And so, the first week of the Easter holiday for us interns is over. This week, I have managed both a trip to London and hosting a friend. While I very much enjoy meeting up with my London friends, it was wonderful to have a day pottering around London on my own, with nothing in the diary apart from a haircut. (I usually get my hair cut at a barbering school in London – check them out!) I saw a few churches I haven’t been to before, and a museum I didn’t even know existed. I also managed to re-visit a few favourite haunts, and it was with a happy mind (and full stomach!) I returned to Oxford.
Then, my friend Monika arrived, and we have been busy since she arrived 🙂 Shopping, Oxford sightseeing, churches, Masses (both high and low), a fair few pubs, plenty of walking, and much more. The highlight of Monika’s visit has to be our visit to Blenheim Palace and the nearby town of Woodstock. Blenheim Palace remains to this day the home of the Dukes of Marlborough. It was built in the English Baroque style, and was finished in the 1720s. It is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Winston Churchill, but other residents have included an (slightly mad) amateur scientist, an American railroad heiress, and Queen Anne’s Mistress of the Robes.
The Palace is open to the public, but the present Duke still lives there with his family. On our visit we explored the state rooms, as well as the formal gardens, park and pleasure garden with butterfly house. Being a non-driver (at least in this country) I very rarely get to see big country houses, so to have access to one nearby is a treat. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves (despite the fact that we gave the merry-go-round a miss…) and I will most certainly return again!
We continued our tour to the nearby town of Woodstock, which at one point was most famous for its bell foundry, now a small and cozy country town. (The Woodstock Festival, however, was named after the Woodstock in New York State…).
By the time this is posted, Monika has returned to Sweden, and I am catching up on sleep after having walked her to the 5.15am airport coach to LGW…. I am looking forward to another visitor this week – my younger sister is coming for three nights, and after that, we face 0th week, and the start of, what looks like a busy, Trinityterm here at Pusey House.