Blogs from Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire August 6th 2014

Today can be summarised with a list of words and phrases familiar from nursery rhymes and novels: hedgerows, meadows, stiles, thatched cottages, bridle ways, rambling, cobblestones, churchyards, village green, hollyhocks, cowslips, old mill, old schoolhouse, Bakewell tart, light ale, Eton mess. We hired a car in Oxford and spent the day driving and walking among the evocatively-named pretty villages of Chipping Norten, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-water and the Slaughters (Upper and Lower). Highlights were the gorgeous cottages decorated with overflowing hanging baskets,the extraordinary ornate Bliss Mill from the industrial revolution, the ramble from Bourton to the Slaughters across a field of black-faced sheep and along Wardens Way and eating our picnic lunch overlooking the little river next to the Old Mill in Lower Slaughter watching local riders take their horses swimming. W... read more
Lower Slaughter
The Royal Oak, Eversham

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford July 11th 2014

July 10: Lazy day, Daughter concert Another busy lazy day? Haha. Short and sweet. First thing, I headed to Leinster Gardens. I had wanted to go beforehand but clearly now that they were mentioned in Sherlock, it was a necessity ;) It's quite something though, looking up at the facades - you have to pay attention to pick out the facades compared to the real houses. It's in the windows and the front doors. Very cool. For lunch I had to go grab my usual London treat and get a sandwhich and hot choco from Speedy's. Always good for a lunch break. Of course I couldn't resist the usual photo of "221B" where I noticed the knocker was crooked. Def made me smile. I was planning to head down to Waterloo or Blackfriars so o could ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire May 4th 2014

Sunday, May 4 th Arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland late in the day. I'm taking this opportunity to play catch up on blogs... What do the the names in the title all have in common? Oxford! The town itself is about 56 miles northwest of London and was the first stop of the day ( April 26). The big silver bus pulled up outside the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. I did a double take and had strains of a Barbershop Quartet song about the 'Ashmolean Marching Society Band' going through my head. My brother, Don, has been involved with Barbershop singing for over 30 years and I have attended many of his performances. Whoa! I never knew there was an Ashmolean anything and now I was standing in front of a huge building with brightly ... read more

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

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