Sunday 22 June 2003

A Day in Oxford

My friend Willy and his family are visiting from Vancouver and staying at our place this weekend. After much discussion over the numerous things that we could do we decided to spend the day in Oxford. We started at St Marys Church and the children climbed up the tower stairs to get a view of the town. Next we grabbed a picnic at the covered market which is a great place to explore if you have time but we didn't. Instead we went into the Botanical Gardens and had a relaxed picnic there under a tree and the kids ran amok. It was a beautiful hot sunny day. The garden was full of people reading their newly acquired Harry Potter books. Then we headed for the primary thing we had all agreed we wanted to do that day: punting. We rented two long shallow punting boats and Willy and I stood on the back of one each and made our foray into the busy river life pushing our boats along with a very long metal pole. Jenny and Iona (Willy's wife) also took their turns at the stern. Of course we all had plenty of minor collisions with other floating craft but that is pretty much the inevitable. The river is narrow and flows slowly through cool woods. Most of the boats are laiden with drink and people of pretty high spirits. If you're not doing the pushing, it's a very pleasant activity otherwise it's a good deal of work! We had a great time.

We ended the day as most days in the British summer might end. A drink in a local pub and then a trip out to a lovely country pub. In this case, The Bull And Butcher in Turville which I highly recommend. If you've visited us before, there's a good chance I've taken you out there.

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