Still Alive: Oxford

I promised to write some full-length blogs in England, didn’t I? But then I wrote one about Italy and I guess I thought, “Enh, that’ll do. I’m going to see everyone in person in a couple weeks anyhow. And I’ll have unlimited internet when I’m at home and nothing interesting that I’ll feel like I’m missing.” But I owe you at least a quick update.

I’m in Oxford now; Sean thought Dave’s advice of going to see it sounded reasonably good, and it seemed like a nice place to me too. I just got in a couple hours ago, so the only thing I’ve done so far is walk along High Street (in the rain). Apparently a famous architectural historian called Oxford’s High Street “one of the world’s great streets” (this is from a plaque they put up along it), and it is pretty nice. About half the buildings are old and stone, and the other half are nice little restaurants or pubs or expensive-goods shops. I would’ve enjoyed it a bit more if they’d turned off the rain, though. I’m CouchSurfing again here, still getting to know my host, Judit from Germany. She’s out for groceries at the moment, so I can’t tell you what her studies here are in, but I know at least one thing she studies is Arabic.

I had a great time in the Southampton area with Sean as my guide and chauffeur. I owe him big next time he comes to America and I have a stable abode. The New Forest is around there, and I guess it’s fairly new compared to old-growth forests, but compared to a human or to a lot of the scrubby woods around the States, it’s ancient. It’s full of horses strolling around wild, the “New Forest ponies” (they’re full-size horses, they just call them ponies). Quite possibly as a result, the forest is made of giant, wizardy-looking old trees without much growing between them. They’re all covered in moss, both the living and the dead ones. One day I climbed up dozens of feet in the air in a particularly amazing tree. All around me I could see the deep green of the forest – that’s the moss, because all the leaves are on the ground at this time of year. It was humid and dark and I felt as though the trees could easily start walking at any point, to attack Isengard.

After this sojourn in Oxford, I’m headed to Wales, then back to Sean so we can go to Stonehenge for Yuletide (winter solstice), and then all that’s left is a couple more days in London. I already had two there, but I still haven’t seen the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, or Evensong at Westminster Abbey, or a bunch of other cool stuff. London is big, walking is slow, and the Tube is bloody expensive. Getting around to everything is tough. But I’ll get to things.

File under: Year of Adventure, Still Alive, couchsurfing, friends · Places: England


Anonymous

History

Looking at pictures of Oxford, England now. Looks lovely and sunny and delightful, though it's probably rather gray.

Sad news: Another school shooting today. 27 dead, most of them little kids. God bless the USA.

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Anonymous

History

Sounds like a good time. Sadly, I never made it to Stonehenge. I mean the real one. There are actually a number of like constructs. That will have to do. Check the chat line. G.Pa.

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Dad

History

Let me suggest that you wear shoes before you attack Isengard. In that vein, let me also suggest footwear on the Grey dog. I have heard of unexpected debris on bus floors. In any event, shoes or not, I will be at the terminal to pick you up at 1000h EST on 24DEC. Be sure to correct any misconceptions I may have regarding your arrival.

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Chuck

History

I've taken to saying that America is the world's #1 exporter of problems, but clearly we keep a few for domestic use.

The bus arrives at 10:05 am, ostensibly at least, so that ought to work just fine. Sorry to disappoint everyone who wants to be the first one to see me, but it makes the most sense for me to get picked up by Dad because all my stuff is at his house. But, do we know what day the respective Christmases are happening in Oxford and with Dad's side (wherever that's happening)?

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Anonymous

History

We have been informed by the David Troxels that they will be able to come to our house on the 24th precisely from 12 to 5 PM. I think this is because they want to go to church in Kentucky on Christmas Eve, and then spend Christmas Day with Kim's family. Dan and family will be here on both eve and day, as will your mother and Micah and presumably Deanna. So it would probably be best for you to try to head up here (Oxford)
soon after you're able to go to your Dad's house and settle in with your things, etc.

If this doesn't work, however, we'll figure something else out, but it looks as though the David's will want to open presents on Christmas Eve day. Not our usual procedure, but hey, we're going to try to make things work out for everyone.

Also, since the 24th is your Mom's birthday, we'll try to celebrate that after David's family leaves in the evening.

Prime rib/crab dinner will be fixed on Christmas Day, and it should be fairly peaceful since no one will be anticipating presents any more. We'll also have the pool tournament then.

Hope this helps. Just don't worry about it. Grandma

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Anonymous

History

How long will people be together? Well Grandma and I have been together for 52 years and I think we will last many more. That's one answer……

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Dad

History

My mom and dad are planning to head for WV on the 25th. Tami says they may stay longer if you make arrangements to meet them in Centerville. Your Mustang does not have valid tags and there is no time to register it in your name so, that is a dilemma. You, I suppose, could use the Trailblazer. It is on you to do some communicating.

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Anonymous

History

Christmas logistics never get easier. I suggest staying an extra week in England. This sounds like a movie off of the hallmark channel.

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Anonymous

History

Things have changed a bit. David and his family have decided to go to church services on Saturday night, so they will not have to leave on Christmas Eve day at 5. They will plan to stay through the evening. So, everything can now be pushed back. We can open presents whenever everyone gets here, whenever that is. And then stay and have a good dinner. Grandpa won a ham out at the Bath Conservation Club this afternoon. Yeah, a whole ham. Come hungry. Ha. I hope this will make things easier for you to manage when you get to Cincinnati.

Hope you enjoy Stone Henge on solstice, you lucky guy. Grandma

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