6 Aug 2011


Never in my whole life I would have thought that I would find "the" Alice out of my childhood's book in Oxford. So when I was sitting on the top of the sight seeing bus and heard the voice in the headset telling me that we would now approach the little shop where Alice used to buy her sweets, I was really surprised ! I had read the book long ago and don't remember very much, only that I didn't like it and that I had found it very strange. After that I had never touched the book again and never watched the film either. But this book is such a part of children litterature that it is impossible to ignore it.

I got out of the bus and followed Alice's footsteps !

First I saw the church where her father was a Dean. I don't know if she also lived in there

The whole story was written outside

Just in front of the College was the little shop

Besides the fact that there were tourists of all colors and shapes, the shop probably hadn't changed very much.

modernized of course

and the evidence that I had been there ! Photo taken by a young Japonese student.

I wandered through the shop and took pictures of everything which seemed interesting to me. The real Alice was dark haired and not blond !

I just had finished when the owner touched my shoulder to tell me that it was not allowed to take pictures inside the shop. I assured him that I wouldn't, I just had put my little camera in a wallet in which I carry it around and therefore looked very innocent as usual.

Of course I couldn't resist and buy a little souvenir, the Cheshire Cat !

The original Cheshire cat design from 1866. At least they have the same smile !

If you want to know more about the history of the book you can find it here
in Wikipedia

5 Aug 2011


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. On Monday morning I left my friends in Eastbourne with a heavy heart and took the train to London. From there I went by bus to Oxford. It was a very nice journey because I saw much more of the landscape than I would have if I would have taken the train.

I arrived at the Balliol College (see Wednesday post below) and spent the afternoon by walking in this beautiful place.

I had booked a student room and just imagined who slept and studied in this room during the year ? I was lucky, I had nothing to study, I was only a fake student.

Having breakfast in this huge hall where parts of the Harry Potter films were made, was very impressive ! I felt like Mrs. Potter although I have never seen a Potter film, only extracts

2. To see the most of Oxford with the less of effort, I bought a sight seeing bus ticket for two days so that I could "hop" on and off as I wanted. That's the best way to visit a city you have never seen before. With the ticket you got a pair of handsets and could listen to the explanation of each important building or place.

3. I made the first trip all around sitting on the right sight which allowed me to take pictures from all buildings and important places on the right, and then I did the same tour sitting on the left.

Oxford is a paradise for bikers ! I thought I was in Amsterdam.

I visited the Christ Church where Alice (Adventures inWonderland) had lived with her father who was the Dean.

The little shop where she bought her sweets and I of course the Cheshire Cat and other little souvenirs.

Of course I couldn't miss to visit the Macdonald Randolph hotel, featured in the Inspector Morse television series several times, and where there is now a Morse Bar.

4. On Wednesday my blogfriend Janice from Jabblog came to visit me as she lives not far from Oxford. It was so nice to see her " life" at the entrance of the College ! As it was lunch time we went through Oxford looking for a nice Pub to eat outside, but only found one with no garden. But it didn't matter we had a lot to chat and I even forgot to take a picture of us in the pub. After lunch we went back to the Balliol college, and we sat there at the "Buttery" in the colleges' beautiful park, far from the huzzle and buzzle of Oxford, which is real terrible ! So many people ! you could hardly walk and on top it was very hot.

Late afternoon she returned to the station and I went along with her, we still hadn't chatted enough. She took the train and I took my sightseeing bus for the 4th time, not listening to the explanations, which I now knew by heart, or almost.

Here we are in full beauty or should be, unfortunately my camera has got some troubles and we are "striped". It's really annoying. I hope Janice's pictures are better !

5. The next day I had to leave and for the first time since I had arrived in England it rained cats and dogs ! My intention was to leave Oxford very early and spend the whole day in London, but with all this rain I changed my mind, left Oxford only around 11 arrived at Victoria station where I had to take another bus to get to St. Pancras to catch the Eurostar. I was quiet wet from the short walks from bus to bus and to the station. I couldn't go outside so I hang around for more than 3 h in this train station which is far outside the London city center ! At least I could write half of this post while drinking my x's cup of coffee !

Ponctually I arrived in Brussels, where Mr. G. picked me up.

4 Aug 2011


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

The only language where the letter P is pronounced pee and is therefore the favorite letter of the kids because it stands for what we all know : an urgent call from nature !

In French, German and Italian the languages I know P is not Pee but Peh and Peh doesn't mean anything but the letter P and there I am again at the beginning.

It is also amusing to listen to listen to a German with a strong accent who says Shakespeare's famous phrase :" to pee or not to pee, that is the question" !

But p, pronounced in English is also money ! Since the decimalization of British currency and the introduction of the abbreviation p, as in 10p, 20p, etc., the abbreviation has tended to replace the pence in speech as in 1 p. During my researches for this "P" post, I also learned that a penny is a coin (pl. pennies) or a type of currency (pl. pence).

Today for one p you get nothing anymore. I had been told that to pee had once cost a p. That must have been a very long time ago, because now everywhere I stayed I had to pay 30 p which was a minimum. The "I have to go" fees in certain places could even raise up to 50 p's ! And for this price I didn't even meet a kind Madame Pipi (pronounced Peepee) who sits in a corner with a saucer on a little table, knits or reads and chats with the customers in need. Nowadays you have to go through impersonal barriers put your 30 or 50 p's in a slot and if you are lucky you go through without getting stuck.

This evening I leave the country with the p's, pence and pennies and return to my Euro cents, which means that I take the Eurostar from London to Brussels, where Mr. G. will pick me up !

3 Aug 2011


more participants here

Throwing stones on plates 1 £ (good for your nerves)

I swear I didn't

Nice clock !

Seen in Eastbourne during the Harvest Festival


On Monday morning I left my friends in Eastbourne at 10 am and went by train to London Victoria.

From there I took a bus, called "Oxford Tube" from London to Oxford. It was real nice it was almost like a sightseeing tour much better than a boring train. I arrived at 2.30 pm and the bus Station was near the Balliol college where I stayed for the 2 1/2 days.

Of course when I arrived, I had never thought about the fact that in 1263 there were no lifts and they had put me on the 5th floor !

A porter gave me a paper with a map to my room, on which was indicated Staircase n° XXII which is not my size but the Latin n° 22) room n° 27.

I wandered around pulling my suitcase behind me and of course got lost. Not a soul around and my Madam GPS ignores staircases. Finally a gardener showed me where my staircase XXII was.

Then I had to look for my room 27 I climbed up floor by floor and found it finally to be on the 5th. Fortunately I had left my suitcase downstairs, because the door didn't open. I went back to the entrance, (long way) and then back to XXII where I waited for somebody to come to open my door. Meanwhile I was half melted. It was hot !

Finally a man showed up, tried to open the door, he probably had thought that I was a stupid old blond who couldn't open an English college door, but the door didn't open. He had to dismantle completely one door handle, and repair the whole thing and finally we got in. As I am a weak woman when I want he had also carried my suitcase up the 5 floors !

Next surprise was that the Internet connection didn't work. When I complained (again to the porter) who was the only visible soul in these huge buildings, I got the impression that he didn't believe me, why should a woman (!) not the youngest one, be able to handle a computer. But apparently I wasn't the only one who had problems in Staircase XXII, the rooter had broken down, I was told the next morning !

Now you know, why I couldn't answer your comments !

But when you see this and where I had breakfast this morning, it was worthwhile !

2 Aug 2011


is here

Sorry, arriving in Oxford in a College dated from 12 hundred and something, there was of course a problem with internet connection probably caused by the ghost of an evil student ! Hopefully it's fixed until I leave on Thursday !

1 Aug 2011


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of JULY 30. You never know if you need an alibi ! If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

As it was my last weekend in Eastbourne, and my friends had some shopping to to do Saturday I took the bus and went to the seafront instead. When I arrived I was surprised to see these giants

and people in fancy costumes. I asked what happened and was told it was the Harvest festival ! A procession started with geants, "crows" and other harvest symbols and walked along the beach until a park, where I saw lots of stalls.

There were things to buy, lots of stuff to eat and music and dances too. I had a fish sandwich and an ice cream and walked around. It was real fun.

There were also quiet a lot of "Rockers" mostly "Oldies" with lots of tatoos ! It always surprises me that there are so many English people tatooed from top to bottom (I haven't seen the bottoms) but arms and chests. It looks awful, especially on the once over 60 ! I wonder if they regret to have it done when they were in their 20th !

The rest of the afternoon I sat at the seafront and watched people walking by, I ate an ice cream and had a cup of tea before I took the bus back home.

In the evening we went again (on my wish) to a "Cavery" and I had to laugh because these chain of restaurants has the same name as my grandson "Toby". Of course it was delicious and I had my gammon steak again !

Sunday we went back to the festival as Anne and Doug hadn't been with me and we had lunch there, watched the singers and the dances, sat at the seafront and finally had tea at the habour.

What a nice day to finish my holidays with them.

This was my last weekend here I will take the train now to Oxford and stay there for for three days to visit this old University town.

31 Jul 2011


On our way back from Hailsham market we stopped at a very special place ! It was a garden shop, cattery and tearoom all in one ! The owner had a great idea and a good sense of business to create such a place. It was just beautiful.

Besides the Tea Room was the cattery. I would say at least a 4* one ! Each cat had its own "room" with its toys and personal belongings. Only one dared to come out and say a little hello, the others were too lazy and didn't show up.

Tuxis like my little Rosie are curious so this one came out to look who were the visitors.

There was all kind of garden supplies, from flowers, plants to garden sculptures for in and outside the house

The view from the tea room,

and here we had a tea with sandwiches. What an adorable place which I enjoyed really very much.