Thursday, 26 February 2015

'The Other Place'

When we moved to our current house 16 years ago, one of the first places we went exploring was Oxford. L was 5 and E just 1 and we went for a day trip to visit the Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museums. To cut a long story short, we fell in love with the place. Just 25 minutes away, we have visited countless times. L is now lucky enough to go to the university and I love nothing better than to nip up there and take her out to lunch; it's such an easy trip and we have been thoroughly spoilt by its proximity. In short, our hearts belong to Oxford and it is Oxford we invariably cheer for in the annual Boat Race (I still maintain that they should have just ploughed into Trenton Oldfield and not been such gentlemen - I'd have been tempted to club him with one of the blades!). 
Last weekend, however, we found ourselves trekking Eastwards to Cambridge. E had a masterclass there and so R and I found ourselves with a happy 5 hours to kill in 'the other place'. We have been here a couple of times previously on mini-breaks but it was nice to return. The weather was kind to us and, despite being a bit too cold for punting (wet sleeves on a cold day are not nice!), we had a lovely time.
Here are a few pictures of our trip:
The famous view of King's:
Not sure what this bridge is called but it's very cute:
There were lots of these:
Stunning architecture:
An amazing veggie cafe where we had lunch - squash and roasted pepper soup (delish!) and a shared slice of carrot cake.
There seemed to be a graduation ceremony taking place:
I think this was Corpus Christi:

Although not as old as Oxford, it is still quite breath-taking and I really enjoyed our wander round. After lunch we visited the Cambridge Book Fair and oohed and aahed over the gorgeous old books. The prices weren't for the faint hearted though. R was tempted by a first edition of 'War of the Worlds'. Unfortunately, we didn't have the £900 on us! There really were some fantastic books and I was amazed that we were just allowed to pick them up. Some were worth thousands and the stall holders seemed to have no qualms about eating their lunch/drinking coffee next to them. I was terrified that they might spill something. I did find a couple of little books to buy - shown here sitting on a fat quarter that I bought at the market as a souvenir of our trip:
Looking at some of the children's books available and the corresponding prices, I'm sure we've got a fortune in the loft!
All in all, a fine time was had by all and I think we may return in the Summer for another short break.

Other happies this week:
My lovely bunch of roses - a present from the neighbours for cat sitting. There was a box of chocolates too but I selflessly donated those to E to 'help' with the revision:
This week's library books. Even though Jerusalem isn't a 'veggie' cookbook, there are some lovely looking recipes in the vegetable section. I love Alexander McCall Smith's Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. All I need to make me happy is one of those and a cup of Red Bush Tea. I'm also enjoying 'The Gentle Art of Domesticity' - it's right up my street with all the baking, knitting and quilts. If you look closely at the photo you can also see my new pin cushion:
Here's 'Pin cushion Piggy' in action whilst I worked on The Graduation Quilt:
One final happy this week - Basil and Olive Focaccia. E and I tried some as an after school snack and it's wonderful. Definitely one of Paul Hollywood's better recipes.
Anyway, that's all for this week's happies. Do pop over to 'Planet Penny' to see what everyone else has been up to this week.
Toodle Pip. x


  1. looks like you had a lovely Carmbridge visit x

  2. Oxford is very lovely and we've been a few times, but more often to Cambridge as it's P's home town. Your photos capture the beauty of the architecture very well, and the little bridge is called the Mathematical Bridge. Legend has it that it was built without the use of screws or nuts and bolts, and that some students or fellows took it apart to see how it worked. However, they couldn't put it back together without the use of screws. It's lovely on the Backs in the summer - I can recommend the punting. I like your haul of books - I've got the Wild Flowers one too. Your roses are pretty and that bread looks very appetising. A happy post indeed :)
    Cathy x

    1. Thank you so much for the info on the Mathematical Bridge, Cathy. That's a fascinating story - I really hope it's true! I'll definitely be having a closer look at it when we go back in the Summer. x

  3. Lovely pictures of Cambridge, somewhere we have never been although by the looks of your photos something we need to rectify. Interesting to read about the Mathematical Bridge. Your bread looks delicious :)

  4. Lovely pictures of Cambridge, somewhere we have never been although by the looks of your photos something we need to rectify. Interesting to read about the Mathematical Bridge. Your bread looks delicious :)

  5. Love Cambridge, going there for a little day trip on Sunday! Hoping for some dry weather though not sure the forecast is too promising... Sounds like you had a lovely time x

  6. I spent three years in Cambridge studying at the college there, the other place in Cambridge! It is a beauitful city and I expect because I spent time there I prefer it to Oxford. It is much smaller which may also influence my preference as I am not keen on bigger places.

  7. Lovely photos of Cambridge, its great fun to potter in a new place isn't it, especially if the sun is shining. Love your little piggy pin cushion, so adorable! x

  8. Oh I love Cambridge, it is sooo pretty. Wonderful photos. Your piggy pin cushion has really made me smile, love the floral fabric. Have a lovely weekend.
    Ali xx

  9. What a lovely day in Cambridge, that bridge is interesting! Wow....War of the Worlds is sure pricey! I love your choices of books, also your library books, what an eclectic mixture!
    What pretty roses, I applaud you passing on the chocs like that too, what will power!
    That pin cushion is

  10. I've never been to Oxford or Cambridge but they're both on my list to visit. Lovely photos! xx

  11. These are such lovely photos you shared. I wish I lived close to a historical area. And, your bread looks so yummy! I'm sure it tasted so good, too!

  12. Never been to Cambridge, seems well worth the visit! Beautiful photos

  13. I've only been to Oxford once and the Pitt Rivers Museum was one of our must see places, it's amazing! Elder son was at uni in Cambridge so have visited there a few times. It's very beautiful and it was nice to be reminded by your photos. Thanks for joining in with Happy Friday again x

  14. Sounds as though you had a really great week!! xx

  15. Oxford and Cambridge are so beautiful aren't they. I'm very envious that you only live 25 minutes away, I'd visit a lot too if I was closer. Lovely books, I like a cup of red bush tea too, and I've been looking at that butterfly guide on ebay and wondering whether to buy it or not. I think I might try one of the Alexander McCall Smith books, now that you've recommended it, they have some at the library and they always look quite good. I hope you have another good weekend. CJ xx