April 2024
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Where Have I Been?

As you may have noticed (or maybe not!) I have been very absent from this little blog lately, at least for me. I haven’t abandoned it, and have no desire to, but my life has gone a bit crazy and I’ve found both my weekends and my evenings full over the past month or so. Things aren’t looking likely to calm down, as I’ll be away a few more weekends, two full weeks, and am going to be moving in the next two and a half months. I’m really hoping everything will be back to normal by the end of August.

In the meantime, while I struggle to actually write anything, I thought I’d share a few photos of my recent adventures with you.

We went to visit the Brontes first:

bronte parsonageI actually enjoyed this quite a bit, possibly because my expectations were lowered and a bit conflicted after reading about Ana’s visit. It wasn’t particularly crowded when we went, and I loved seeing everything that actually belonged to the sisters and their family. Finding out that Charlotte was smaller than me, for example, and seeing her dresses for myself, really humanized her.

We then had a bit of a walk along the countryside:

english countryside

We had the somewhat misfortune of visiting Haworth during a 1940’s festival, and it was more crowded than possibly anywhere I’ve been in my life, so no pictures of the town from me. I’m not kidding; it was so crowded that we were trapped unmoving on the High Street until policemen got involved. But many of the participants were wearing 40’s outfits, which were really fun to see, and were distracted from the Parsonage itself by the festivities, so I credit this with the reason it was very quiet within the museum.

Just last weekend we visited Oxford, and for me the highlight was clearly the Bodleian library:

bodleian libraryI loved seeing Duke Humphrey’s library, as it’s called, with its medieval roots, especially as I’d learned about Humphrey previously. It was enough to make me wish I’d studied in Oxford, just for the right to go in there every so often. (To be fair I had York Minster Library which is amazing in its own right).

As for the rest of Oxford, we were left a bit disappointed by the culture. I was shocked by how many beggars there are on the streets; it seemed so wrong that the richest people in the country go to university here when the streets are lined with people who are begging for spare change. You’ll have some obviously well off students in expensive dress striding past these poor people without giving them a glance. It felt wrong and made me quite sad. I don’t know why Oxford is such a focus, but I’ve never seen so many beggars in one city before.

Oxford did have its excellent points, with extensive history, free museums, and a burrito place among them, but unfortunately that is the image the city has left me with.

Our last stop was Blenheim Palace, the only non-royal secular palace in the whole of the UK:

blenheim palaceIt’s quite stunning, inside and out, and was especially interesting for me as I’ve read a couple of books featuring Sarah, the first Duchess who was behind much of the construction. Most notable of those books is Duchess by Susan Holloway Scott, which focuses quite a bit on the romance between Sarah and her husband and Sarah’s tempestuous relationship with Queen Anne.

And that’s a summary of all I’ve been up to lately! I do hope to write a couple of reviews this weekend, but I am off on Saturday to meet the exceptionally lovely Kathy of Bermudaonion’s Weblog in London, so it’s mostly crossing fingers that I’ll have time on Sunday. In the meantime, enjoy the slight lessening of the burden on your feed readers, and I hope to be back in full force soon.


15 comments to Where Have I Been?

  • I’m very glad to hear you had a good visit to the parsonage! The 1940’s festival sounds fun, but ideal, not ideal for seeing the town :P I’d still like to go back and explore the countryside properly, as the weather was just miserable when I went. Love the other pictures as well! I really need to visit Oxford before I move away. That’s strange and sad about the amount of people begging, though :\
    Nymeth´s last post …The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard

  • What wonderful adventures you are having!! Thank you so much for sharing; it’s nice to live somewhat vicariously through you! I love the pictures, especially the one of the countryside. And yes, that is very sad about Oxford. It’s made worse by how senseless it seems.
    Heather´s last post …Once Upon a Time Wrap Up

  • I’m thrilled that I’m going to be taking up your Saturday! Carl and I are really looking forward to meeting you!
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last post …Guest review- South of Superior

  • I would love to go visit the Bronte home–how fun! Enjoy your visit with Kathy!
    Stephanie´s last post …Book Review- Affinity

  • It sounds like you had an amazing time, and I would love the chance to visit one day! I love that you shared your impressions and photos with us as well. Very, very cool!
    zibilee´s last post …The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa — 368 pgs

  • I’ve been wondering where you’ve been! Looks like you’ve been having an awesome time. I’m totally jealous. :) Enjoy your blogging break!

  • Isn’t Blenheim GORGeous? Looks like you had some lovely weather there as well. I didn’t notice a lot of beggars the last time I was there, but I’d guess it’s such a focus because it is a rich city so there’s the draw of potentially richer passer bys and I guess it’s easier to struggle to pay the rent if something bad happens in an area where the rents are higher.

    PS I’m so excited to meet you weekend after next :)

  • I completely understand. When life gets too busy, my blog suffers. That’s just life and I’ll be here when you get back – unless my life is too busy. LOL! I love the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them. A little taste of England.
    Literate Housewife´s last post …I’m Not a Housewife- But I Play One on My Blog

  • Sounds like you’ve been up to some fun stuff! Sometimes life gets busy, we all understand :)
    Amused´s last post …Downton Abbey

  • Second post in a row that is about touring places around the UK. Makes me wish I could get on a plane and have adventures of my own.

    Thanks for the pics!

  • Crazy…1940s festival in Haworth? Sounds really crazy.

    I was just recently thinking about Susan Holloway Scott in that I wasn’t crazy about her historical fiction but enjoy her category romances (under the name Miranda Jarrett). Strange.

    Looks like you had a great trip and good weather. Welcome back!
    Kate´s last post …Because everyone wants to help the kids. Right?

  • It sounds like you had a great time; I would love to visit the Brontes too!
    I can’t compare since I have never been to Oxford, but I have similar feelings walking Montreal, especially downtown, where there is a similar contrast. So I can at least imagine how that made you feel.
    I hope I can visit it some day too!
    kay @ Infiniteshelf´s last post …Giveaway : Before I Go to Sleep!

  • Getting away from home lately has been all I am thinking about. I really need a change of scenery! Glad you are having lots of fun!
    Kailana´s last post …Losing Focus…

  • The Bodleian library: It seems like I’ve seen that in movies or TV. Inspector Morse, maybe? I’m not sure, but it looks very familiar.

    I had no idea about the beggars there. I live in a rural town, so we don’t see that. We do see drunks occasionally, but not beggars.

    No need to apologize for being away. Life intervenes sometimes…and that’s okay too. In fact, that’s more than okay. That’s great that you have a life about which you can blog. :)
    unfinishedperson´s last post …Dipping my toes into the polygamous pool (TSS)

  • Oh wow, what adventures! I would absolutely love to visit the Bodleian library! Such a shame that Oxford as a whole didn’t make a positive impression on you. It really is an odd state of things for an educational center such as that.
    Olga´s last post …The Novel Reader by Van Gogh