Christ Church College

Breakfast was cooked to order and very tasty, although it was a little odd that we had two rounds of toast for three people. When we had finished the two pieces we asked for a bit more. After breakfast we set off towards Christ Church College and walked through the memorial garden and water meadows before joining the queue to enter the college. I say joining the queue, in fact there were only two people in front of us but by the time the doors opened, ten minutes late there was a large queue behind us.

The Science Musum

We enjoyed the college and the Cathedral, where in the shop I found the Pitkin Guide to Oxford. It shows the best of Oxford via two walking tours. As luck would have it we were part way through the route of one of them. We carried on along the route to the science museum and stopped for a brief visit before carrying on past the Bodleian Library to a nearby pub for lunch. The pub was a bit chaotic but we managed to find ourselves a quiet corner to sit.

The Bridge of Sighs

After lunch we returned to the Bodleian Library but opted out from rushing to join the last tour of the day. We visited the library hall, with the intention to return the library for a tour the following day. We then carried on along the walking route passing under ‘The Bridge of Sighs’, which is so named due to the apparent resemblance to its Venetian namesake. Just past the bridge we took a slight detour down a narrow alley to find The Turf Tavern where allegedly Bill Clinton imbibed in some ‘pot’. We then continued along the walking route passing many historic buildings, stopping off in a Viennese cake shop to indulge in tea and cake…

The Turf Tavern

We then made our way back to the hotel to freshen up before our evening meal in The Quod Brasserie. On our walk to the brasserie it was lovely to see young ladies in long dresses and young gentlemen in suits and ties queuing up for a function in the college. After dinner we returned to the hotel for a nightcap before retiring to bed.

10 Comments CherryPie on Nov 18th 2014

Chipping Campden

We packed the car and then went to collect my mum before setting off on our journey to Oxford (one year later than planned). The journey was slower than expected due to other drivers tootling along. Along the way we stopped off at Chipping Campden, where we had lunch in a lovely tea room. I chose sauteed mushrooms on rustic bread, it was delicious. After lunch we took a stroll around the delightful village before continuing on our journey to Oxford.

The Head of the River

Our destination was The Head of the River which is a Fullers Pub with rooms. All the rooms have literary names and the wallpaper in the corridors also carries the literary theme. Whilst I unpacked, Mr C set out into the city to find somewhere suitable to eat.  This is a standard ritual for our first night away and it normally takes him about 30 minutes. An hour later there was still no sign of his return…

Turn Again Lane

Photo taken by Mr C

I sent him a text to make sure he hadn’t fallen in the river ;-) Apparently he had managed to get lost, not once but twice and in his confusion he ended up in a street named ‘Turn Again Lane’, at which point he thought someone was having a laugh at his expense!!

Eventually Mr C returned…

On this occasion his recce was not a complete success because we still ended up walking rather a long way before we found the ideal place for our evening meal. Eventually we settled on the Red Lion which has an extensive ‘pub food’ menu. By the time we arrived there my legs had become quite wobbly due to not having eaten for seven hours. Whilst we were there The Pope and a Knights Templar (followed by several young ladies) tried to enter the pub… They were informed that if they wished to enter they would have to disrobe. A few minutes later two young men (followed by several young ladies) entered the pub.

Oscar Wilde

Thankfully my legs were almost fully restored when it was time to leave for the return walk to the Head of the River where we had a nightcap overlooking the river before retiring to sleep in Oscar Wilde.

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 17th 2014

Friendship is not diminished by distance or time, by imprisonment or war, by suffering or silence. It is in these things that it roots most deeply.

Pam Brown

Rest a While

14 Comments CherryPie on Nov 16th 2014

The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate

The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate has been a place of worship for more than 750 years. The church, built in the middle ages is located above the medieval Kingsgate, one of the principle entrances to the city. The church is unusual in that it forms part of the city wall.

From Wikipedia:

The first mention of the church is recorded in 1264, when it was apparently burned by the citizens of Winchester during a dispute with the Priory.[2] Most likely the church served as a chapel for lay people who worked for the Abbey.[1] In 1337 some woodwork was done on the church, costing a total of fifteen shillings, and in 1484 the windows underwent repair.[2]

St Swithun was an Anglo Saxon saint, born in Winchester and in 852 becoming the 19th bishop of the city. He died in 862 when King Alfred the Great was still a young man.[2] It is possible that St Swithun was tutor to the young king, and accompanied him on a pilgrimage to Rome.[2]

By the 17th century the church had fallen into disrepair, and had become home to one Robert Allen, the porter of Kings Gate, and his wife, “who did and doth keep swine at ye ende of the Chapell”.[1][2] The situation was improved around 1660 when the church was restored, its bells re-hung in 1677.[1] It has remained a place of worship since that time.[2]

The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate

St Swithun & St Ethelwold

He is not here He has risen

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 15th 2014

Alfred the Great

I invite you to read my post about the historic city of Winchester on the Broad Oak Magazine blog.

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 14th 2014

Poppies in Detail

The Tower of London art installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red‘ is now complete. The last poppy was planted in the moat at 10.50 today during the final ceremony (among the poppies) commemorating the  centenary of World War One. The art installation marked one hundred years since the first day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.

Poppies in the Moat

Tower Bridge

I was lucky to be able to visit the almost complete installation on 8th November.  The sight of the poppies was stunning and poignant.

Tomorrow the poppies will be picked and packed for dispatch to those who ordered them. The proceeds of the sale will be shared between six charities; Cobeso, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

The Last Post

12 Comments CherryPie on Nov 11th 2014

…and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lights Out - 4th August 2014

During 2014-2018 a series of nationwide and international events are taking place to commemorate the centenary of World War One. The series of events is being led by the Imperial War Museum, which has a dedicated website entitled

The events will serve to remind us of those who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today as well as reminding us to be grateful for their sacrifice.

Poppies in the Moat

One of those events was the planting of 888,246 poppies in the moat around The Tower of London, one poppy for each fallen British and Commonwealth servicemen. As Remembrance day 2014 approached, a sea of poppies filled the moat as a visual reminder of the number of those who sacrificed their lives and the blood lost…

The poppy fields as described by the ‘War Poets’ are a poignant reminder to me of the lives that were lost in both World War One and World War Two and also the lives lost in more recent wars.

Poppies to me are a simile of the lives that were lost.  They are vibrant, standing strong and bold yet fragile and defeated by a heavy downfall or a spring breeze.   They remind me of the fragility of peace and freedom and how easily our freedom can be lost.

Reflection on World War One (and the more recent World War Two) serve as a reminder of what might have been if the outcome of those wars had been different…

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 11th 2014

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