Blogs from Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford March 27th 2014

This is my blog for my cycle round the North Sea Cycle Route: I'll also be tweeting at @CycleNS. I'm setting off on April 17th. The route is: Oxford to Wimbledon. Downstream along the Thames and then along the Kent Coast to Dover and a ferry to Dunkirk and then, keeping the sea on my left-hand side, through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Shetlands, Orkneys and home via Scotland and England. It's 4000 miles!... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford October 10th 2013

Greetings from Ampney Crucis England. We are still having a fabulous time with the Willows. Yesterday were on bedtime duty for Bess and it was a bit of a shambles because Peter’s out of practice and I have no idea what to do. The three of us muddled through without too much trauma to Bess. We never made it to Blenheim Palace on Monday. We had some very sad news, our good friend Chris O’Brien died in Beijing where has been living for the past several years. The fact that his widow couldn’t speak much English and that we are overseas made things quite complicated. We were asked to track down Chris’ children neither of whom were in Australia. By the miracle of Facebook and Skype we all got in touch eventually. We had extra special ... read more
butchers van
Sink at the Rusty Bicyle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Woodstock September 8th 2013

A trip to the open spaces and fresh air of the Cotswolds probably could not have come at a better time. I had just had a really difficult week at work and big city life can get to you sometimes - this was the perfect opportunity to get away and clear my head. England has some of the most beautiful countryside you will see and you don't have to travel far to escape to it. I could've done without the early start though. I booked our hire car to be picked up from Heathrow because it was far enough out of the city to avoid the horrendous London inner city traffic and because there was a lot of rental car choice and availability out there. The catch was a 6.30am start as I tubed into the ... read more
Broadway Tower
Classic Cotswolds Cottage
Cotswold Countryside

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford September 4th 2013

I spent my last day of this long journey in Oxford, listening to some great final talks, and then having the afternoon free to again wander around, trying to make sense of everything I've been through these last 2 months. I went back to the Bodleian, to see a special exhibit on Aldous Huxley, and also went to the Ashmolean, Oxford's own massive museum, housing a treasure trove of artifacts and paintings. Then, I spent the rest of my day in pubs and coffeehouses, thinking over these 2 months. And mainly, I've become oddly disturbed by travel, which has never happened to me before. Not to say that I'm sick of travel. I'm more so just sick of travel in certain places. Those places so nicely marked on tourist maps. From now on, whenever I go ... read more
The Ashmolean Museum
British Oxford
Great Sign

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford September 3rd 2013

Listened in on a few more talks this morning before getting out of town to clear my mind. Headed a couple of hours North to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home. What to say about this place? It is a place that feeds off the tourist dollar, sucking tourists dry. And the trouble with this is that I'm not sure if Stratford is actually historic or not. It's a place custom-made to please the unknowing, docile tourist. But is there any actual history to all those nice, rebuilt Medieval facades? I don't know. But Shakespeare was born here, and I walked through what I guess was his house. Whether or not he would recognize it is up for debate. The great sight in town, in my opinion, mainly because you just can't really alter it, is Shakespeare's grave in ... read more
Shakespeare's Garden
From the Street
Shakespeare's School


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford September 2nd 2013

Just when I was getting comfortable, I set off again for Europe, basically taking the same exact route as last time. Flight to Heathrow, train to London Paddington, train to Reading, train to Oxford. Landed at like 8:30 in the morning, and was in Oxford by noonish. Almost too easy, and really didn't have to think about much - moving around like a local almost. But, that horrible exhaustion set in with force in Oxford, where it really was the middle of the night to me, coming from the States. But I slogged through the day, setting up at Balliol College, in basically a giant room overlooking soccer, or football, fields. Nice place and comfortable. Today I gave my 20 minute or so talk to a group of like 20 people. Honestly, I'm very unsatisfied by ... read more
St. Mary's
Typical Oxford View
Balliol College

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire August 18th 2013

Hello again from London. Before we begin today’s descriptions, let us explain that there were no good photos from Kensington Palace because we could not use the flash inside. We got a couple outside pictures, but the ones inside weren’t very good – too dark. We got a better night’s sleep last night, but David still woke up for a couple of hours during the night. So we are still feeling a little remaining jet lag. We left a wake-up call and got started at 6:30 again this morning. Rather than have the hotel’s breakfast, we got ourselves packed and headed for the Underground. We caught “the tube” to Victoria Station (only 4 stops away on the District Line) – so it worked just fine. We needed to walk to the same Coach Station as the ... read more
Main Dining Hall
Thatched Roof
Shakespeare's Birthplace

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford August 14th 2013

It's a small world, after all .... It's a small world, after all..... It's a small, small world! Well, if you believe the disney song .... but, it's all a matter of perspective. Sometimes it's too big and other times tiny and insignifcant, and then there are times that you cross time zones in a couple of weeks and feels like something in between. The reverse culture shock, after arriving in London made me laugh. All of a sudden seeing all of these "foreigners" in one space in all their different shapes and sizes. But, within an hour of arriving, familarity kicked in, and after an evening of spritzers with sally jones, by the time I arrived in Oxford, I was struggling to remember that I actually live in Malaysia. It took me an evening, and ... read more
pointing the wee one in the right direction
appreciating port meadow

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Henley-on-Thames August 12th 2013

Arriving at London Heathrow we attempted to declare Tim’s beef jerky only to find no one at the desk, walking towards arrivals we were stopped by a lady... “You are not allowed to bring meat products into the UK” She said in a loud voice. Looking quickly over her shoulders she added quietly “Okay…go through quickly then…” Mum, Dad and Sam were waiting at arrivals - they were very excited to see us and informed us all about the two-week heat wave that they had experienced. After a quick drive arriving back home we discovered that the lock from Tim’s bag was missing. Opening his bag we saw that it had been riffled. Lucky nothing had been taken as all our valuables were in hand luggage. At the bottom of the bag under his clothes was ... read more
Post box in the middle of the River Thames - it actually gets collected every day!
Going out for Sam's birthday
Sam's birthday

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford June 18th 2013

18th JuneHi guysWe had the best time before we left London. We went to the Queens horse guard show at which ........wait for it.........the Queen was at. Chris and liz managed to secure the best seats so we were quite close to her. I am sure she gave us a thumbs up sign coz she was so glad we were there. Bath was so amazing, so historic and so interesting. After travelling through the beautiful countryside from historic Bath we arrived at Bristol. When we got there we literally bumped into two friends from Australia associated with our church whilst in the Broadmead shopping centre toilet in the middle of Bristol. We had popped in just for a look and there they were.......really freaky, then on arrival at our hotel we discovered that we had another ... read more

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