Saturday, September 20, 2008

GETTING TO KNOW OXFORD

image Oxford is a university town, with 20,000 students and hundreds of lecturers and tutors living there. As well, there are the tourists and the rest of the residents, most of whom either work in the university or in the tourism industry. It makes for an interesting mix of shops with everything from  tailors making dinner suits to souvenir shops, shops selling books old and new, dozens of cafes, many expensive shoe shops, every type of jewelry and quite a collection of places dealing in organic / local food, like the organic butcher at left.
I had lunch amongst a whole lawnful of graves (right) at an excellent and very busy cafe serving seasonal, vegetarian, organic meals, called 'Vaults'. I took this photo early in the day but by lunchtime it was full.
Before lunch I went on a tour of the university colleges, which date from the 12th century. The most astonishing thing to me was the quality and huge expanses of immaculate lawns which are not allowed to be walked on by the students or they are fined! I would love to use those lawn areas to grow vegetables!
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This little bilby dates from the 18th century and is a feature on one of the walls of a college renowned for zoology.
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This is the dining room of Exeter College where Alex will be living from next month.
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Today there was a French market at Gloucester Green, selling all sorts of produce from these enormous tomatoes to bundles of garlic and shallots (below, right) as well as bowls of olives and stalls full of pastries.

I bought some olives for tomorrow's picnic with the bloggers. I am really looking forward to the get together and to meeting Patrick, Steph and all the bloggers. Then I really will have something to write about!

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2 comments:

Maggie said...

Lovely Kate but where are the PASTRIES.
Well you all must be excited, have a fantastic time, we look forward to hearing all about the bloggers get together.
We are having lovely warm weather and last night we had a good shower of rain.
Wow! that garlic looks so good.

chaiselongue said...

You were lucky to catch the farmers' market and a French market! Thanks for all the pictures which reminded me of when I lived in Oxford many years ago. Yes, there are too many lawns! Maybe you can persuade them to dig them up for vegetables! Hope you have a good bloggers' gathering today. And next week you'll see some REAL French markets!