Margaret and I visited the MOA Sunday after our walk at Spanish Banks, in order to see the special exhibition "Playing with Fire" which was to close March 29, 2020, but is finished now due to the closure of the museum. This exhibition brought together many BC artists who work in clay/ceramics, each of whom created very different works of art. A few pictures: Alywn O'Brien:
No matter how many times in your life you walk along the seashore at Spanish Banks, you are struck by its beauty and the changing scenes of the mountains, ocean and the freighters. Walked there both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The Perch: An Oxford institution as old as the university. On Sunday, Sam arranged for the family to go the The Perch, a historic pub outside of Oxford, for lunch.
From their website: The Perch is one of Oxford’s oldest pubs. Just a few minutes walk from the Isis (Oxford’s stretch of the Thames) and Port Meadow, a historic common stretching from Jericho to Wolvercote. In the summer, our garden is the envy of the whole city, and our 17th century plaster-rubble building with its traditional thatched roof will charm even the most seasoned pub-goers.There’s been a pub on our site for at least 800 years. In those 800 years, we’ve been a favourite of some of Britain’s best poets and authors, a frequent haunt of Inspector Morse, and even an influential venue on the British Jazz scene.In Spring 2015, we conducted a full scale renovation to bring a traditional pub into the modern world, and ensure we’ll be around for the next 800 years.We provide a refuge for everyone who loves great food and drink – whether they’re thirsty students, hungry walkers, exploring families, muddy dogs, adventurous visitors or wedding parties.
Had a great meal of fish and chips, and then walked all around the area. Much flooding of pasture lands.
The evening after the graduation
ceremony, Sam arranged for all the family to go for dinner to a fairly new
restaurant in Oxford – “The Ivy Oxford Brasserie”.What a special treat that was! The menu is an
eclectic mix of modern British comfort food and international dishes. The décor
was botanical style, very comfortable. Had a wonderful time.
Saturday morning, Ken and I
walked to the Sheldonian Theatre, to attend Sam’s graduation ceremony, the
special purpose of this trip.Sam
received his DPhil International Relations (PhD) as a graduate of Christ Church
the Sheldonian Theatre website: “Elegant and strong in design, marvellously
rich in craftsmanship, the Theatre has admirably served its purpose for nearly
over 350 years, and today still provides a dignified and superb setting
for ceremonial occasions.
Located in Oxford’s medieval city centre, the Sheldonian Theatre
is the principal assembly room of the University, and the regular meeting place
of Congregation, the body which controls the University’s affairs. All public
ceremonies of the University are performed here, notably the annual Encaenia.
"The University acquired the site soon after the
Restoration, and in 1664 to 1669 the present theatre was erected. Gilbert
Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury and a former Warden of All Souls, met the
entire cost of the build and so gave his name to the building.
The architect was a young Christopher Wren, then Professor of
Astronomy at Oxford, with as yet little practical experience of building.
Inspired by drawings of Roman theatres, he adopted their D-shaped plan.
However, the open arena of Rome, unsuited to the English climate, had to be
The PhDgraduates paraded
into the Theatre, were presented to the Vice- Chancellor and then after other students
received their certificates, the PhD graduates paraded in again, this time in
their red/navy gowns signifying their doctorate status. Very impressive.
On Friday, February 28, Sam took the family on a walking tour of the sights of Oxford beginning with his Alma Mater, Christ Church College. There we saw the famous sights of the Library, Christ Church Cathedral and the Dining Hall (where scenes from Harry Potter movies were filmed).
The beautiful, traditional Library:
The very special Dining Hall:
Then on to see many other colleges and their groups (there are about 38 colleges in Oxford now):
My brother, Ken, and I plus Sam travelled on February 26 to London Heathrow, met Teddy there and then took the coach to Oxford, arriving February 27. We went to attend the special occasion of Sam's graduation from Oxford University with his DPhil in International Relations. Sam organized our itinerary of family dinners in special restaurants and attending the graduation ceremony and luncheon. I had a wonderful time and was so proud of Sam.
After we arrived on February 27, we met Sam at Christ Church College where he is an alumni and he gave us a tour of the grounds, a good walk around to stretch our legs, before heading for dinner.
Sam arranged dinner at the Pierre Victorie Restaurant where we had a delightful traditional French dinner.
Then Ken and I headed back to our hotel - the Courtyard by Marriott which is about one year old and had nice modern facilities.
On Friday, we had an excursion out to the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden were we watched an introductory video about Allan's life and then had a conducted tour of many monumental sculptures spread over 15 acres. Another extremely hot day. We also spent time in the Gallery/gift shop.