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:
I 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:
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:
I 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:
It’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.