Happy First of Julie, everyone! I am a little tardy today because I've been...no, not bigger on the inside, that's tardis, and I've never been a little Tardis. No, what I have been is to Oxford, where I was collecting Daughter Number One from University. I should, at this point, mention that she is Number One in temporal placement in the family, not because I operate some kind of ranking system among my children, because this would a) be immoral b) be very difficult and c) lead to some extreme paperwork, the like of which I try to avoid.
So. I was in Oxford. Which is a very lovely city, in possession of more than one Thorntons chocolate shop and a Primark, both of which recommend themselves to me, but in very different ways. But very busy. Very, very busy, because it has been the end of term for the Universities, necessitating parents collections of their offspring, clutching bits of paper and wearing odd hats - almost exactly like when we used to pick them up from Playgroup, only now the bits of paper have degrees and things on, not handprints, and the hats are meant to look like that and are not made out of soggy paper and tinfoil. Well, not usually, unless they go to a really progressive college.
All the hotels in Oxford were, in consequence full. Of people, probably, I never stopped to ask. I suppose they could have been full of Golden Retrievers, or cockatiels or something but...you know, lacked the willpower to find out. So we ended up staying in a place called Shillingford, at a lovely hotel by the river. Look.
This is, both the river and the bridge. Yes, I don't know why it's called Shillingford when there is, quite patently a bridge. Shillingbridge makes it sound like a really cheap toll road, I suppose. But it's near Wallingford, where there is also a bridge, so, go figure, as they say.
And the weather was lovely, and the food was lovely, and the wedding, whose reception took place underneath our bedroom was, no doubt, also lovely, although sleeping to the booming sounds of 'Sex On Fire' coming up through the floorboards was a little tricky. But, all in all, very lovely, and the disco did finish at midnight, which isn't bad at all on a Saturday night.
That is why I am late to the bloggage post today, anyway. A four hour drive back from Oxford, complicated by the Sat Nav losing its way and having to stop and ask for directions from other Sat Navs, the addition to the carload of an exercise bike - if we'd stuck wheels on it she could have ridden it home - and the need for boiled sweets.
So, to finish, because, what with the late night disco, the stacking of the car with a complete daughter, the long drive over several counties (oddly enough, not the same counties as were there on the way down) and the subsequent removal of daughter's entire life from the car, I'm knackered, here is a gratuitous swan shot. Because everyone likes swans, don't they?
They can break your arm, you know. It's true, just under the water there is some fairly heavy-duty torture equipment; they can also rip out your fingernails and cause a lifelong seafood allergy. Just bear that in mind next time you sling them your left-over Warburtons.
Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - Celeste Ng’s second novel Little Fires Everywhere is out today in the UK and I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate its publication. ...
1 week ago