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Published: January 4th 2013
Catherine's aunt Berenice has a lovely home in the inner suburbs of Oxford, and we gathered there for the days leading up to, and following Christmas Day. Berenice cooked a wonderful traditional dinner, including an eight kilogram turkey cooked on an AGA stove, and we shared the day with Charlotte, Imogen, Tarrant, and James Hoyle. Duncan Anderson, Christine and boys, Theo and Toby coming over in the evening.
We had two brief sojourns from the house over the two days, despite the rain. Firstly a brief walk past the stately homes of Banbury and Woodstock Roads. On boxing day we wandered for a few hours past the collages of the university and had a few beers at the Victoria Pub on Walton Street. Hexhamshire beer and a Guiness! Wonderful...in the right weather.
Tarrant has recently enjoyed success as a musician with his band Dive Dive, and as the band behind Frank Turner. Imogen is an investigative reporter with the BBC, and Charlotte is studying arts prior to locking into a particular career path. Duncan is about to head to Afghanistan to establish a military academy. Made for great conversation.
Jetlag still had its sway over Greg, who sat
up by the Christmas tree from 0200 to 0430 on Christmas morning. With it cold outside, this seemed pretty natural. No snow though, just drizzle.
First champagne of the trip was enjoyed: Taittinger Brut Reserve. Perfect accompliment to chocolate dipped apricots. Elise took photos of Greg's facial expressions for primatologist Karri to interpret. The Downton Abbey Christmas special proved very frustrating for all, as indicated by a tidal wave of Tweets.
Poached eggs and turkey sandwiches were the order of Boxing Day breakfast, all cooked over the wonderfully warm AGA stove. Vegemite dating back to 2005 was the accompliment: some debate about whether this stuff ever goes off. We found the Turf Tavern for lunch up a back lane and onto Holywell street. Chips and beer. Low ceilings, glasses hanging low over the bar, turf growing on the roof. Perfect. Found Waterstones for a long browse into the evening. Completed our packing for an early departure on the 27th for London.
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