I'm Back in the US :)

meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevationAugust 16, 2007

What can I say?! I had the most fabulous time (maybe I can now officially say 'fab' as Britains really do!)!!!!

There are too many good times to note. I have to go back in December to makeup a project I missed due to my back - pity ;) Terrifying at the time, of course, but read on.

I was mercilessly distracted by a Northern[ish] Irish programmer... oy. The Oxford Dating Service, don'tcha know? He's always been amusing, helpful and smart on the forums but somehow you picture an older man with 8 kids. Um, no :)

I'm to have him show me around Ireland, he says. Unsurprisingly, I am currently trying to tack on an Irish trip to the Oxford one in December :) :) :) I could go on and on about that, and I am not amused. [OK, truth is I'm exceptionally amused and planning to write a romance novel now based in Ireland, I think a new career with a great deal of research [rimshot here]]

Back to why I went! Here are some pics just from the cameraphone. Dad has the real pics in his laptop going to Cally about now.

There are some fascinating, hilarious [and brilliant] people in this world and I think I met a great big handful of them! More later, if you like... I'll try to think of clever ways to keep it at least mostly anonymous, particularly about the lecturers, etc at the University...

You probably can't read the captions... no biggie, really except don't forget to guess who My Favorite Irishman is ;)

[PS  Me, My Favorite Irishman and my father at the pub where he stayed, all of us leaving Oxford city donÂt forget the accents:

Me: Everyone tells me that Oxford is much nicer than London. Do you think so?

MFI: IÂve never been!

Dad: I havenÂt either!

MFI: IÂm a bit closerÂ

Just wrap me up and ship me to Ireland and letÂs be done with it ;) :)]

Oh yeah, school was great too ;)

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labrea_gw

Welcome back... Ireland in December only a little more chilly than it is in June lol!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:55PM
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pagan(8b)

DETAILS!! More pix too! Let me live vicariously through your travels!! Glad you enjoyed yourself - the neckbrace is a nice touch of international fashion!

XOXOOOXO

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 7:44AM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

What a wonderful experience !---I visted Oxford way back in the 70's------

I would love to go back.

Florence

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 1:04PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Like Pagan says, Mer - More Pix! More details!
So glad to have you back; sounds like you indeed had a "fabulous" time - and a chance to go back as well...lucky you! Your mention of your "MFI" reminds me of my youngest niece who went off for a semester of college in England and met a young lad from Norway also going to classes there. Anyway, a wedding on either side of the Atlantic and two lovely little blond daughters later...we're always teasing Sylvia about how far she traveled to stumble on her perfect man. Well, who ever knows, eh? ;-)

Anne

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 10:56PM
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moodyblue(8)

Hi Meredith, You can say FAB or BRILL, teehee! Welcome back from Jolly Ole. Looking forward to more pics. Those ones are great - hard to believe they are from a camera phone, Wow!.........and did I say that I am really proud and blown away that you get to do some of your studying at Oxford! Congratulations, girl - a great achievement.

Now, what about this Irish friend of yours, hmmmm! It sounds like you had an amazing time and still have a lot to look forward to. You go girl!! Welcome home.
Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 11:45PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Thank you so much, Pauline :) I'm really glad I decided to give it a try!

I wonder if it snows in the north of Ireland, Joe? Judging on their hardiness zone, we get colder here [?] I bet the sea is gorgeous in winter! BTW, I can't figure out how you speak of the north of that country without sounding like it's Ulster. Definitely not Northern Ireland. On the border [you know I always find the complicated!]

I swear I didn't know he was the guy from Ireland for days! He could've been from sleepy Moreton-in-Marsh for all I knew.

AnneCec, don't terrify me! OK, do it some more ;>

Hey, Pagan, one of the Lecturers kept calling my neck brace 'sexy' in a thick Polish accent, LOL [a female lecturer]. It was the only way to make it through the hours/positions demanded, ya know [and I know ya know]. Worse, I had electrodes on my neck and wires coming out of my shirts... fortunately in a computer science group, there is a fascination with robotics so I was alright!

The pictures are still with Dad, unfortunately.

Details? Most of the trip was spent in class, of course. Those folks are hilarious! I was fascinated by the different cultures... at one table for dinner all the folks in front of me were from South Africa. They say hippo is tasty, lol.

My two best pals there are from England, still 'fighting' the War of the Roses due to their home counties, lol.

The lecturers were incredibly friendly and down-to-earth. One is an esteemed physicist, and positively hilarious.

The town is wonderful! It felt quaint, which I didn't expect. There were many grand buildings but the feeling is so cozy in person, with the surroundings. The Ashmolean museum was very hot and being renovated, but I still got to visit the Impressionist and Renaissance rooms [my favorites] and the Treasure Room with incredible artifacts from so long ago. I'd never seen a Van Gogh in person! I bent all sorts of ways to see the different strokes catch the light and it occurred to me that people don't do that, apparently. I did and I will again :)

We found a wonderful French restaurant just behind the school that we frequented. I did try Black Pudding on one occassion on the trip, and the obligatory Fish and Chips. I was going to try Pims [the national drink, apparently!] one night but a great Rhone red was on the menu that I couldn't resist instead.

I only did early-hours of the "pub-crawls" for many reasons, but the majority of the students avoided the late-night pub scene. The ones who didn't were great fun, I have to say :)

I can't really share the talks about culture and politics here, but we discussed those things at length. Some of the Continental folks couldn't get over the Arnold Scharzenegger as governor thing, lol.

I'll make sure to post again with pictures! The weather was so great it didn't rain once, lol. The flooding was a non-issue by the time we arrived, BTW.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 10:34AM
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