A few pics from Autumn 2017, mostly in and around Oxford…

A stormy, ominous sky

Late summer BBQ with some old Uni friends

Some sleeping cherry-pickers

Some gorgeous flowers my friend sent me in the post! An utterly lovely surprise!

Hanging my new collection of canvasses covered with my African fabrics – a lovely little reminder of my trips to Senegal and Kenya! And I had the excuse to buy a staple-gun!

Another lovely late summer day, punting on the river in Oxford

Discovered an amazing new natural deodorant that I am completely in love with. Sadly it’s one more step on the path to becoming a hemp-wearing, muesli-eating god-damn-long-haired-hippy… But seriously I’m in love with it. I recommend it to EVERYONE.

Tiggy being all gorgeous and photogenic. She looks so cute sometimes it’s hard to remember that she is mostly evil….

With a friend exploring Oxford Open Doors – a fabulous weekend when lots of businesses and colleges around Oxford open up their doors so people can have a poke around.

For example, we discovered an AMAZING 16th-century painted room upstairs above BetFred on the Cornmarket, which apparently was discovered in the 1920’s when someone ripped out the wood panelling, and it is thought that Shakespeare may have stayed there when he visited Oxford. It’s so special that it’s not normally open to the public, but it was VERY cool to see! Sadly no pictures as I was too fascinated by it and I forgot.

Another intriguing find – A-Plan insurance on the high street is actually inside a building  that dates back to the 13th Century – their basement contains some of the oldest vaulted ceilings in the UK, and apparently connects to a network of tunnels running under the city centre! Who knew Oxford had secret tunnels??

Here’s the back of the shop, where old meets new in a rather brutal manner….

Then a peek around some colleges and churches/chapels. I can never remember their names, but this one was lovely.

AND it had a stained glass window with a freakin’ sea monster! Love it.

Ok, see those gargoyles way up at the top there?

That is an ACTUAL angry unicorn sticking his tongue out! Hilarious, and also historical.

Checking out the examination hall – it had some really cool synchronised clocks…

The brand new governance building – I forget the full name, but it’s in Jericho, and this is something that has actually been built since I moved here, which is very cool, because after nearly 7 years, I still feel like a relative newbie to Oxford, so it’s nice to be able to say “I remember when that wasn’t there….”

Although technically I can also say that about the massive British Gas building next to ours on the business park, and the MASSIVE new Westgate shopping centre in town. But hey ho.

This building is normally for students only, and it’s VERY cool inside, so I’m glad we got to wander around it! It looks as though it’s sort of vaguely based around a reel of film…

A gathering storm outside was VERY ominous…

Poor Cleo just wanted some gentle cuddles, until Tiggy came and wanted to play…

My friend Betty and I went to a rock concert at the Albert Hall. The music was sadly fairly mediocre, but I’d never been to the Albert Hall before, and it was AMAZING. Plus we had a lovely time giggling about the MASSIVE organ on stage….

I drove to Yorkshire and took a cupcake with me as a snack. Turns out they are REALLY hard to eat while driving, if you don’t have a passenger to help you unpeel the paper, you really have no other option than to just go in face first through the frosting…

Watching Calderland: a people’s opera at the Piece Hall in Halifax. It was fantastic.

Was extremely happy with my new wall of masks (i’ve been collecting masks from around the world since I was 18, and finally displayed them all together on the wall, and I love it. 

I thought I was being really original with my wall of masks, until Crocodile Dundee came on tv and I realised Paul Hogan beat me to it, about 30 years ago…

Also, turns out Paul Hogan is hot. Who knew?

Then some of my colleagues came over to the UK and we had a fun treasure hunt around Oxford looking for cool things.

The autumn sun hits the tops of the buildings just as we head off to the pub for dinner…

My team gave me some lovely leaving presents – a little piece of the beach for my desk (so I can always be a tiny bit on holiday, or remember how fabulous Senegal was)

And a lovely Wonder-woman mug! Made me feel very appreciated!

A lovely walk in Florence park to look at all the autumn leaves

A very rare yet indulgent bubble bath, complete with candle, book, homemade body scrub and some relaxing music…. Lovely.

Another weekend walk – this time in Shotover woods, which I have only just discovered! This was my actual first time in Shotover, and it was lovely!

Plus my friend H always makes me laugh!

Hunting for sloes to make gin, but they were all out of reach!

Pointing out the lovely twisty trees

Speaking of sloes, having my first sloe gin of the year…. yum…..

My sister comes to stay and brings an entire cocktail bar with her! She made us Hurricanes, which are delicious and sugary, with rum and lime and pineapple juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice and some more rum….

Tiny boy in a really big bed…

Morning cuddles with my lovely niblings

Then I took my niblings off for a walk up to my local library, where we were planning to borrow some new storybooks but stumbled upon storytime while we were there, which was lovely and also meant my sister and her husband could have a child-free hour to themselves.

Then later we went back to Shotover woods, because it’s my new favourite place for a nice long walk, and we are having a lovely crisp autumn this year!

With some occasional dramatic clouds…

(We also went to a fantastic bonfire night and fireworks night, but I don’t have any photos of it).

Croissants and cartoons on Sunday morning

My niece left me a nice picture on my fridge, but my flatmate then came home and asked why it said “I love buttocks” on the fridge!

Tiggy loves to sleep on the back of my couch with her claws hooked into my beautiful curtains, which I am always trying to discourage!

Sadly I’m not sure my curtains are salvageable….

Some nice street art in Cowley

Cleo just chillin’

Frosty windows in the morning…

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