About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

O is for OXFORD


This week, I'd like to share my visit to Oxford, England.  I'd known Anne, who lives in Oxfordshire, for several years through blogging and on Facebook but we had never met in person.  We arranged for me to come up from London by train and she'd meet me at the station.  (her photo at right) Well, it was as if we'd known each other forever!  We got along so well and she had planned a fabulous day for us.

First stop was Cafe Nero, a well-known coffee chain in England where we had lovely cappuccinos and talked and talked until we figured we should get going on our walking tour.  Long story short, she took me on the most fascinating walk all around the center of Oxford where I saw the most magnificent architecture ever!  You'll never see architecture like that here in western Canada!  We went to Christ Church Cathedral and its memorial gardens all the way down past University College to High Street.  We walked over Magdalen Bridge before cutting back and going down under the bridge to where you can rent punts at the Boathouse there.

We headed back up High Street past St. Edmund's Hall and Queen's College where we found a lovely place for lunch and then ambled into Mr. Simm's Olde Sweet Shoppe where we spent ages admiring all the shelves full of varieties of candy and cookies.  Again, you would never find a place like this where I live; my grandchildren would think they'd died and gone to Heaven!  We then cut through a narrow alley to view Radcliffe Camera, passing a quaint little cafe "Vaults Garden."  The next stop was one of my favourites because I'd seen the location many times while watching "Morse" and "Inspector Lewis" on BBC Canada and our Knowledge Network - the Bodleian Library. If you're an afficionado of these shows, you'll know that Morse loved opera and Lewis is beginning to understand it.  Hence, the music from Puccini's "La Boheme" in my slideshow.
Then it was up to Broad Street and a foray into Blackwell's Bookshop, apparently very famous in England, before passing by Trinity College on our way to St. John's College. Anne had decided that we would go and take a look inside this college because the church, in particular, was well worth a look.  However, it was closed to the public, so we chatted with the porter at the office just inside the gate and he allowed us to take a look at the courtyard and take a few photos if we wanted.  While Anne was still looking around, I continued chatting and mentioned I'd come all the way from Vancouver, Canada, and when he realized how far I'd come, he said to go along inside the church.  How obliging and kind!

It was beginning to get a bit dark by then so we decided to go to a lovely French restaurant that Anne had discovered once while in town.  We headed up St. Giles to the "Pierre Victoire" where we aced a lovely table in the attic area, even though we didn't have a reservation, it was 7pm and it closed at 8pm.

Anne had to catch her bus home and I had to catch the train back to London so we parted ways somewhere along George Street.  Anne asked me to text her when I got home, but that wasn't until after 11pm because I got lost somewhere along the way between the underground and the DLR - not a good time of night to be wandering around East London!  But I made it home safe and sound and went to sleep with visions of one of the most beautiful cities I've ever had the pleasure of visiting and of a new "real" friend that I hope, one day, will visit me so I can return the pleasure of being tour guide! Enjoy the slideshow!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

33 comments:

nancygrayce said...

How fun to meet a blog friend and see such wonderful sights!

GaynorB said...

Hi Leslie,

I just found you via Anne in Oxfordshire and you account of Newport and the Black Mountains brought tears to my eyes. This was so close to home for me - my home more than 30 years ago. I was brought up further into the industrial valleys of Monmouthshire. My parents have both passed away and I find it difficult to return.

Thank you for taking me back - gently.
Best wishes
Gaynor

Roger Owen Green said...

These are lovely pics, as always, and informative, befitting an Oxford education!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. How lovely that you met Anne and had such an interesting time in Oxford.

photowannabe said...

How delightful. Isn't getting to know blogging friends the best?
Your trip around town with Anne sounds wonderful.
Great pictures too.

Meryl said...

I love these installments of your trip!

Rinkly Rimes said...

A travelogue with delightful personal insights.

Carver said...

Sounds like a great time. I enjoyed your photographs and narrative.

ewok1993 said...

meeting with blog friends is a special occasion.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Leslie, I am reading it in awe, /.. we certainly covered some ground that day , even with our lunch and coffee breaks. It was fabulous to meet you and yes it was though we had met (for real) years ago .... I would certainly love to come to visit you one day .. it would be a joy :-) take care/ Love your slides :-) xx

Lmkazmierczak said...

Lovely blog to share your visit...happy to hear you had such a great time♫

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Great post for 'O' and what a fun time you must of had ~ Wow! ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

lotusleaf said...

I enjoyed the trip too, thank you.

Judy SheldonWalker said...

wOw, what an awesOme visit! Thanks fOr sharing the lOvely phOtOs with us.

Linda said...

What a wonderful visit.

Your text and photos take me right to Oxford. I had hoped you had a photo of Blackwells. I used to order books from their catalogues—when they printed up the catalogues on teh thinnest of pages.

Wonderful journey. Thanks for taking us along—

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love the slide show with the music and notes. It must have been very exciting to go on this trip and to meet your friend.

Black Jack's Carol said...

How wonderful to meet blogging friends, especially after communicating for so long. I'm so glad that the porter allowed you to see St. John's College church. I'm also very happy you made it home safely!! Beautiful post and slideshow.

Chubskulit Rose said...

I love to watch your slideshows every time!

O is for....
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

magiceye said...

Thank you for the superb virtual tour of Oxford!

Lisa said...

Oxford would definitely be on my list of places to see in England. Thanks for the sneak peak!

EG CameraGirl said...

Thanks for taking us on a tour of Oxford!

Francisca said...

An old new city and a new old friend; what more could you ask for? And I'd be needing a cool drink after seeing... er... listening to... that hot jazz player!

Laloofah said...

How delightful that you got to meet an internet friend in person and instantly click like that!

Lucky you for getting to go back to England! I love it there and hope to visit Oxfordshire one day. Several of my ancestors came from villages there. I want to explore the cemeteries along with everything else. We blew through there years ago on our way to the Cotswolds but didn't stop - great excuse to go back.

sally in norfolk said...

Glad you both had such a wonderful day /time together x

Joy said...

What a great meet up and a beautiful slide show, you have now seen more of England than me, never been to Oxford.

Wanda said...

Since I started blogging in 2007, many of my "best" friends are from blogland. Sue (photowantabe) and I have met several times with our husbands and had such a delightful time.

Love following you around the world..Just wonderful!

☆•.¸.Mildred.¸.•☆ said...

wOnderful chOice for Oday!
Must have been very nice to visit there and meet your friend.
Thanks fOr sharing;O)

***
HOpe yOu are having a fabulOus week****







Ann said...

Oxford and Cambridge, these were the exams we did in Borneo, because we were Bristish colony, and even post colonial days , we still wrote these exams, and sent to England to be marked.

ChrisJ said...

I visited Oxford for the first time a few years ago - even though I lived in England for 20 years. I love the Inspector Morse shows. Did you see the monument to Latimer and Ridley in the middle of the street? That meant a lot to me having studied the history of the Bible. I love the La Boheme music too.

Lisa said...

Oh! hOw wOnderful you make Oxford sound! My son's friend will be going to Oxford after Christmas as an exchange student. I'm very excited for him.

Lynette Killam said...

Great fun, Leslie. Wonderful that you got to meet Anne, and now you've shared with us the warmth and knowledge enjoyed in that visit...thank you!

Liz said...

I'd love to visit Oxford one day.

It sounds like Anne did a great job showing you around.

Paula Scott said...

Yet another lovely adventure abraod! Still a wee bit envious...I'm wondering if the Brits have a sweet tooth in a big way? That is a 'knock your socks (or knickers) off sweet shop!