A spring day in Oxford

A friend and I had a day in Oxford on Thursday. We were tempted to stay overnight, but didn’t, and wished we had. We managed to stay for 3 nights in Oxford last year; we seem to go in spring, without really planning that, but we are determined to go again at least once this year, as it’s one of our favourite places.

We intended to visit the Pitt-Rivers Museum, which I love, but as the weather was so good we decided to stay outside as much as possible, since work had recently  forced us both indoors more than we like, as work has a habit of doing.

We did see one not too large exhibition in the Bodleian Library, and off course went to the Turf Tavern for beer and food, but mostly we just enjoyed the day, the architecture, the Botanic Gardens,  Blackwells and other shops. We managed an hour in the Ashmolean at the end of the day too. Plenty of air, walking and many words spoken. Lovely.

Radcliffe Camera with the shadow of St.Mary’s church on its stonework.

Punts on the river, viewed from the Botanic Gardens. There were several people having a go, but after a rather interesting go at rowing on the River Avon many years ago, we decided not too indulge.

A view of the Gardens through a magnolia in bud.

I loved these sculptural baskets stuffed with dried fern leaves, protecting over wintering plants. The Gardens are lovely in spring, but I must try to see them when they are more verdant.

And this was the exhibition we saw at the Bodleian Library, small but good, and featuring illustrated manuscripts and up to date works on the theme. I’ve seen more illustrated manuscripts and ancient books this year so far than in the whole of my life. In this show many of them really did look as if they had been read and used, which was wonderful.