Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Adventure Begins...Kidlington

10 - 12 March, 2010

So, we are about to head off on our big European adventure, but before we depart British shores, we were staying in Kidlington (just beyond Oxford) for a couple of days. Sha has been working here since early Jan, and I have come up for the last couple of days before we start our travel by heading off to Iceland.

Sha has been staying at Lavender Cottage - a lovely bed and breakfast (who do an absolutely fantastic cooked brekkie) - combined with a beautiful room and tranquil atmosphere. It's the sort of place that you might see in an issue of Home and Garden. Sha would like it known that she resisted the temptation of a cooked breakfast the whole six weeks she stayed here, but she did indulge on her final day. If anyone ever happens to be in Kidlington and is looking for a place to stay, I thoroughly recommend it.

We were a 20 minute bus ride from Oxford, and were a five minute walk from the local St. Mary the Virgin church and its accompanying graveyard. I'm not generally a morbid person, but I love wondering through a graveyard, soaking up the history and seeing what sort of innings people get. Am often surprised at how old people can make, despite not having the modern advances in technology.

While I was in Oxford, I had a gawk at Christ Church College (Lewis Carroll studied here):

and popped in on a rather unique cafe. The cafe had writing all over the walls, with one bit urging "Check out or don't" - so, I just had to have a look. Weird. Especially when you click on the 'stories' tab. In the cafe there was also this:

and some of the other writing included "Organic lines - reminiscent of 90's car designs" with an arrow pointing to the windows and "Secret Nescafe Pipe" next to a random pipe in the cafe. Something about the quirkiness of the cafe really appealed to me. Hmmm, after further research, I think it was Puccino's which is a chain franchise. I think. Actually, there are a number of British food franchises which are pretty good, especially when compared to the American monoliths of Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC and Burger King. I have been very impressed with Pizza Express which puts Pizza Hut to shame. But I digress.

While visiting Christ Church College and a cafe may not sound like much (it wan't), I also visited a few bookstores trying to find something substantial I could sink my teeth into. No luck, but I still had the Dexter omnibus to keep me sated (the bestest Christmas pressie - thanks Sha!)

I also paid a visit to the St. Mary the Virgin church and graveyard, which was just up the road from Lavender Cottage. Below are a few of the more interesting shots.

St. Mary the Virgin church

Some older graves

Statue of girl with flowers

Many, many more tombstones

I went for a wander further down past the graveyard to find somewhere to sit and have some lunch, when the heavens opened up and I got hailed from upon high. This British winter really does seem to be hanging around!

After a few days in Kidlington, it was time to catch the bus from Oxford to Heathrow, disembark at the wrong terminal and then try and get to Iceland. Easy!

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