Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Faces of Oxford

We found all sorts of little faces hidden about Oxford. This one in particular caught our eye; it looked as if he was smiling at our sharp eyes and knack at discovering hidden treasure.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More Oxford

Oxford is filled with some of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen. It is a shame to see some of the most vulgar shops situated in these masterpieces. Take Lush for example, (have I told you how much I dislike that shop?) they are everywhere, their odour spewing out into the street, triggering a sharp allergy attack. If it was sound or litter that covered the massive area around the shop, then the bylaw enforcement would be all over it. Why not encourage a sent patrol. Shops like Lush not only encourage people to wear scented products of offensive magnitude, but it makes some parts of the street inaccessible to individuals with allergies.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Willows in Oxford

Perhaps it's foolish, but when I think of what I want to do after my education, I realize that I want to be a farmer. It's not the most obvious choice for a philosophy major, and with a pile of student debt, it's a considerably unobtainable. The thing is, there are very few people I enjoy spending time with. First impressions are deceiving; once you get to know me, you realize that I am not a people person - I'm far to honest and out-spoken for that. I'm far better with plants than with people, and even better with yarn. My fingers fly among yarn and needles while my mind spins new patterns for me to create. I love my alone time. I think a big old house in the country with a couple of sheep grazing on the front yard would be just perfect for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The mound

The sky in England is considerably different than what we have at home. Our sky is monotonous. Weather moves in from the West and stays for weeks or sometimes months. When summer arrives, it is preceded by two weeks of heavy rain, then it is sunny. It stays sunny for five months. There are very few clouds, and it becomes boring to look out the window. Likewise, winter comes with a bustle of confusion, then it sits. Wet and rain and cold and dark - that's winter here.
England's sky is always in motion. The clouds move to and fro, always busy, always with somewhere else to be. Heavy rain is followed by sunlight in quick succession. It is always enjoyable to me to rest on a hillside, watching the English sky change.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Still In Oxford

At the back of the photo, almost hidden behind the building on the left, is an artificial mound. We passed it each day on our walk from the hostel to the city center. On the last day, we thought of climbing the spiral walkway to the top, but found a toll gate barred the way.
I enjoyed Oxford very much, and I wonder sometimes, what it would be like to study there for a year or two. Perhaps I will apply to take my MA. there, just to see if I could get in.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Posting Box

The Royal Mail never ceases to amaze me. Next day delivery with over 95% accuracy; how incredible is that?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

In Oxford

An everyday street in Oxford. It may look usual if you live there, but from a foreigner's eye, it is filled with exotic details.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Old Tom

After the first pub refused to serve us (not enough staff to man the kitchen or so she said), we had lunch at The Old Tom. It felt just like coming home. The food was the best we had in England, before or since. The staff were friendly and intellectual discussions permeated the air. We returned the next day for lunch roast. The beer was fresh, the staff friendly, and most importantly, the kitchen open.

My companion had finally found minutes to top up her phone. Eager to get in touch with friends in Scotland, she texed her greetings while leaving the pub. She stumbled on the steps in front of a group of people going in. Mild laughter ensued and someone commented that the quality of the beer must be good here. In my usual unthinking way, I blurted out that she wasn't drunk, just texting. Embarrassed but amused, we continued on; my companion didn't stop texting until we were at the end of the block; even when she tripped on a bit of uneven pavement.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oxford in the setting sun

It was a much longer journey to Oxford than we expected. The sun was well on its way westward, and the air had a bite to it. From the train station, we misunderstood the traffic patterns and ended on the wrong side of the street on the wrong side of the block. Eventually we discovered the hostel. The people were friendly, and we savored our first Internet access since we left home.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

At the Beach

Peter's Ice Cream has been at the beach since 1897. Even on a cold, wind swept day, it's open for business.

They say the coastline is washing away. There are towns that have completely succumb to the sea, their runes accessible only at spring tide. One legend has it that you can still hear the bells ringing from the cathedral of one submerged city.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The high street in Felixstowe, looking back towards the water. It's a great climb up from the beach; the locals use to call it 'bent hill', but I don't know that it has a name any more.

Monday, March 05, 2007

When we returned from our walk.

When we returned from our walk to the beach we found the milk man had been. Two fresh glass bottles awaited us on the front porch. It was a refreshing sight to our tired eyes.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

We walked to the beach

As we left on a walk for the beach, we saw the empty milk jug. The white surface of the milk-stand deliciously worn away in places, revealing a vibrant red lacquer. The beach was round stones at the bottom of a steep hill. Family legend tells me that once one could find amber among the stones, washed from Norway's cliffs.

The weather was damp, and the beach cold. Our first full day in England after almost 28 hours journey from our home, it felt good to walk. Tired and jetlaged, it was glorious to be alive.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Suffolk Milk

I was delighted to see there is still milk delivery in England. There is something so delightful having fresh milk delivered to your door in glass bottles. In some ways, England is more like heaven than any where else I've seen.