Sunday, 11 December 2011

Jolly and Joyful

We reckoned we'd earned a treat, Woody and me, after several week of really hard work and a fair bit of stress too. But on Friday everything changed. We got some fantastic news that changes things so brilliantly for our family and our fortunes too. I can't really say what until tomorrow but you know that miserable post I wrote a few weeks ago, well all that's behind me if you see what I mean!
We haven't been to Oxford in a long, long time and have really fond memories of a special weekend there before we were married, on a tourist board press trip where we were treated fabulously and were lucky enough to stay at the marvellous Randolph Hotel, opposite the Ashmolean Museum.

So with some help from the grandparents we tootled off for a day away yesterday and before 11 o'clock we were strolling down Broad Street, muffled up against the cold and enjoying a pretty fantastic saunter.
We lingered around the stunning quads and courtyards of the Bodliean Library for ages, admiring the soaring architecture and a beautifully simple Christmas Tree.
Our Christmas shopping is done and safely stashed away so yesterday we had nothing better to do than have a good old explore of the city's alleys and lanes, cosying up in an ancient inn or two with a mug of mulled wine and good old window shop.
We discovered Oxford's incredible covered market too. Oh my word. You all know how I love our little market in town but goodness me, this place was utter paradise! Stalls with the most amazing produce, quirky little boutiques and so many fabulous places to eat you could choose a different one for each day of the week. The fishmonger especially was out of this world. We had a lovely hour in here and stopped for lunch in a cosy cafe with scrubbed tables and read the papers while we watched the world go by.
Coming from a small town it was a real treat to browse in some really wonderful shops. I adored the maps and prints on display in this window and I finally got to set foot in Brora, Toast and Fat Face having only ever seen their catalogues before. Some very special pyjamas came home with me from Fat Face too (I can't remember the last time I bought any new clothes just for me). A treat to myself for my good news - roll on Christmas Eve when I shall be most definitely snuggled up in them by the fire.
And then there were to colleges too of course. I'm full of admiration for those who study here. I'm fascinated by the cloistered atmosphere and the mysterious staircases leading to the world of study. My university days in London are long behind me but there's a little part of me that wishes I'd worked harder and I'd aimed for here.
But we had a fabulous visit. A very happy, festive day and time to share it together. First class.

24 comments:

Aunt Jane's Attic said...

Hi Steph lovely pics of Oxford, havent been there in a long time, my daughters friend has just started uni at Oxford, so she might get a trip. Julie.....

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

oh, what a perfect sounding day! Times like that are jsut so nourishing aren't they, seem to feed one through the harder days? But I know they do take some organisation of littles and we never seem to get away often enough. Good for you grabbing your moment in the Oxford winter sun, and glad you have had some great news too...

Candace said...

This time last year I was studying at Oxford for the year. It was a pleasant surprise to have coffee and get nostalgic over your trip. Congratulations on your good news and snuggly pijamas :)
P.S. The Bodliean is amazing, just not when you have to spend 6 hours at a time there!

Sue said...

Oh I adore Oxford. It's such along time since I was there. Favourite place are the Botanical Gardens. I was watching Lewis last night and wishing I was there.

I'm dying to hear your good news!

Karen said...

Since my daughter started at the university in September I have been to Oxford three times and I fall in love with it more each time. No amount of study would have made me clever enough to go there but now I get to see it through the eyes of my clever girl ;) Will be back again in January (sales!) - can't wait.
Wonder what your news is...

The Cookie Jar said...

I was only looking back at the photos of the Botanic Gardens in Oxford yesterday evening. It is such a beautiful place.
I'm glad you had such a good time there.

LandGirl1980 said...

You have reminded me that I must plan a visit to Oxford soon :) Please to hear that things are looking up for you :)

Country Rabbit said...

im really pleased things are jolly for you, no stress or worry and off on a lovely trip to oxford- such a wonderful sight, ive been once 'when' in my 20's...like you i thought what a wonderful place to study...lots of lovely places to explore and soak in the atmosphere. Lovely piccys- ive got such a 'crush' on bikes with baskets- one day i will own a vintage one ;0)x

Toffeeapple said...

How lovely that you could get away and be just the two of you. Oxford is lovely, we were there just a few weeks ago but, being old fogeys, we can't walk around too mush.

Justine said...

I visited Oxford last year, there are pics on my blog of the Botannical Gardens somewhere. OOH lovely to get PJs in Fat Face.

I think many people wish they had studied at Oxford, lovely way of life all cultures. At least we went to Uni many do not know what a wonderful life it is although as a Mature Student with a young child it was a little different for me.

June said...

I've never been to Oxford nor Cambridge either for that matter. It looks lovely - all that history too!
June

VintageVicki said...

Seeing your pics has made me determined we will visit Oxford next year. We also opt for Cambridge as its that bit closer!

Cait O'Connor said...

Just discovered your lovely blog. Great photos of Oxford.

Paty Z said...

As always I love the photos of your blog, beautiful places. I´m glad you and Woody are having good news. Congratulations!!

Frances said...

Thank you for reminding me of how dreams can be set free in Oxford. Your photos remind me of old familiar places, and show me how lovely that city can be as Christmas nears.

Lovely to learn about your relaxing break, and that you will soon be sharing some good news.

xo

Claire said...

how lovely, ive never been to Oxford but i imagine it's a bit like Cambridge, Ilove it there!

Funkymonkey said...

Love the poster that mentions Kidlington...my dad was born there.

Tracey

Ruth said...

Thank you for taking us on the jaunt around Oxford - I must go there one day. It's fun to see somewhere I've never been.

Also so pleased to hear you have some good news for your family and just in time for Christmas!

Please may I? said...

Sounds like a heavenly day. The architecture is stunning isn't it?! And all those bikes still amaze me.

Glad you've had some good news. An early Christmas gift for you and yours.

X x

devonaz said...

What a beautiful city,,,I love your buildings they are just beautiful..thanks for taking us on your little trip...

Julie Wagner said...

Love Oxford! We have been twice when we've visited England and I think it's one place I could live! So glad to hear you have some good news for Christmas. Hope it makes your Christmas even more special. I love your blog.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I just happened upon your blog and wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it. Lovely photos.

Kristina said...

I've never been to Oxford, but after seeing these photographs I want to see it - badly! Thank you for sharing these pretty images.

P.S. I loved your blog.

Revrunner said...

Enjoyed the pics. Thanks! Reminded me of my trip to Oxford in 2010. Unfortunately, I accidently trashed all my photos upon my return. Sigh!