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Oxford - 1

Amazingly enough, I've already been here more than a week (arrived on the 13th). This first week has been very much about getting the lay of the land; making a mental map of the city centre and how to get to places from the flat I'm renting (right by the Castle Mound, virginia_bell). I'll be moving into the Malmaison Hotel (a former prison) for my last two nights here, but for a longer stay, self-catering is the only way to go. This place literally has all the comforts of home, including a bathroom with underfloor heating, a kitchen with every electronic gadget imaginable, two televisions, in-flat laundry facilities, and a library of books and DVDs. And I love being able to shop and do my own cooking.

There's been some sightseeing as well: The Ashmolean Museum (have to go back to finish it and take some photos), the Alice Shop, Oriel, Corpus Christi, and Merton Colleges (had to be casually snuck past the Merton porter, trying to look as un-touristy as possible; Merton isn't open to the public, as visitors are considered a distraction to the students). There have been three visits so far to Christ Church (with more pending) and a walk around the Christ Church Meadows (including feeding bread to ducks and one extremely fat grey squirrel along the Isis), and last night I got to see the lighting of Christ Church's first Christmas tree. Just one out-of-Oxford foray so far, and that was yesterday afternoon to Blenheim Palace where a "Living Crafts for Christmas" fair was being hosted. Blenheim itself will get a visit of its own.

Have to close now and head over to Gloucester Green, where Tavi and I are going to meet and head off to London for the day. There'll be some sightseeing this afternoon, and then this evening we're going to see Roger Federer's first match in the round robin portion of the ATP World Tour Finals. :-)))


Nov. 21st, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Sounds loooovely!!! If you're doing your own cooking, and haven't done so yet, see if they have lamb chops at the local butcher - we had some fantastic ones at a small town outside of Cambridge (don't tell Tavi that I said the 'C' word) called Saffron Walden. Come to think of it, better not tell Tavi I said 'lamb chops'...
Nov. 22nd, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
I'll have to check tomorrow at the Covered Market. My lips are sealed about both things, but you know she's probably going to be reading this....

What are you up to? Still in China? (I saw your FB entries about the plane delays; much better to have working landing gear, even if it means your departure is delayed!)
Nov. 22nd, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Still in China for another day and a half - we've been skipping out on a session of our conference to go take in a bit of the city and a bit of the shopping - otherwise they have 'us' scheduled from morning to night, and we're in the Calabasas of Beijing with less services! It's some remote conference centre two hours from the centre with very lovely scenery but not much else surrounding. So us rebel Calgary teachers have been sneaking out a bit. It's more fun that way! I would be updating on my facebook, but it and YouTube are blocked, so no luck there. Still, having a good, jet-lagged time! Ready to meet the jet-lag challenge again when I get back! Enjoy the lovely markets! Bet you don't have to haggle like here...