November 1 – Trip to Oxford for the U3A talk.

A tree climb on our way home

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We set off early and drove up to Oxford to arrive around midday at the Oxfordshire County Hall. We had a U3A group coming to visit us from Marlow at 2 pm. As we got there early we were able to walk around the newly renovated Westfield shopping centre right across the road from County Hall. Two stories are shops and the top floor is all restaurants and cafes. The shops are quite posh but it a lovely place and the views from the top is spectacular. There was a tent on the top level where people at five different stalls we talking about how our senses interpret food by sight, sound, smell, colour, name etc. Really very interesting and I heard one lady come away exclaiming ‘I have just tried locusts!’ The mall had only been open a week and there is a big new Sainsbury’s there as well as a big underground car park. It will be a real boost for the area and it is nice to see this project completely finished.

At 2 I went outside to greet Sue Mayne & 34 members of Marlow U3A. We had previously met Sue and her sister at our exhibition in Burford and we were very happy to do a special talk for them. Michael talked to them about the making of the mosaic followed by a walk around the mosaic (three times, as there are three panels on each stand) detailing the story. The group who were mostly ladies were quite fascinated and asked lots of questions. They also found Mike’s talk very entertaining. They went away exclaiming how much they had learnt. Sue and her sister had also learned more from this form of presentation than by just reading the captions for themselves. They were very glad to have made the effort to come to see the Medieval Mosaic. Unfortunately, we forgot to take any photographs of them.

There is a multi geocache which starts from the street sign outside the County Hall but the final is over a km away so as we have time today we worked out the coordinates again and headed to North Hinksey which is on our way home anyway. When we arrived near the coordinates we were beside a hotel and walked through the grounds to the river. We looked in the obvious places and used the hint but the coordinates were not very accurate. I decided it had to be in a particular tree but there was also a bridge to look under. We actually got close to giving up but I really wanted to do this cache as a memory of our exhibition. Then I noticed the attributes indicated that the cache was possibly up the tree as it was a Terrain 3. I convinced Mike to climb the tree even though he was wearing his best trousers and he soon found the cache. I got some good photos of him.

On our way to Oxford in the morning, we drove past Stonehenge but it was so misty that you could not see it at all. We saw it again on the way home with the sun setting behind it. A great place with so many moods.