Tag Archives: Oxford

Back oop North

3 Oct

Apologies for not blogging as diligently as I should have done. It just seemed wrong to waste the gorgeous summer weather indoors, so I embraced the outdoors – both in the country and the city (and in the odd watering-hole) and had a thoroughly fabulous few days away.

Today I’ve been catching up things I would have ordinarily done if I’d been at home including obsessive checking of emails to see if anything had come through jobs-wise (there hadn’t) and tidying my room (a seemingly never-ending task). An added bonus to the day was the extraction of yet another wisdom tooth.

In my last post I was waxing lyrically about Oxford being the backdrop to a number of popular films and TV shows and it didn’t stop there, while walking along the banks of the Thames last week I turned to Beth and said: “You know what would make your Oxford experience complete? Seeing filming for Lewis while you’re here.”

She reluctantly agreed and conceded: “Yeah, my mum and gran would be chuffed.”

Having finally made it to the end of our Thames-side walk and into Oxford , we turned right onto a main road and bam! As if I’d conjured them out of thin air stood the actors Kevin Whately and Lawrence Fox (Mr Billy Piper).

I know, I know I’d be a rubbish pap, but granted I didn’t have a long lens, just my trusty Nikon digital, but still you can just about make them out.

Lewis and Hathaway on the case in Oxford

Although it may not seem the most impressive ‘famous’ actor spot, the gents certainly made their presence felt, and I enjoyed watching scenes being set-up and shot.

Boys in blue: police cordon off street for filming

After all the giddy excitement and stunning weather of my two days in Oxford, on Friday I jumped on a train and headed for Romford, Essex to meet an old university friend, Shona.

 
The weekend proved to be a fun-filled and welcome distraction from my dismal attempts to crack the current journalism jobs market, and I was introduced to the newly opened mecca of shopping which is Stratford’s Westfield. My oh my.
 

Westfield Stratford: so many shops, so little time

The place is enormous and is home to every conceivable high street fashion store. I got particularly excited when I visited Forever 21, an American import that only has two stores in the UK (The Bullring, Birmingham and Westfield).

However I found shopping there on a Saturday afternoon particularly over-whelming, particularly in addition to the sheer amount of choice of clothing and accessories.  This assault on the senses sent my little head into a spin and I left the store without buying anything. Gasp.

On my last day in Romford Shona and I indulged in a picnic and it was so hot we had to don our sunnies and slap on the sun lotion.

Our glorious sunny picnic, modelled by Shona

Need I remind you it was October 2nd? And apparently the UK is due snow next week. Madness!

Anyway, back down to earth with a bump now, let the job-hunting and waitressing continue!

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An Indian summer’s day in Oxford

28 Sep

When the opportunity of escaping the daily grind of applying for jobs I have no prospect of getting  came up, I jumped at the chance. I organised a blissful five-day mini-break daarn Saarf, booked my train tickets and packed enough clothing for about two weeks. Naturally.
After the weathermen on both the TV and the radio raved about unseasonably good weather I snorted into my cup of tea and decided to pack for typical British weather. Cue lots of cardigans, tights and a waterproof coat.
Well it turns out the bods at weather HQ actually got it right. Bugger.
So here I am in the insanely hot and sunny Oxford with a suitcase stuffed full of clothes and a limited choice of outfits. After much umming and aahing I decided on some chinos (nice), my trusty mannish brogues and a light shirt with a giant bow tie attached (you have to see it to appreciate it fully.)
So what am I doing in this neck of the woods? I’m here to see my very good friend Beth who will be starting a Masters here next week. We had a wonderful time exploring the quaint village of Iffley before heading into the fresher-filled city of Oxford.
Although Oxford looks wonderful on-screen (on Morse and Harry Potter to name just two) it has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
I went snap-happy at every beautiful building and architectural quirk I laid eyes on. Here’s just a taster…

Oxford life: impressive buildings and cycling

One thing these Oxfordians are keen on is cycling. They cycle everywhere and split neatly into three categories.

Smug cyclists: They can’t get enough of being king of the road, pavements, pathways, you name it, they think they own it. And they love aggressive bell-ringing.

Terrified cyclists: Pretty much what it says on the tin. They live in Oxford and the surrounding areas, think it’s a good idea to cycle everywhere but are terrified of ending up underneath the wheels of a bus or in the Thames.

Chilled cyclists: Have bike will travel. They fall neatly in between the above categories and take their cycling commute within their stride. And try not to mow people down.

Cycling capital of the country: bikes as far as the eye could see

When we’d finishing dodging smug cyclists and pounding the pavements of the city centre we took a look at the city’s botanical gardens, which although was past its best in terms of blooms (it is autumn after all) was a perfect place to enjoy the plants, trees and fountains it had to offer. After a quick scoot around the shops, footsore and weary, we headed home.
Even though the extensive walking took its toll on my poor feet, all-in-all it was a fabulous day.

Job-hunting? What job-hunting?!

Wannabehack on tour

27 Sep

Well, this morning I relinquished my usual garments of choice (pyjamas obvs) which wasn’t quite as traumatic as I thought it might be.
I put on my new skinny jeans (not as comforting on the waistline as drawstring trousers, but what’s a girl to do?) a t-shirt, and a rather sexy (if I do say so myself… which I do) pair of brown leather brogues. I primped and preened my hair, put on some make-up and was ready to face the world. And why did I do all this? To go and visit some friends from back in the day.
My first port of call is the illustrious city of Oxford. Not somewhere I’ve been before so rather excited not only to visit my rather clever friend who’s studying a masters there, but also to have a nosey around Morse and Lewis’ old stomping ground.
After that I’m off to Romford, Essex, to meet up with another clever cookie of a friend. Other than have a good catch-up we’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the TOWIE cast over-acting. Excellent.
So I’ve got a whole five days off from job-hunting, all-day pyjama sessions and an ever-increasing exasperation at the current jobs market. Wahoo!