Oxford Archives ~2004 and 2014

For our daughter Katie’s high school graduation, Dear and I took her to Great Britain in April of 2004. Katie is a reader, a learner, a writer, a poet and an artist. We asked her what she’d want to see and she came up with the brilliant idea of following some of her favorite authors and characters around the Isle! This is a photo log of our trip that we can highly recommend to all lovers of Hobbits, Inklings, Literary Giants, 19th Century England, Harry Potter, and wacky Holy Grail enthusiasts! For my flashbacks I’m going to cover less ground in each post. This first post will be our Oxford experience with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on our radar. The photos on this trip were taken the old fashioned way with a camera that was still using film!

 

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The Eagle and Child (The Bird and Baby) Oxford

We set out from our first B & B base in Cheltenham to tour Oxford. We were still getting over our jet lag just arriving the day before. We found a park and ride outside of Oxford and rode a bus into town. Our first stop was The Eagle and Child (The Bird and the Baby) where the Inklings would meet and discuss their current writings, thoughts, etc.

 

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The pictures on the wall are of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, plus letters, etc. We had a bite to eat and a pint was raised to toast our respected authors! “It comes in pints?”

 

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Addison’s Walk

Dear and Katie on Addison’s Walk. This walkway is on the grounds of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) where Tolkien and Lewis would walk and have long conversations, after which C. S. Lewis converted to Christianity. We found it, walked it and reflected on the beauty and wonder of it all!

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This next photo shows a spot on the walkway that we took a photo from different directions in 2004 and in 2014.

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And here’s one of the beautiful courtyards that we took photos of both of these years.

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We saw the iconic phone booth on the grounds of Magdalen, too.

Walking from Magdalen College back to the center of town we saw other familiar sites, too.

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The Bridge of Sighs

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In 2004 when we came across Logic Lane Katie insisted that we take a photo of her dad under the sign. In 2014 we came upon Logic Lane again so I had to take another photo.

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We walked about to find this address where Tolkien lived at 21 Merton St. after his wife died in 1971.

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Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also.  Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).

EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
LUTHIEN
1889 – 1971
JOHN RONALD
REUEL TOLKIEN
BEREN
1892 – 1973

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Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford

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We headed back to our B & B in Cheltenham to rest up for our next days adventure around the Cotswolds in search of Hobbits.

The thing about film photography is that we didn’t know if the photos we took even turned out well till we were home and had the film developed. Aren’t you happy we have digital cameras now? You can see if you chopped someone’s head off or missed the top of a beautiful cathedral etc. These photos that I took with film in 2004 were scanned and uploaded onto my computer and in a lot of cases lightened up and sharpened and sometimes cropped.

Now we await our time in Oxford in 2022. We still do not cling too tightly to this trip as we know anything can change on the world landscape in a day. Trusting God if we go or if we can’t go.

To Be Or Not to Be Hodgepodge

Alton to Cotswolds 084This is Shakespeare’s birthplace right in the middle of town on Henley Street in Stratford Upon Avon. This photo was taken in September of 2013.

It’s time for another Hodgepodge hosted by Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

1. It’s March 15th and as the saying goes-“Beware the Ides of March”. Have you read or studied much Shakespeare? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? How do you feel about a Caesar salad? 

I’m aware of that term. Haven’t read much or studied much of Shakespeare and don’t really have a favorite play. We all know about Romeo and Juliet, don’t we? In the early 70’s before Dear and I were married we attended a Shakespeare play in Stratford Upon Avon with our singing group. King John was the name of the play. We really weren’t impressed with the performances.

The ominous warning, “Beware the Ides of March,” originated with the Roman ruler, Julius Caesar, who was assassinated on the Ides of March – March 15, 44 B.C. If you’ve heard the ominous warning, then it’s most likely due to William Shakespeare and his play, Julius Caesar.

The warning itself was made famous in Shakespeare’s play on Julius Caesar, when an unidentified soothsayer tells Caesar, who is on his way to the Senate (and his death), “Beware the ides of March.” Caesar replies, “He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.”

2. Have you ever been to Rome? If so what do you love about the city? If not, any desire to go?

Haven’t been to Rome. I have been to Italy once with Dear on a Business Trip to Milan. I’m sure there are places in Rome I would be impressed with and love but I do not have a desire to travel to Italy again.

3. What’s your favorite place to ‘roam’? 

My, our favorite place to roam is anywhere in Great Britain. I’m a comfort traveler so I appreciate being able to communicate with the locals and for the most part understand what they are saying.

4. Do you like pizza? Thick or thin crust? Red sauce-white sauce-other? Your favorite toppings? How do you feel about pineapple on a pizza? 

We do like pizza, thick or thin but mostly thick and usually read sauce. We enjoy sausage, bell pepper, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms. We do not do pineapple on pizza…ever.

5.  ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’…tell us how this expression applies to something in your home-life-job currently (or recently)? 

The latest ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ project at our country bungalow is a redo of our master shower stall. It’s taken weeks just to come up with a plan. It will take more weeks to first decide on the pan and then the tile. Right now the glass doors came off and we are living with a curtain. We do not plan to put glass doors on the finished product because of our well water deposits that are impossible to clean.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This beautiful bouquet of flowers was on the porch on Monday from our oldest and his lovely bride. We returned home from celebrating an overnight in Spokane and Idaho for my 71st birthday. We enjoyed Indian food, 2 lamb dishes, jasmine rice and naan at India House in Post Falls on Sunday. We spent the night in Spokane Valley and on Monday, my birthday, we shopped at all the places we don’t have in Colville. On the way back home on Monday we stopped for Mexican at our favorite spot and Hector treated us well as usual with a very small bill left at our table.

Four more days until our oldest and only granddaughter turns 5. Celebration plans are afoot!

Addy and JJ are holding a bag of Brussels Sprouts. Our DIL told Addy she could pick any vegetable she wanted in the produce section of the store and her choice was Brussels Sprouts! Well done Mommy and Addy!

Choices Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday so that means the Hodgepodge is here with new questions to answer. Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for keeping our brains challenged!

1. Where do you get your news these days? 

We follow more conservative voices. I limit my news intake since they prove themselves to be misleading so much of the time. I get so tired of all the opinions and talk show formats instead of your good ole news like; there was a flood today in such and such city or it’s real hot in Texas today. During this war I get information from our missionary associations that are in the midst helping like FEBC, SGA, and others who are there.

2. It’s National Crab Day…do you like crab meat? What makes you crabby? 

A good Crab Cake is a treat.

Stone faced liars make me crabby.

3. Does freedom mean more choices?

From the Oxford dictionary;

the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Another definition is; the state of not being in prison. 🙂

So…if we all have freedom there are going to be a lot of choices.

Have you ever felt there were too many choices? Elaborate. 

Some restaurants have way too many choices making it very hard to choose. Then you wonder…can they really do 40 different dishes well?

Seriously though, choices are important in life. We will all live with the choices we make and their consequences.

I’m with Joshua on this one…

Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

4. Barbara Millicent Roberts was introduced to the world on March 9, 1959…that’s Barbie to most of us. Did you have Barbies as a kid, or did you let your own children play with Barbies?

Madame Alexander Dolls are more my style and it was one of her dolls I bought our daughter for her 1st birthday.

I was 8 years old when Barbie was born. I never owned a Barbie. I can only remember having one doll when I was little. It was small rubber headed one. Nice and chunky and nothing like a Barbie. I was not a big fan or pro Barbie but our daughter had a collection of them. I did not appreciate how hard they were to dress and undress. Oye! Our daughter was gifted a special edition Russian Barbie from her Uncle and Aunt one Christmas. That doll disappeared from our home a few years later when we had a Russian traditional dance troupe visit for a meal. Hmmm…

I still have some of our daughter’s Barbie collection in a bin that I pull out for Grand nieces or other little girls to enjoy when visiting.

What well known Barbara (living or not) would you most like to meet? 

We did know a real life Barbie (named Barbie) that could stand in for Barbie and model those outfits and afford them!

Truth be told I’m not interested in meeting any ‘well known’ Barbara.

5. What are three things you value most in another person? 

A person of integrity who is faithful, honest and dependable.

Someone who is generous with their time, talents and money.

A person who I can belly laugh with. Not a fan of grouches.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of Barbie, I didn’t walk away from this one that was in our local Goodwill store for under $12.00 back in June of 2017. If our granddaughter is ever interested in Barbies, I’ll give this one to her. If not interested I’ll have to offer it up for sale. It wasn’t Barbie that drew my interest. I’m a huge fan of Beatrix Potter and her collection of Tales!

The sticker price on the bottom of the box is $44.00.

Spring Reading Thing ~ 2008

Welcome to Spring and the Spring Reading Thing!

 

I participated last year in the Spring Reading Thing. It was my first blog carnival venture because I had just started my blog in March of 2007. Time flies when you’re blogging!

So many books to choose from to read.

Here are my choices so far. (subject to change at the whim of this reader)

Before Green Gables – The prequel to Anne of Green Gables ~ by Budge Wilson

I’m in the process of re-reading/reading for the first time some great classics. I finally just finished reading Anne of Green Gables so I’m excited to read this new book. It is also the 100 year anniversary of Anne so I thought it was a good time to read about her instead of just watching her story.

Scarlet ~ by Stephen R. Lawhead

This is the second book in the King Raven Trilogy. The first book was Hood which I read and enjoyed. Lawhead has an interesting and rich way of bringing you history in his fiction.

Inkspell ~ by Cornelia Funke

Again this is the second book in a series. I read Inkheart a while back and it kept me engaged. Funke has been compared to Rowling.

Gentian Hill ~ by Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite new/old writers. I am trying to get my hands on all her books. This will be my 5th book of hers I’ll have read. She is another author who develops her characters well. I compare her to George MacDonald in the way he brings a persons faith and relationship with God into the everyday.

Whose Body ~ by Dorothy Sayers

If you read mystery and haven’t read Sayers, you need to. Check out her Lord Peter Wimsey Series. This series was writtten from 1923-1935.

God is the Gospel ~ by John Piper

and right now I am finishing The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

This again is in my quest to read some classics that slipped by me…

Head over to Callapidder Days on thursday morning to see more Spring Reading Lists or to join in…

ABC Wednesday ~ G is for…

 

G is for Gulls that we see in abundance on our Saturday walks at the beach in Ventura, California.

G is also for Anne of Green Gables that I just read for the first time. What a delightful book. I had seen productions of the series on Television. Here is a quote from the book.

“Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever. She had intended to teach Anne the childish classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” But she had, as I have told you, the glimmerings of a sense of humor – which is simply another name for a sense of the fitness of things; and it suddenly occurred to her that that simple little prayer, sacred to white-robed childhood lisping at motherly knees, was entirely unsuited to this freckled witch of a girl who knew and cared nothing about God’s love, since she had never had it translated to her through the medium of human love.

“You’re old enough to pray for yourself, Anne,” she said finally. “Just thank God for your blessings and ask Him humbly for the things you want.”

“Well, I’ll do my best,” promised Anne, burying her face in Marilla’s lap. “Gracious heavenly Father – that’s the way the ministers say it in church, so I suppose it’s all right in a private prayer, isn’t it?” she interjected, lifting her head for a moment.

Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny and the Snow Queen. I’m really extremely grateful for them. And that’s all the blessings I can think of just now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want, they’re so numerous that it would take a great deal of time to name them all, so I will only mention the two most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables; and please let me be good-looking when I grow up. I remain,

Yours respectfully,
Anne Shirley.

“There, did I do it all right?” she asked eagerly, getting up. “I could have made it much more flowery if I’d had a little more time to think it over.”

Now after all that you deserve one of these that begin with the letter G!

 

Make mine a Guinness Please…

For more ABC Wednesday click on over to Mrs. Nesbitt’s.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

A Meme about Books

 Willow from Willow’s Cottage tagged me for a meme about Books. I had to think a while on this one and I’m sure my answers might change as time goes on or as my memory clears here and there…

The Bible would fill the bill for many of these answers for me but I’m going to answer with books written by human beings…

1. A book that has changed your life.

I loved Willow’s answer about Dick and Jane. I too remember how thrilled I was to be able to read those books, hold them in my hand. I even remember the smell, putting in the book mark, not wanting my reading time to ever end but I’m going to come up with something different…

I’m going to say that being able to read and enjoying reading and reading a variety of books through my life has changed my life for the better. From Dick and Jane, to the Little House on the Prairie Series, The Freddy the Pig Series, some classics, some good Christian non-fiction, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Stephen Lawhead, R.C. Sproul. That might be cheating but I really can’t point to one book except the Bible that has changed my life all by itself.

2. A book you read more than once

Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit both by Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead, The Harry Potter Series

(and of course all those childrens books that I read over and over and over to my kids)

3. A book you would take to a desert island.

Before I answer I was wondering… What is a desert Island? A deserted Island? An Island that doesn’t get rainfall? Anyway it for sure doesn’t sound like somewhere I’d want to be so maybe I would take a book I can escape into and be inspired by like,

The Lord of the Rings

4. A book that made you laugh.

Lots of them have but right now I am reading Anne of Green Gables and it has made me laugh a lot.

5. A book that made you cry

The last time I read the Lord of the Rings and got to the last page I closed the book and wept and thanked God that He gave someone such a talent to write like that. I also cried at the end of the last Harry Potter Book…

6. A book you wish you had written

Something classified as being a classic. But honestly I don’t know if I’d be comfortable living with such brilliance. So maybe a beloved children’s book like The Pokey Little Puppy.

7. A book you wish had not been written.

I’m drawing a blank here. There is a lot of trash out there in the form of books.

8. Two books you are at present reading.

Right now besides the book of Hebrews (I’m on a quest to try to read every book of the Bible 20x before moving on to the next) I am reading Anne of Green Gables.

9. Two books you are going to read.

I’m on a reading children’s classics kick. I’m going to read The Wind in the Willows. Then I just got an Elizabeth Goudge book called The Child From the Sea that I’ll be reading too.

10. A book you read and never figured out.

Oh this is an easy one for me. I so enjoy George MacDonald but one of his books just bewildered me. It’s called Lilith. It’s one of his fantasy books. If anyone has read it and wants to explain it to me, I’m all ears. I really think I get along better with his regular fiction not his fantasy…

So there you have it. If anyone would like to join in on this meme please do and let me know when you do…

Backwards WFMW ~ Favorite Fiction?

 

I love to read and I love books and I hope to visit some beautiful libraries before I die.

What is your all time favorite fiction work?

What is the best work of fiction you’ve read in the last 6 months?

Bonus: What is the best library you’ve ever been in or would like to see?

Bodlein Library in Oxford, England to inspire you. I hope to get back to Oxford on a day that Bodlein is open to the public.

 

“No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.”  ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

For more Backwards WFMW head on over to Rock’s in My Dryer….

The Dean’s Watch ~ Elizabeth Goudge

 Woman to Woman is hosting a Book Review Theme today.

 

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I just finished the last page of this book and I’m so sad that the story has come to an end. Elizabeth Goudge is fast becoming my new favorite author. She has a great descriptive style. The same appreciation I have for George MacDonald and how he weaves a true loving relationship with God contrasted against a cold religious relationship is growing as deep for Goudge’s fiction. I love MacDonald’s Scottish Countryside settings and I love Goudge’s English countryside settings.

This story is built around the Dean of a Cathedral in an English City. Goudge develops the stories behind several characters within the city whose lives are touched and changed by the growing love of the Dean for his city and for them. I highly recommend this book to you. It can be hard to come by these books but start by checking your local library. I found this one at my library.

I published a quote from this book that you can read here.

To see more book reviews go to Seeds in My Garden and My Many Colored Days.

Spring Reading Challenge Wrap Up

 

  • What was the best book you read this spring? Fiction: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers , Non-Fiction: Seeing and Savoring Christ by John Piper
  • What book could you have done without? I didn’t have a long enough book list to have to have an answer to this one. They were all worth reading.
  • Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Yes, the new author I tried was Dorothy L. Sayers and I will definitely read her again.
  • If there were books you didn’t finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren’t worth it? I never got around to Harry Potter #6. I’ve read it before and wanted to read it before #7 came out…
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants’ lists that you’re planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?  Yes, Stepping Heavenward by Prentiss. I bought it and am reading it.
  • What did you learn — about anything — through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share! I learned that I can read a lot more than I have in the past. There is time to read. I’m a multi-book reader (more than one at a time). I’ve learned I’ll enjoy and digest non-fiction more if I only read a chapter at a time. I have a stack of 4-6 books on my nightstand and I try to read a little out of each in the evening instead of watching TV.
  • What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? Meeting other readers and seeing the hundreds of books I’ve never read.
  • Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. I like to take reading a step further by recording any sections of the book that stand out to me.
  • I will definitely participate in a fall reading challenge!
  • I’ll be posting a review of  When People Are Big and God is Small soon. 🙂

Thanks so much to Katrina at Callapidder days for hosting this event so magnificently and unselfishly…

Solzhenitsyn: A Pictorial Record, 1974

 

How easy it is for me to live with you, Lord!

How easy it is for me to believe in you!

When my mind is distraught and my reason fails,

When the cleverest people do not see further than this evening what must be done tomorrow

You grant me the clear confidence

that you exist, and that you will take care

that not all the ways of goodness are stopped.

At the height of earthly fame I gaze with wonder at

that path through hopelessness –

to this point from which even I have been able

to convey to men some reflection of the Light

which comes from you.

And you will enable me to go on doing

as much as needs to be done.

 ~ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN

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