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.