Paul_Liz travel blog

Oxford Castle Christmas Market

Liz & Kim Bright

Liz in her wellies

The local snowed in!

Winter wonderland

Mum & Brian's Christmas Celebration with Tina & Nikolas, Paul & Liz

Nikolas & Tina feeding swans in Windsor

Christmas celebration at Cathy & Alans with Mum & Brian

All that ‘Dreaming of a White Christmas’ has come true. The snow has been here nearly a week and shows no sign of melting. I’ve enjoyed stomping about in my wellington boots, walking were no man has walked before, leaving fresh foot prints in the snow :--)

Everything goes eerily quiet after a snow fall, the snow muffles any sound. Seen lots of dad’s taking their kids for toboggan rides.

It’s been extremely cold, our lowest temp has been -14 deg c, but we are warm in the van. One morning the water pipes in the van froze so I was melting saucepans of snow to brew a cup of tea :--)

The snow has hampered a few of our Christmas festivities as the roads were blocked with snow and abandoned cars. We’ve passed cars that have been left in snow drifts at the sides of the road and a couple nose down in the hedgerows!

We did a pub crawl one night in our wellingtons. Went to all 4 pubs that are within a 5 minute walk from the camp site. Met some interesting locals and have a couple of invites to Christmas Eve celebrations.

Tina & Nikolas arrived in London from Vienna just in the nick of time. The snow started falling an hour after they landed as they were walking around Trafalgar Square. The following day Heathrow was closed for 3 days. My sisters oldest boy, Richard, and his girlfriend were stuck at Heathrow trying to get a flight to Vietnam for their Christmas holiday. After 3 days their flight took off! Hope they have a good time after the disastrous start.

We had a trip out to Oxford as they had a German Christmas Market being held in Oxford castle. We made use of the city’s park & ride, you park your car in one of the 5 large car parks that ring the outskirts of the city and take the bus into the centre. So much easier than driving through heavy traffic and trying to find a parking spot. Also these park & rides have no time limit so no rushing back to feed the meter. The castle looked very Christmasy, lit with thousands of little white lights and all the trees lit up. The market was not as good as we hoped but we enjoyed seeing Oxford.

We’ve had a very interesting neighbour at the camp site. A woman in her early 40’s who is teaching kids in the local schools old fashioned skills like outward bound stuff, including how to climb trees and how to gauge risk. One night the three of us had a meal out at the local carvery. Lots of drinking and laughing, a fun night.

We now have a couple from Brisbane next to use. They are here over Christmas so we will invite them in for a glass or two to celebrate.

It was lovely to meet up with Cathy & Alan along with Mum and Brian for a Christmas lunch. Fantastic dessert :--)

After spending a couple of days sightseeing snowy London Tina & Nikolas arrived at Mum & Brian’s in Reading. We drove over the following day for an early Christmas dinner with the family as Paul’s Mum etc are away over Christmas. It was great to see Tina & Nikolas and hear of their wonderfully snowy trip through Europe. They have had snow at every stop!! Paul’s brother wasn’t able to join us for dinner as he was dealing with burst pipes. One of the many downsides to this very cold weather, frozen pipes. We had a lovely meal at a local restaurant thanks to Mum.

We squashed Tina & Nikolas in the back our of car along with all their luggage (they had suitcases on their laps along with another one sharing the back seat with them as they had already filled the boot!) and brought them over to Windsor to show them our new home. After a quick tour of the van it was off to see the sights of Windsor and to feed some very hungry swans.

The kids have now taken our car to go travelling over the south of the country, weather permitting, for the next 2 weeks. They will pick us up on Christmas morning and take us to Mum & Dad’s for a Christmas dinner of goose stuffed with a duck that in turn is stuffed with a pheasant, yum!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. Eat too much and drink too much and enjoy yourselves.

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