visitors alike slowly and cautiously took to the streets after a night of raging wind and driving rain. Until late morning people were thin on the ground. Overseas visitors – in particular from China – seemed to be in the majority.

“Please!” said one teenager from the orient, brandishing the most expensive-looking camera I’ve seen in ages. “Where to find floods?”

He seemed disappointed to learn that St Ebbe’s was not a raging cataract or that rafts were not required to cross St Giles.

“Thank you,” he said politely. “Which way to big museum?” The Ashmolean second best? Whatever next?

WONDER Woman was serving pancakes at New Road Baptist Church. After all it was Shrove Tuesday.

The minister, the Rev Kat Bracewell, TV heroine designer apron to the fore, camping stove gently purring, was tossing pancakes for the regulars who daily drop in for tea and coffee, and for anyone else who heard what was happening. When I left – having enjoyed a trio of the traditional – she had already hit the 50 mark. Thank you, Kat.

ONE of the pleasures of being a young prime minister is that your parents might still be around to witness your triumphs. That’s how it is for David Cameron.

However, his mother’s much-publicised opposition to Oxfordshire’s planned closure of nursery schools might have caused a blush or two. Mother knowing best can be doubled-edged.

How nice it would be for everyone if the county council chose to save their leader further embarrassment – and please his mum – by thinking again.

SEX and murder at the New Theatre. A shirt caught with consequences in a dough-making machine at the Playhouse. It’s all happening next week.

The ever popular 1975 musical Chicago comes to the New, while the much praised amusing yet moving Richard Bean play, Toast, starring Matthew Kelly, and soon to be heading to the USA, is around the corner.

How often do I say Oxford is spoilt for theatrical choice?

OUT of the mouths...

My three-year-old grandson Arthur looked perturbed at the vision of the young woman in her early 20s. She had a centimetre-wide silver ornament through her septum.

“Does it hurt when she blows her nose?” he quietly asked – but not quietly enough for her not to hear. She smiled broadly.

“It does – lots. So I don’t blow. I just sniff.”

An answer to delight any youngster who is constantly told to use his handkerchief.