so, for the week of half term, i went home to oxford for the week. i left burton straight after finishing work on the Firday, and got the train home, via Birmingham. while i was waiting on the platform in Birmingham for my train, Maddie walked out right next to me, it turned out that she was coming home for the weekend, so we chatted and caught up as i hadn't seen her for a long time, and then we got the train together, and her dad offered to give me a lift home when i got there which saved me from getting for a bus, and since i had managed to get the earlier train too, i got home about an hour earlier than i had expected all in all. which was good, this gave me time to come home and shower before heading off out to Ruths.
Saturday morning, i woke up bright and early and at about 10, i headed out, and drove the 4 hours 20 minutes to the north east to Stockton where i was staying with my aunt for the night. the drive was alright, but there was a lot of traffic so i had to keep the speed down, and at one point i came to a complete standstill on the A1(M) which kind of sucked, but no matter, i got there in the end. so i hung out with my family for a little while which was nice, i taught my grandad to use his laptop a little more - this time i was teaching him how to send an email to more than one person at a time, and also add new contacts to his address book. he struggled a little to grasp the concept at the beginning, but i think he got there in the end. we were all at my aunts for dinner where we had macaroni cheese, my uncle then lit a fire outside, and as my grandparents went home to sleep, we all went and sat by it. it was very nice. but at 2 am when it was just my cousin and i left outside, and the fire had gone out, we decided that it was time to move inside.
i woke up fairly early on Sunday, my aunt, uncle and cousins were going on holiday that morning, so they were up earlyish to get everything sorted, i left there house at 9.30 / 10 and drove to my grandparents where i was spending the morning, i left their house at about 12.30, at which point i drove to Nunthorpe to pick up Kelsey and Nicole. i was at there house for about an hour while they waiting for their jeans to dry, and finishing getting ready. once we left we drove straight home, and it was hot in the car, but i drove pretty well, and managed to do the entire drive in a little over 3 and a half hours, which was pretty good time in my opinion. we just hung out for a bit once we got home, then in the evening we went up to a pub in my village, to meet up with a few of my friends from church wich was nice.
On monday, we started the day by starting our HP marathon, we then had lunch, and after lunch Nicole, Kelsey and I cycled to a shop to buy some stuff for my mum, which turned out to not be the best idea in the world, it was alright, but it was SO hot, and the cycle was a lot longer than i remebered it being, and i'm not sure how much fun the girls had.... :/ on monday evening, we were up to HP 4, and SI ARRIVED! Cole, Kelsey and i had planned a really fun surprise for him, because he didn't know that Cole was going to be at my house, so we had everything ready and we walked into my room where Cole was waiting to surprise Si, and it turned out that we had got way too excited about the entire thing, and he just didnt get as excited as we had hoped that he would. but no matter.
[Si was very excited to see Cole, but just overwhelmed and not outwardly showing it by screaming or whatever. I was very surprised as they'd all done a good job of covering it up that she was going to be there. I love that Nicole was able to come, so much.]
on tuesday, we started the day kind of slow, and we continued our HP marathon, in the afternoon, we took our first trip into real Oxford, and Kelsey and I went into Christchurch College (which is where parts of Harry Potter are filmed - so things was pretty much amazing for Kelsey (not that it wasn't amazing for me, but i have seen it before, so i think it was slightly more amazing for her this time round)) we then went to a really good ice cream shop in Oxford called G and D's (George and Davis/ Danver) and we sat in there for a while eating our ice creams/ then we wandered around Oxford for a little more and went back home, where we watched Britains Got Talent and finished off our Harry Potter marathon.
Wednesday was rainy. we had a lazy day. we watched Little Miss Sunshine. and we had piano time... that was basically it.
Thursday was basically an awesome day. we aimed to leave the house for Stratford at about 10. but that just didnt even nearly happen. come 11.30, we were still sat at home, but again, no matter. so we left, and drove the hour or so to Stratford, we got there, parked and made our way into town. we stopped off at the Information desk to pick us some maps and things to help us find our way around. we then decided at this point, that Nicole needed caffine, so we walked up the high street to Costa Coffee where she got her drink of choice - a low fat vanilla latte. we then walked ooff in the direction of Shakespeares birthplace. we saw the outside but the prices to get in were rediculously expensive, so we just took a couple of pictures of the outside and moved onto a gift / souvenir shop which we wandered around in for a while. we then started to make our way towards Anne Hathaways Cottage which was a litlle walk out of the town centre, we had barely made it to the edge of the town when we found something which at first glance looked pretty cool, but upon closer inspection, turned out to be one of the best shops in the entire world. It was a little second hand charity bookshop called "Books Etcetera". it was wonderful. it was such a little shop, but it was just so awesome. they had pretty much every book you could think of plus a pretty dodgy looking copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. so we ended up spending a pretty long time there and in the end i feel like we collectively spent quite a bit of money. but it was worth it in the end. so after the wonderous bookshop, we finally continued on our way to anne hathaway's cottage which was (as a sign indicated) a mile away. fun.
so we took the stroll past houses, over quaint little bridges, across fields, past shops, and finally made our way to the cottage, it was a little pricey to get in, so we wandered around the gift shop for a while and after catching kelsey staring pretty much longingly into the garden i convinced her that she did infact want to go into the garden to see the house, so i paid and we went in. we walked around the garden for a while and sat and looked at the cottage. we didnt go in.. the queue was huge, and it was really hot. and on top of that, it was bound to be really crowded inside and im not sure i could've taken that. so kelsey and i left the cottage, and re-joined si and nicole who were waiting for us outside. we walked back in the direction of town from the cottage, and headed to get some food, before going back to the car to drive home. it seemed to take a long time to choose what to eat, but eventually, we were all back at the car stocked up with food. which was good. as we drove home Si and Kelsey fell asleep, and Cole and i found it quite ammusing to watch Si as his head bobbed slowly up and down on his chest. we arrived home and decided after a little while that we needed pizza. so we drove to the co-op this time and got our selves pizza and Kettle Chips (how healthy are we) and returned home to settle down in front of Britains Got Talent and eat our dinner. which was lovely. i think after this we may've gone and watched a film? but my memory fails me at this time.
Friday. now, if i hadn't been there myself, i would not have believed it, but if possible, friday was an even better day than thursday. it was magical. we started the day kind of slow we got up lazily, and ate a leisurely breakfast follwed by lunch.. we didnt do a great deal in the morning (well, i say we... i popped up the road for an hour or so to visit my friend James who i hadn't seen in a long time and i hung with him for a while with his sister and mum and just had a chat and caught up with them which was lovely) so i returned from that at about 12.30 at which point we ate? i think? or maybe we skipped lunch.. well, i can't remember, either way, after a little while, we went out and park(ed) and ride(ed) into oxford once again. we got off the bus in town and headed straight to HSBC so cole could try and sort out some stuff for her bank with kelsey. si and i stood outside for quite a while. right outside of HSBC bank, there was a guy who was (attemping to) hand out leaflets about the "Socialist Labour" party, but appeared to not be the most charismatic soul int he world, and was somewhat failing to inspire interest in the hearts of those who passed by. as we stood there for about 30 minutes, i think he managed to offload 5 onto passere by, this was after he had given up trying to palm them off to 12 and 13 year olds. so we found this pretty amusing as we stood in the sun outside of the bank listening to some upper-class oxford busking. it was delightful. after this we wandered around town for a bit, and we walked down towards Magdalen Bridge. rather than walking down the busy and not so pretty High Street, we went via the gardens of Christchurch college as it's much prettier. we arrived at the bridge, and rented out our punt. i think that we chose a bad time to go out on the river, there seemed to be way too many people coming back as we were trying to get out, so for the first like 5 / 10 minutes, we just sat there, bobbing int he water as i waited for people to get out of the way before i left. eventually we got on our way, and we spent a delightful hour slowly drifitning round the little loops if the Cherwell river. it was divine. after punting, we wandered back up the high street, in the direction of town, where we encountered yet another beautiful little second hand book shop. we went in for a while, and wandered around before leaving and heading back to town. we had, by this time, about run out of things to do, so we made out way back up to town and headed to The Eagle and Child pub which is where, back in the day, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein used to go to talk and write together. nicole had fun here, and it was nice to see it. we walked back home and got distracted by yet another bookshop. but we made it back to the bus and then to the car... on our way home, we decided that we wanted to buy margarita mix... so we went via the co-op, but it turned out that they didnt sell it. so we gave up and just went home... and went without ou tequila fix for that night.
Saturday was another fairly slow start. we didnt really do anything all morning other than hang out which i wasnt really complaining about, it was a really nice morning, even though it wasnt the most eventful in the world. our task for saturday (and we chose to accept it) was to go shopping. so after lunch we droe off to Waitrose to shop, shop, shop! for groceries. it was pretty fun, even though it doesn't sound the most thrilling. after completing our shop, we went to a little local farm so that we could PYO!! thats right, 'tis the season for Pick Your Own strawberries! i was excited, and so were the others so i felt less silly for that. :) it was pretty much the perfect afternoon. i loved it. it was so calm, and relaxed and nice, but at the same time we were doing enough to keep up occupied, and entertained. i was well and truely a fan. on saturday afternoon, my cousin James came to have his eyes tested with my mum, so he stayed for dinner. i was given the responsibility of being in charge of the barbeque. i think i did an alright job. i didnt burn anything, and it all seemed to be edible. so that was good. i was happy with myself. ha. saturday night, was also the night of the Britains Got Talent FINAL!! so we watched it, and it was good. Diversity (a dance act) won. and they were deserved winners in the end.
Sunday was a day of mixed emotions. for me at any rate. although i'm sure that the others would agree with me. it was at the end of such an amazing week, so on the one hand, i was really happy about the week that had just been, but on the other hand, it was weird for me, because after getting to know some of my best frineds ever this year, it was coming to the end of their time in this country, and this was the last time that i saw them before they leave for Texas on the 26th of June. so i was pretty upset truth be told. si left us at like 9 ish as he had to be back in swindon for church that morning. after this, kelsey and I dropped Cole off at the bus station in Oxford for her to catch her rediculously long bus ride home back to the north east. then a little later i dropped Kelsey off at the train station in Oxford and said my final goodbye. not fun. i was not the happiest person in the world as she walked away from me and got on the train. i then picked up my dad, who was getting off a different train, and was back at the station that evening to go back to burton myself. i got off the train and had to get a taxi home due to poor bus timtabling....
and thus concludes the best, and eventually most bittersweet week of my entire life.
i hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as i enjoyed living it.
6 months ago