Friday, July 06, 2007

Amid Oxford's Dreaming Spires

Never got the Ashmolean. It was a very full weekend. Brenda wasn't kidding when she she said it was a packed programme.
The decision to go by National Express was not a good one. The coach left Lancaster and took us on something of a tour of the North before arriving some six hours later in Birmingham, Digbeth Road Bus Station. What a grim hole that is in which to wait a couple of hours for a connection. Draughty waiting rooms, coffee in cardboard cups that tastes like cigarrete ash, and not cheap either. Then to add insult to injury being charged 20p to use a filthy toilet. Not good.
Yes, we could have gone somewhere outside the bus station but Digbeth Road is not exactly situated near any shops or cafes, apart from a couple of sex shops across the road.
Well, we arrived in Oxford in the evening and went straight to the hotel to recover from "bus lag". Next time we'll take the train, its only a four hour trip.
That said, Oxford is a wonderful city. I could spend a week here just drawing the buildings.
This half timbered house was an eye catcher with its contrasting "NOKIA" sign. Ancient and Modern? I guess so.

We were to attend the ordination of a friend of ours at Christ Church Cathedral, shown here. Its good to see the pomp and ceremony of the Church of England as it pushes its proverbial boat out from time to time. Here is the Cathedral viewed from the gatehouse across Tom Quad.

After the ceremony we retired to Yarnton, a village near Oxford for afternoon tea on the Vicarage lawn. The weather stayed warm and dry though the sky was uncertain.

Later, in the evening, Rev. Sarah held her first service at Steeple Aston church, again not too far from Oxford. Choral evensong; and sung from the good old fashion Book of Common Prayer. Memories of my days as chorister, nearly sixty years ago. Taking part was like wearing an old pair of gloves. Familiar and comfortable.

The following day I met up with my sister who lives only a few miles away in Waddesden near Aylesbury. Much of the time was spent with her family and grandchildren at various places close by Oxford.

Tuesday had us repeating our National Express experience once again and I spent most of Wednesday getting over "bus lag".

There is a fountain in the centre of Tom Quad, - full of lotus blossoms. An oasis of calm.


Poetess said...


I have just found your blog and your art work is fantastic. You have just inspired me to pick up my charcoals again.


Norman said...

Thanks for the comment. Go for it!