Thursday 31 May 2018

Dreaming Spires and Glittering Prizes

Actually just remembered that The Glittering Prizes was based at Cambridge but you get my meaning.

So another one of those lovely hot days, we went on a day out to Oxford.  We had time and although from here at Upper Heyford, there is a train service, and buses into the city, we took the car to the Pear Tree Park and Ride.  I felt like a right tourist when we arrived there, trying to make head or tail of the three different types of machines there to pay!  Eventually, I had the leaflet but that might as well been printed in Russian,  we managed, with the help of some Australian visitors, to pay and get on a bus.  Another chap on the bus helped me to figure out the returning stop.... 

First stop, The Ashmolean Museum.  What a fantastic place this is, we were here about 25 years ago and its unrecognisable, its been completely renovated throughout.
They have an exhibition till July called America's Cool Modernism, from O'Keeffe to Hopper.  (Google those two)

David doesn't completely share my love of modern art.....  but he was a brave soldier and came to this one happily, I would have taken some snaps to thrill you all but they, unlike a lot of other world museums, forbade photos.  
Well worth the visit.

Then of course David wanted coffee, find the café and its a roof terrace.  I like this sort of thing very much. 

Baking hot day, but my husband kept his jumper on, he says "Never cast a clout till May is out" but honestly it was 26 degrees today.

We hopped on the tourist bus next.  This is something we tend to do when visiting cities abroad, or indeed biking tours, so we took one here.  

So here is a taster of what you can see from the top of a bus.  Sadly on transferring these snaps, I deleted them from my phone and the location of them identifying the colleges so lets just call them mixed colleges. 

Possibly Christ Church college.

Possibly Queens College.

Possibly Brasenose College.

Anyway, in Oxford there are many colleges.  Today in the press were headlines about the lack of students from underprivileged homes coming here, in fact I was harangued by one of my daughters on this subject whilst waiting at the bus stop, but my answer is frankly I don't know why any right minded student would come here, its knee deep in visitors with cameras everyday and not much in the way of a Party scene,  vital for three years of happy studying.  But there you are, some parents have other views.

This is the station bike park, good luck with that.

Below is The Saxon Tower, Saxon!  So for those of you abroad, this was built between 1000 to 1050, thats 968 years old.  I'm just saying.  I climbed to the top and David didn't, he was getting the sports news on his phone.

Chalice with amethysts from C15th.

Great views form the top.

One of the things David wanted to do today was go find a pub, not any pub but this one.  You need a map for sure.  Along there, turn right, turn left, through an archway and totally hidden.  

We sat with some Germans who were discussing Jürgen Klopp, I know this because David told me, evidently my husband speaks German.  I was quite impressed.

This is not a dead end but the way in through the archway, see the archway?  No?  Nor did the tourists in front of us who turned back.

Love this sort of thing, sun, dwinks and listening to Germans.

We went to another called The White Horse, used in the filming of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour.  But my phone had died by now  HERE  but they served nice calamari.
It was a good day.

So on the bus I spotted the second photo but in my head, a scene from a work by Hopper.

A detail of a real Hopper and below...

A scene from the Säid Business School in Oxford.


  1. Lovely write up. What joy there is to be had seeing different cities by boat. We drive past Oxford just about every week on our way south or north on the A34. I can't wait until we take Percy there and cross under the A34 by boat.

    1. You are so right Nev, I know folks who give cities a wide birth not me. But to be honest this time we went by bus as I might well want to do another day there and the moorings fill up quickly in Oxford.


  2. Please tell David that the saying 'ne'er cast a clout 'till may is out means the May blossom (hawthorn) is blooming, not as in May the month! Tell him to remove his jumper without delay!

    1. Carol this is the man that new wore a coat, at a stretch he might take a jumper in winter. But now at the age of 82 he feels the cold more than me. But he refuses to wear trousers (I mean that in the nicest possible way)I will tell him about the blossom, but I too thought it was the month as you aren't supposed to plant your bedding plants out till the end of May.
      We live and learn.

      Big kiss to George,

      Lisa xx