Firstly, for anyone who might be interested, but more for myself, a sort of ‘virtual souvenir’ if you will, here is the website for Thynghowe, an ancient Viking meeting place discovered in Sherwood Forest. The darling woman who took us through St Mary’s Church yesterday is on the committee who look after it.
So! Today we woke up and had breakfast. Sean, thankfully, is feeling a bit better. He was still very tired and sore today, which for anyone who knows him, is not like him at all, but he still managed to drive us from Edwinstowe to Oxford after bidding farewell to Liane and Sunnyside B&B, as well as the two other lovely guests (Liane also cooked the most amazing devilled mushrooms on sourdough. I could have eaten six helpings). Once we arrived in Oxford, we met our host (who we found over airbnb, but he also uses couchsurfing,com). His name is Louis and he is the most lively, friendly and accommodating person. He lives alone in his semi-detached house that is crammed full of books and desks and decoration and life. He has a really lovely and comfy room upstairs for us, and endless knowledge of Oxford and the area surrounding it. He is taking us to see a final rehearsal for a theatre company he is in and is a keen cyclist, who also has a bad knee and is adamant cycling will help it. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer welcome.
Once Sean had had a bit of a rest, we jumped on a bus into Oxford city centre. The bus drivers were all really helpful when we got confused with tickets and stops and everything, and Oxford’s reputation as one of the friendliest cities we have visited was cemented by the porter at Christ Church College. He asked us where we were from and then proceeded to tell us about a dear friend of his, an Australian who he had met while working – she was a tourist – and he had then gone to stay in Brisbane with her for a month. Once I had spent money on unnecessary books, we made it back to Christ Church College for Evensong. Gah. So much beauty. The choir sounded – and yes, I’ll say it, because it’s true – heavenly. It was in the stunning cathedral and I was awed by the sound of the music. It didn’t matter that we were almost too tired to hold our heads up, or that my knees were sore from standing up constantly. I am so glad we went. I got my fix of soul food, and it was particularly important being Easter. Simply glorious.
Afterwards we had a quick wagamama dinner, being very careful of Sean’s stomach, before jumping on the bus back home and climbing straight into pajamas and straight into bed. It is ten PM here and Sean is already snoring. Bizarre!