Sunday, 16 September 2012

Under Dreaming Spires


I just couldn't decide which famous Oxford related quote to pick, I wanted the one below from Withnail and I but it was too long, there were so many from Alice and Brideshead, but in the end I went with Itchycoo Park!


Monty: Laissez-moi respirer longtemps, longtemps, l'odeur de tes cheveux! Ah, Baudelaire. Brings back such memories of Oxford.Oh, Oxford.
Marwood: [Voice-over] Followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.

 So we went to Oxford today to make use of the Tea for Two voucher my sister had given me for my birthday


I would go to Oxford more, it's only 25ish miles from home, but there's no train link (due to the rolling countryside) and very few buses (for no good reason). So it's another reason to drive!

I love Oxford, I mean really love it, you can still walk down a sunny lane on a busy Saturday afternoon and only be passed by a student on a bike. But it makes me feel rather sad I was never academic or motivated enough to get to study there. The joys of Oxford always seem a little beyond my grasp. 
 cardi - Primark
dress - Second to None in Walsall
bag - M&S
shoes - Clarks with bows added by me

Jacket - Daks/Simpsons of Piccadilly via a charity shop 
shirt and jeans - Primark.
No posing  - consciously at least, he was just standing like this.

We had a look round the Pitt Rivers Museum - have you ever been there? It's amazing. A cornucopia of strange and bizarre objects from around the world all clustered together in a dimly lit cathedral of dark wood and glass cases. They've got so much stuff they keep it in drawers through the museum, on the ceiling and on top of the cabinets - I even saw a cardboard box labelled "blow darts and quivers". 
 it's a lamp!

 Native American girl's toys!

You need to go there! An old couple were rather distressed by me spontaneously grabbing Mike's arm and uttering "honnk! honnk!"

We wandered around before we went for the Afternoon Tea, I bought a lovely Victorian style shawl and these two Alice In Wonderland Badges from the Alice In Wonderland shop  - yes!! they have one!!

£2 each!

We had a wander by the river before we went to the cafe. Magical.

The cafe itself was wonderful
We sat by the river and drank our free prosecco, acutally it was all free...


wearing my new shawl.

We had a wonderful time, we wandered back to the bus station via the Christchurch garden and Blackwells Bookshop (the art one)

 Earlier this week I visited Osterley Park in Middlesex with the National Trust Volunteers. Loads of TV shows and Films have used Osterley as a location  - including the most recent Batman! 

 The entrance to the bat cave! Plus the entrance to Wayne Manor, although other places were used as the exterior. 

My first week as a free and motivated artist went really badly, I felt really ill and did very little. I feel terrible and doing less made me feel even worse. Oh and I didn't get in the the final of the Japan Blog competition so thank you for all your support. I feel very disappointed but suspected I would lose out to some arrogant hipster, which is what happened. Not that I'm bitter!

oh bit this did arrive it the post - 
what do you mean what is it? It's a Rilakkuma cord holder for the label of my Hello Kitty headphones!

Also any misery I've been feeling this week has been counteracted by the highly addictive Community.
have you seen it?

Time to go through the Looking Glass

25 comments:

thorne garnet said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wow, Oxford looks beautiful. I would so get lost in that museum for years! I love all that weird crap. You love lovely with you shawl and wine.

Helga! said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oxford sounds rather glamoursly academic! I'd love to dribble around there, and having that free lunch and drinies must have just made it perfect!
LOVE the Alice in Wonderland brooches, I have a friend who would go cray for those!
Your posing with drinky is inspired, incidentally!
Jeez, you've been a round a bit! That museum rocks!G would have joined you in disturbing the oldies by belating or growning horribly, I'm sure!
XXX

CityScape Skybaby said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've only ever been through Oxford on a coach going to Manchester so only got a glimpse and it did look beautiful but now I'd love to explore it properly after seeing your blog Clare. I would love that museum and sitting by that beautiful river. Love your shoes and your heart necklace and your finds.
Sorry to hear about the Japan competition, your blogs were really interesting, enthusiastic and informative, and I really enjoyed them. I hate it when trendy hipster types always get picked for stuff, they're kind of boring really aren't they?
I haven't seen Community but I know that man from The Soup, he was funny on that so I'll have to give it a look. xx

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love Oxford, and had an awesome weekend there with 2 girls I met doing the Oxford entrance exam (none of us got it, possibly because we ran drunkenly across the lawns of the college in the middle of the night, or possibly cos we weren't posh/clever enough, who knows). I remember a sneering girl who only said 'PPE?' at me in a questioning tone, and then refused to speak to me when I finally figured out what the hell she was on about and said that no, I was studying English. And there was a mad academic who interviewed me, and looked completely horrified when I gave the name of my secondary school (which he'd inevitably not heard of, being crap and Welsh). But I did buy my much loved and missed furry leopard jacket that weekend, which saw me all through University. Besides, going to Oxford would have meant WORK. Or ignominy.

Did you see red kites on the way? There are loads hovering by the edge of the motorway.
xx

Vix said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I haven't been to Oxford since the 1980s! My friend Lucy was at Balliol and we had an absolute blast gatecrashing parties, flirting with foreign princes, current MPs and public school boys who'd never met common, state-educated, working class tarts like us before and absolutely loved us. Your pictures are ace and you and Mike look brilliant. The Second To None frock is gorgeous on you.
You look divine with the Batman mask on, were you tempted to nick it?
Shame about the Japan trip, bet the hipster who won will be too cool to enjoy themselves anyway...you woz robbed!
Thanks for the Withnail quote, I now love you even more! xxxxxxx

Pull Your Socks Up! said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm so envious of all the beautiful places you pair visit and the riverside cafe looks idyllic! I love Oxford, I remember there were some incredible vintage clothing shops there stocking dirt cheap men's silk shirts and dressing gowns, gorgeous three-piece suits and hats ... it all seemed so very Brideshead Revisited ... I would imagine handsome yet loathsome chaps draped drunkenly over sofas, out of the way of mummy and daddy - weeeee!! I haven't heard of the community, but the promo shot looks very similar to The Librarians http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_dcjR2npU - the kind of comedy I watch through my fingers coz I'm cringing and laughing at the same time:)) xoxo

Mim said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've only ever been through Oxford, but it looks lovely in your photos.

Sorry to hear about the blogging competition, I'm sure you will make it to Japan in some other way!

Lucy Nation said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh Oxford looks amazing. I've never been but I would love to. Yet again, one of your posts has me thingling with excitement! An Alice in Wonderland shop - oh my! I love the brooches. I have a Queen of Hearts brooch from Disneyland Paris which I love (partially cos she reminds me of me) but you can't beat the original Tenniel illustrations. I love the dress you got from Second to None, it looks so good with the customised shoes. The native American toys look highly disturbing. The cord holder looks so much like something I would buy but I'm still a little confused. What does it actually do? I need to at least know that before I inevitably buy one! Feck the arrogant hipster. You'll get to Japan on your own terms. I must check out Community. I'm always looking foor something that will entertain me whilst living up to how good The West WIng was. And with that, I'm off to add Withnail & I to my Lovefilm queue xxxx

grunge-queen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ah beautiful Oxford, thanks for sharing your lovely day trip - and it's fun reading about every one's (especially Lakota's hilarious) exploits. I went there for a day this past spring and loved it - didn't have a chance to go to any of the charity shops, wah! I REALLY wanted to go to the museum you mentioned as it sounded so quirky (that's the one with the shrunken heads isn't it? Who could miss that?) but my traveling companions wanted to go to the OTHER museum, sigh. Sorry about Japan, but kudos to you for giving it your all. xoxo

pastcaring said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We used to go to Oxford quite a lot before I left home, but haven't been for years. It is beautiful, of course, but let's face it, not many ordinary folk do make it to study there. I used to love the Pitt Rivers, my sister and I were obsessed with the shrunken heads! There used to be a great little vintage shop where I bought a fur coat and dresses which I wore as a student, don't suppose it's still there, and it would probably be a lot more expensive these days!
You look beautiful sipping your prosecco by the river, and Mike is quite the natural poser!
You would make a fabulous Bat Girl!
Shame about the Japan competition, you deserved to win the trip. Keep an eye out for other opportunities.
White Rabbit -LOVE that song! xxxxxxx

audrey said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I loved this post! Oxford!! My husband is actually moving there next week (!!!!!!!) to start his Mphil in Russian and East European Studies and then I will move to Oxford as well about a year from now (but not to study, haha).
I love those Native American kachina dolls! They're an integral part of the religions of the some Native American tribes here in the Southwest and some of the dolls that the Native artists create as so beautiful.

I'm sorry to hear about the Japan competition, that sucks. I agree with the others, you'll get to see Japan some other way, hopefully soon!

Miss Magpie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's always lovely to see someone appreciate your home :-)

I have to confess I have only been to the Pitt Rivers once, it left me completely cold I would much rather be in the Natural History Museum!

orchid said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Dearest Miss Simmonds,
OMG, what a great place Oxford is♡♡♡ I also love the way you show us your fashion; shoes - Clarks with bows added by me; great job for the bow(*^_^*)
Oh, and the Osterley Park is stunning!!! I wish I could be with you to enjoy al these wonderful places, my English girl♬♬♬
Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

edie pop said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've been to Oxford when I was a kid and love it (apart from an accident to one of my eyes, but it's a long story)...I remember I was bewitched by all the Alice inspired shops (is there still a Lewis Carrol themed cake bakery?)..
Your post is a great feast for my eyes and it doesn't hurt them! You and your precious boyfriend are perfect in these photos as two dandies in Wonderland, your dress and shoes are super beautiful and so you both!! My four years daughter wants your same hair colour and one of those native indian toys (they are so cute!!)..
Amazing Osterley Park review, are you the real Batman and Robin too?
Lots of love

Camelia Crinoline said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oxford looks lovely. Your dress is fabulous. Community is hilarious. I love Annie. I hope you are feeling better.

Lisa G said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Lovely photos, you look beautiful and Mike looks extremely dapper!!

God I miss Oxford, haven't been there in an age, let's go soon. I can't believe in all the times I've been there with you we've never been to the Alice in Wonderland shop!!

L xx

Vintage Coconut said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

*Oxford looks very lovely* Almost fairytale-ish.
Awww that poor puffer fish. *lol*
The Native american dolls are sort of creepy "Espesh the cows guys"
*EEEEP*

Krista said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Stop it you are causing me great UK envy. What a fun day out exploring Oxford, sipping Prosecco, eating sweets looking fabulous doing it too. That museum looks like my kinda place the weirder the better. Your sweetie looks like a super model are you sure he wasn't hamming it up. Sorry to hear you didn't win that contest, never give up girl you are dam talented! I loved Withnail and I and Monty was such a creep, don't we all have one Uncle like that.
Miss you!!!
XXOO
Krista

Marisa Noelle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ok, that museum looks and sounds like the most amazing thing ever! Where all the cooky in the world dwells? Sounds like something from a Tim Burton movie:) Can I tag along with you one of these days? haha. Your adventures always look like the best kind. Free Prosecco on the river - oh yes please! I'm always nearly dying over those shoes of yours too....ga ga gorgeous!! xo Marisa

Lynn Dylan said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Clare, I so enjoyed reading this post. How did I miss it in the first place? Could it be due to the fact that I'm behind in basically everything right now?! Well, yes. I love the way your write. It's easy to read but interesting and detailed. Now, about that puffed up fish lamp. Good grief! I would love to see a place full of oddities like that. Love seeing the sights of Oxford by way of your photos. Your fella has quite the stance! Very handsome. I wish you the best as an artist! You deserve it and you'll do it! I keep thinking that some day, I will make a go of working just with my hands, sculpting and painting.

xoxoxo
Lynn

Bijou Sugar-Socks said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oohhhh look at u in the batman mask! hot! ur visit to Oxford sounds so idyllic and otherworldly! love it :) u and ur fella look good together ;) wishing u lots of luck on following ur dreams! xx

Misfits Vintage said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this so much - Oxford and champagne and scones (?) and lovely vintage frocks and shoes with bows and Batgirl and museums and gardens and rivers and brooches and you in all your gorgeousness and... just EVERYTHING! LOVE! Sarah xxx

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've only been to Oxford once, on a day trip with Uni and I thought it was amazing. We went to the Pitt Rivers and I was in awe, and I didn't even get to see it all as part of it was closed. Osterly park looks divine too.

Nikki x

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It looks so lovely! I really want to go to that museum, the Alice in Winderland badges are adorable xx

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

also you're tempting me back to pink locks!! xx