Before the rain comes

The other day, The Boy and I decided to visit Woodstock which I’m sure by now you know is one of my favourite small towns. It was a day of rain and sunshine but according to the weather forecast there would be two or three hours of pleasant sunshine in the afternoon. Perfect for a walk in the Blenheim Palace grounds, we thought.

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So off we went on our walk. The grounds are always so pretty; I particularly like the lake and also the fields and woods away from the palace because they are just left to be natural and unpolished with only flocks of sheep to keep them from becoming too wild. The lake looked really beautiful on that day, there were such interesting reflections of the sky.

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We were confident we could do a circular walk of about 4-5 miles and then find shelter at one of Woodstock’s lovely pubs before the rain came. As we were walking, we would often hear distant thunder but the sky over Blenheim was still blue and cloud-free.

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When we reached one of my most favourite and particularly photogenic parts of the grounds clouds began to roll in fast. I started to really doubt we would make it out without getting drenched as we still had a couple of miles to go. The Boy said we should pick up our pace to at least make it to a more sheltered area, probably meaning I should stop taking so many pictures and get walking.

bookworm_before8It seemed that the sheep also had the same idea, because they stopped their munching and began to head to the woods just as it started getting really, really dark. It was so astonishing how quickly the weather turned; within a few minutes it got so dark and hazy, it was slightly scary but also kind of amazing to be outside…

If you’d like to see what happened next, come back tomorrow for the second part of this story.


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The meadows, yesterday.

bookworm_meadow1 bookworm_meadow2 bookworm_meadow3 bookworm_meadow4 bookworm_meadow5 bookworm_meadow7 bookworm_meadow8I went for a little evening walk in the nearby meadows yesterday. I wasn’t having the best day and was feeling quite grumpy. I basically had to force myself to get up and go out. But a few minutes in, I could feel the sun and the light breeze on my skin and it felt great! The meadows looked so lovely and peaceful, I felt silly about ever wanting to stay at home. Oh that walk really did me a world of good.

These are just some of the pictures I snapped on my phone as I was walking around.

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Close up vol.2

bookworm_close3 bookworm_close2 bookworm_close1I’m sure you’ve noticed already, but my new favourite thing to do while out for a walk is to get really close to a subject, usually flowers in meadows, and take a picture. My camera’s macro capacity is definitely limited but sometimes among all the blurry photos there are some decent ones. So, I think I’ll continue practically laying down in muddy fields just to take a good picture.

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Oh these summer days!

bookworm_sd4 bookworm_sd2 bookworm_sd3 bookworm_sd1 bookworm_sd6 bookworm_sd5There’s nothing I love more on a summer’s day than a long walk in the countryside with The Boy. I think I’m at my happiest when I’m standing in a middle of a green field, with blue sky and white clouds above and gentle rolling hills all around me. I simply can’t tell you how much I love the big, beautiful countryside skies; these pictures really don’t do them justice.

It’s often startling to me: a day that includes mud, hay-fever, tired limbs, and stinging nettles wouldn’t be high up on my list of happy things a few years ago. And yet now, when I come home all tired and muddy after a long walk I feel rejuvenated. It’s these days that fill my heart with joy!

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The city of dreaming spires

bookworm_oxfordmapWytham Woods is more than a beautiful place to walk around, it also offers some pretty great views of Oxford. I thought it would be fun to show you this view of the city of dreaming spires and just what some of those buildings with spires on top actually are.

I always enjoy seeing the places I walk or cycle past almost daily from a different perspective. In fact, these aren’t just places I see in my everyday life, I’ve often talked about them and shared their pictures on the blog. Here are some pictures from The Codrington Library in All Souls. You can see the Radcliffe Camera, All Souls College, the Lincoln College Library, and Tom Tower silhouetted on a foggy morning here. The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is actually the church in The tree by the church post. Here‘s an early morning walk past the Lincoln College Library, St. Mary the Virgin, and the Radcliffe Camera. I shared some pictures from inside the Bodleian Library over the holidays after my mum and I took a tour. Almost all of the buildings marked in the picture above are featured in this post from a stroll in the city centre.

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