August 2014 Oxford


New home: River House New home: River House

Much of this month's gallery is associated with my time in Oxford and my intense happiness in my wonderful new home in the UK. The story's in the Notes and Jottings pages, but here are the photos of the house and my friends and my travels.
Tea in the cloister gardens at Dorchester Abbey Tea in the cloister gardens at Dorchester Abbey

Mark and Rose have been particularly wonderful friends during this time. Here we are at the end of a Sunday walk on a glorious day in the countryside (with Jumble, too).
Dorchester is a picture-book village! Dorchester is a picture-book village!

5 August: the removal van approaches 5 August: the removal van approaches

Bringing all my stuff out of store from Daventry, this unnervingly large van approaches my new home. Much of the stuff I had not seen for six or more years; some of it had been in the loft in London for much longer than that.
The top half of the Victorian, glass fronted bookcase is eased out The top half of the Victorian, glass fronted bookcase is eased out

...and taken through the French doors into the sitting room ...and taken through the French doors into the sitting room

Goods from Pembrokeshire Goods from Pembrokeshire

Nephew Andrew had driven up with some old family furniture and bits and pieces which they did not want in their new home. Among the items was an Edwardian suite of chairs, exactly contemporary with the house itself, late Edwardian.
Rafe and Marie outside Christ Church Rafe and Marie outside Christ Church

Welcome guests on my third day in the house, we were soon walking around Oxford (Christ Church is just a stroll from where I live) and shopping enthusiastically for all the stuff I needed to equip the house
Premium lawn-mowing Premium lawn-mowing

Worcester College was looking splendid in the summer sunshine with the usual display of gardening skill in the quadrangle (and everywhere else).
Said to be one of the oldest gardens in England in continous cultivation (about 750 years, according to Country Life) Said to be one of the oldest gardens in England in continous cultivation (about 750 years, according to Country Life)

Marie on the bridge to the Provost's garden Marie on the bridge to the Provost's garden

The Lake looking as lovely s ever The Lake looking as lovely s ever

Rafe and Marie on the very seat on which I sat as an undergraduate 50 years ago Rafe and Marie on the very seat on which I sat as an undergraduate 50 years ago

Shopping at Boswells Shopping at Boswells

This was my third trip. By now I had spent so much money and bought so much stuff that I was given a lifetime discount for anything I bought in the future. Waiting for our taxi home, we were given quite a few curious - and some hostile - glances for such an accumulation of retail extravagance
Like Christmas! Like Christmas!

Unpacking it all was quite an adventure
How grateful I was for help with assembling flat-pack furniture inside and outside! How grateful I was for help with assembling flat-pack furniture inside and outside!

Exotic lady Exotic lady

There's a terrible shop called Scriptum in Turl Street - full of simply irresistible stationery and flamboyant items. Who can resist?
Marie sits at my old oak desk in the almost empty study in the first week Marie sits at my old oak desk in the almost empty study in the first week

David Pickup David Pickup

A visit from David (from Sheffield probation and Hurst Farm days) was a great treat. Here we are after walking from the house to Osney Lock.
David and Vanessa on the towpath near my house David and Vanessa on the towpath near my house

View of River House from across the water (the white balcony is my place) View of River House from across the water (the white balcony is my place)

Quiet path in the little garden Quiet path in the little garden

Front of the house on a sunny afternoon Front of the house on a sunny afternoon

Evening light at Folly Bridge Evening light at Folly Bridge

This is just five minutes' walk from my house. There's a great restaurant on the bridge where I've had several excellent meals.
The sitting room more or less completed The sitting room more or less completed

The huge bookcase fitted in really well and looks completely at home The huge bookcase fitted in really well and looks completely at home

Family etchings in the study Family etchings in the study

Terrific pear-crop in the garden Terrific pear-crop in the garden

Study before the arrival of the commissioned bookcase Study before the arrival of the commissioned bookcase

The bookcase arrives The bookcase arrives

About half the library settled at last About half the library settled at last

I have no idea where I'm going to keep the other half!
The splendid, newly fitted kitchen The splendid, newly fitted kitchen

Family call Family call

Driving through Oxford en route for friends, nephew Andrew, Laura and the children called in for an hour. Here they are outside my house by the river.
Editorial team at work Editorial team at work

Phil and Caroline came for a couple of days to work on the photos and text for the book. We achieved a lot and had some very good times.
River House boat-stop River House boat-stop

I hired a launch for an afternoon's working cruise, and the skipper brought it right outside the house to pick us up.
We really did work most of the time! We really did work most of the time!

Port Meadow in the late afternoon Port Meadow in the late afternoon

Passing the house Passing the house

Hugman on his balcony Hugman on his balcony

Pics of the editorial team days are all from Phil
Trip to Bath Trip to Bath

The grand street on which Mark's daughter Alice lives
At the grand entrance to their apartment building At the grand entrance to their apartment building

Weekend in Pembrokeshire with the family Weekend in Pembrokeshire with the family

After Bath, I took the trains heading far west for Haverfordwest and was met by my sister-in-law.
Here, a wonderful Pembrokeshire beach where we went with the children
Nephew and great nephew by the sea Nephew and great nephew by the sea

Family group Family group

What else should one do on a beach? What else should one do on a beach?

Dad relaxes for a moment or two Dad relaxes for a moment or two

The glories of Wales! The glories of Wales!

View from the Stackpole Estate, just along from the beach View from the Stackpole Estate, just along from the beach