Self Guided Tour

Lot of walking again today with a walking tour book I bought for Oxford. Walked into the Jericho area of Oxford and along the canal. Visited a church, a cemetery. We wanted Fish and Chips and found out several pubs were out of fish and chips!  The Lamb and Flag was closed due to refurbishing. The Eagle and Child has been closed for over 2 years now. Both of these pubs have history with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Today is open day in Oxford for prospective Freshmen and the town was buzzing with parents and students checking out the colleges, and eating all the fish and chips! We finally dropped off our bag of goodies we bought along the way to the apartment and headed to The Turf Tavern again and they had Fish and Chips. This is fast becoming our favorite and go to establishment. Mission accomplished, back to the apartment with our feet up!

Evening Posting Oxford Time

Today, Tuesday October, oops September13th! was a full day on our feet. It’s almost 7PM here and almost 11AM at home. (Thank you, Vera, I was really tired when I posted this.

A Full English Breakfast, The Covered Market, The Bodlein 1 hour tour, Grocery shopping and more. As it happens the tour we signed up for in the afternoon turned out to be a private tour since no one else signed up. We ended at the Turf Tavern and are now at our apartment falling asleep as we watch the evening news here in Oxford.

Good night from Oxford. Hope you all have a good day.

Birthday Dinner on the ‘Coast’

Our kids on the coast planned a birthday dinner for their dad since we had to travel to that side of the state to fly out on Sunday. It was a lovely dinner and time together. I wanted to document it before Oxford takes over in my posts. Our kids on our side of the mountains had a delicious meal for Gramps on his day and we didn’t take a photo. Addy and JJ made cards for Gramps. All the kids went in on a very nice gift, too.

Off we go. We arrived and we are settling into our apartment for the next 9 days.

After we got settled we stepped out to find something for dinner. We passed the Wesley Memorial Methodist church. I’m always attracted to old substantial doors and doorways.

We enjoyed a traditional steak and ale pie and conversation with a couple from Finland and a young lady from Thailand.

Hopefully we’ll have a good nights sleep after being up for many hours and crossing too many time zones. Cheers!

Another Year

We grieve with Great Britain at the passing of beloved Queen Elizabeth II on her death yesterday. Shedding tears here. It was her appointed time dying at Balmoral, a place that seemed to bring her lots of comfort. We have no idea how the grieving period in Great Britain will impact our trip this coming week but our time will be historic. 

Today is Dear’s 69th birthday.  We will be celebrating his last year in his 60’s tonight and tomorrow, too. All these photos I’m sharing today are from 2006 when he was in his 50’s. We recently copied the photos from a disc from our trip with friends on what we called a Walking Tour of Great Britain. We were in Conwy Wales, The Lake District, Oban, Edinburgh and York from May 2nd until the 12th, 2006.

We flew into Manchester. There were six of us on this trip. We rented a vehicle and headed to Conwy, Wales.

The view from our bedroom at our Bed and Breakfast in Conwy.

The 2nd day in Wales we attempted to climb Mt. Snowden.

Still smiling at the beginning of the hike. It really was a difficult ascent and much more difficult descent because of the slipping steep shale path. Jan and I made it 2.6 miles and we decided to turn around and head back. The other 3 troopers carried on for another mile but had to turn back because of the high wind. It was windy enough to move our bodies. In total 5.2 miles for Ellen and Jan, 7.2 miles for Bob, Dear, and Jody. We were sore and our knees suffered for the rest of our trip.

The very bright side to this day was our dinner at Bistro Conwy. One of the best meals we’ve ever enjoyed at a restaurant. Leek soup w/potato and bacon, Casaba salad with melon-strawberries-kiwi-with a raspberry sorbet sauce-mushroom tartlets-lamb shoulder in reduction with potatoes and vegetables. Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate sauce for dessert.

From Wales we traveled to the Lake District and stayed on a working farm. We had a few Derwent River walks.

While Bob, Jan and Jody scaled this path to the top of Cats Bells, Dear’s knees stopped here on this grassy knoll and we made our way back to our Farmhouse B&B.

From the Lake District we traveled to Oban, Scotland.

From Oban we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull and traveled across the island to catch a ferry to the little island of Iona.

From Oban we traveled to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh we visited Elephant House with ties to the writing of the Harry Potter books.

Our last stop was York and we enjoyed our favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding here.

We won’t be enjoying Sticky Toffee Pudding today but hopefully within a weeks time we will.

Grow Old With Me Hodgepodge

 

If it’s Wednesday, it must be Hodgepodge. Thank you Jo From This Side of the Pond for gathering the questions.

1. Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you’ve ever had. 

My 60th and 70th birthdays were over the top wonderful. Filled with face to face time with friends and family. Delightful surprises planned with love. Delicious food, beautiful flowers and precious gifts. So thankful for the time and energy and travel my dear friends and our family honored me with. The bonus on my 70th were the addition of one more daughter, son and two grandchildren.

 

2.  In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years? 

Four years ago I became a country mouse after being a city mouse for 66 years! My role as a Baba (grandmother) is a change in the best of ways. My body is letting me know I’m aging. The mirror is confirming that fact.

I’m becoming more reformed in my faith concentrating on a Biblical world view that is shaped by a better understanding of the Providence of God and the Sovereignty of God coming from the belief in the inerrancy of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Truth Matters!

3. What’s your favorite thing about the street on which you live? 

It’s mostly flat and I can make it to town when it snows.

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day…are you a beer drinker?

Dear bringing our pints at the Castle Hotel in Conwy, Wales.

I’ve been known to enjoy a pint here and there. Soon I’ll be enjoying half-pints in cozy pubs. Reminds me of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Pippin’s exclamation when Merry sits down next to him with a pint of ale, “it comes in pints?!”

Pippin:
What’s that?

Merry:
This, my friend, is a pint.

Pippin:
It comes in pints?

Pippin:
I’m getting one.

Buttermere Ale IPA at the Bridge Hotel in Buttermere in the Lake District 2006

What’s a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast?

We have used beer in some marinades or in a stew here and there.

5. As I grow older I would like to be a woman who __________________________.

loves my God and Savior more, with the proof in the pudding…

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This is our granddaughter’s drawing of me at my 70th dinner celebration. She was so enamored of the crown and the birthday sash.

Oxford Archives ~ Doors and Fences

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.’

This is a post from my archives from 2014.

Oxford Day 6 040Our tour guide in Oxford, July of 2014, said that there are stories about this door being an inspiration to C.S. Lewis on the writing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as he was housed behind this door from time to time.

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Oxford Day 6 041and just to the right of this doorway was this…

Oxford Day 6 042…the lamp post that served as the model in the story.

Good story if it’s true and you can see the inspirations are there. The Chronicles of Narnia are a favorite of mine.

There is so much great history to hear about and see in Oxford. We are already talking about spending at least a couple days in this city the next time we visit Jolly Old England. 

Back to the present. Not just a couple more days but our apartment is booked for 9 days!

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This fence with “Head” posts is in Oxford England close to the Bodlein and and next to the Sheldonian Theater and Old Ashmolean. Each post has a different head.

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Last night while Dear and I watched an episode of Inspector Morse they drove on the street next to this fence. I enjoy seeing places we have walked when we watch shows like Morse, Inspector Lewis, or Lord Peter Whimsy series from Dorothy Sayers mysteries.

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Oxford Day 6 079I didn’t have a lot of time to research why there are heads on each of these posts and information about them isn’t an easy click away.

During our 2022 visit to Oxford we do intend to take in the Sheldonian and a few museums, too. I found this Youtube description and some history of the Sheldonian.

This is my last archive post of Oxford. The days are ticking down for our trip in September.

Oxford Archives ~ The Bear

Oxford Day 6 184Dating from 1242 The Bear is the oldest Pub in Oxford. It was fun to see it featured in the latest season of “The Amazing Race”. There is another pub in Oxford that also claims to be the oldest. I’ll let them duke it out.

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The Bear is home to a rather impressive yet random collection of neckties. Visitors from around the globe have contributed to the collection. They are displayed in a room off the main entrance and you can see that the display continues onto the ceiling.

I was stumped to come up with an offering for the letter N until I remembered this pub that we stopped into after a long day of walking and sight seeing in Oxford in July of 2014. It has very low ceilings and a very narrow steep staircase to the toilets. I can’t imagine someone having a few too many going up and worse coming down those steep steps.

Back to the present: This time around we probably won’t visit The Bear. There are plenty of noteworthy pubs we’ll visit instead, especially the ones that Morse and Inspector Lewis visited during their Murder Mysteries series.

Oxford Archives ~ University Church of St. Mary…

Oxford Day 6 046St Mary’s stands in the physical centre of the old walled City, and the university grew up around it. In medieval times scholars lived in houses with their teachers and the university had no buildings of its own, so it adopted St Mary’s as its centre. The church continued as a parish church, but by the early 13th century it had become the seat of university government, academic disputation, and the awarding of degrees.

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Oxford Day 6 120The Oxford Martyrs ~Each of the three anglican bishops, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, who were burnt at the stake in Oxford during the reign of the Roman Catholic queen, ‘Bloody Mary’, underwent part of his trial in St Mary’s. Their principal crime was not to believe the doctrine of transsubstantiation, although Cranmer, as Henry VIII’s Archbishop, had also played a crucial role in the downfall of Queen Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon.

Oxford Day 6 118This bit of history at St Mary’s really was interesting to me to read…

John Wesley, founder of Methodism, often attended the University Sermon in his Oxford days, and subsequently, as a Fellow of Lincoln College, preached some of his most stirring sermons before the University here – notably the famous sermon the ‘Almost Christian’ in 1741. In 1744, again in St Mary’s, he denounced the laxity and sloth of the senior members of the University. He was never asked to preach here again. ‘I have preached, I suppose,’ I wrote, ‘the last time in St Mary’s. Be it so. I am now clear of the blood of these men. I have fully delivered my soul.’

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In 1947 a disastrous fire destroyed the original 17th-century ‘Father’ Smith organ. Its replacement, by J W Walker, had become unplayable by 1981. The present organ, the third, was built in 1987 by Metzler Orgelbau of Zurich with the intention of recapturing the spirit of the original ‘Father’ Smith. It is undoubtedly one of the finest instruments of its kind, and incorporates the few of Smith’s decorative pipeshades which survived the fire.
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Oxford Day 6 121While traveling I never have the time to thoroughly study the history of the places we visit. In preparing my posts for my blog, after the fact, I learn so much more information and history and I find out all the things I missed while visiting these amazing places. That’s why I always am ready for another trip to see the things I missed. There’s only so much my brain can absorb in a short visit.
And now in the present I’m glad to be reading this posts from 2014 and knowing what we didn’t know the last time we visited. This time around I’m taking more time to research before we go.

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.

Oxford Archives ~ Magdalene College Cloisters

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

Oxford Day 6 156Balancing on the buttresses that jut from the Cloister walls are the figures later known as ‘hieroglyphics’, the ‘GARGELS”, Magdalen’s very own gargoyles. Some are biblical, some heraldic, all symbolic. Since they entered the College in 1508-9 they have been keeping their emblematic eyes on the comings and goings in the Cloisters and the quad.

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Oxford Day 6 155Wanted to let you all see that we did “keep off the grass”.

From the Cloisters we headed out to Addison’s walk and the New Building following the footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis along one of the paths that leads to  the famous meetings of the “Inklings”.

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Back to the present day Saturday August 6, 2022. This evening we are hosting a raclette meal for 6 in our home. We offered the meal as an auction item for our Church Missionary fundraiser back in May. Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos of the event.