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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


We checked out of the hotel after a delicious breakfast and walked into Oxford for a final look around.
This was the pub where we had eaten the night before.

Most students ride bikes around Oxford so you see them parked everywhere.

We decided to go up St Mary the Virgin Tower as that gives a good view of the dreaming spires of Oxford.
 Walking up to the top of the tower you have some great views of the gargoyles and other sculptures.

Once you climb the narrow, spiral staircase you arrive at this small balcony which doesn't go the whole way round the tower nor are there any passing places so it's good to get there early before the crowds.

It does give you some spectacular views over the colleges though.
This is the Radcliffe Camera built to house the Radcliffe Science Library.

When we came down from the tower, we had a brief look at the Bodleian library where a copy of every book registered in the UK is kept. Altogether there are over 9 million items on 176 kms of shelving.  In 2004 the Bodleian made an agreement with Google to digitalize 1 million books. It then began to rain again quite heavily and we went to the covered market to take shelter and decide what to do next. We decided that no one would want to go out on a punt on a Monday morning in the rain so a good time to have a go. Neither of us had ever been in a punt before.

A punt is a flat bottomed boat and you use a pole to move it through the water. As we thought there was no-one else on the river punting so knowing we wouldn't hit anyone else we decided to go for it. We were given a very brief lesson on how to use the pole

Then we were off.

Looks easy.

All was going so well until we went the wrong way, had to turn around and got tangled in the trees. Time to change over.

We needed to go under the bridge behind us. You would think that would be easy but no, we kept getting stuck as we tried to turn it around. What these photos don't show is the other end of the punt where I am sitting trying to help by using the paddle which just seemed to make matters worse.

Oh no here come the trees again.

Have you noticed that we are moving further away from that bridge!

The final insult was being pecked by a cygnet who would not leave us alone.

We decided to swap back as M was much better with the paddle than I was and  remarkably we managed to get the punt back to the boatyard on time. The fact that we travelled less than 200m didn't matter to us as we had the best laugh ever.


  1. Oh that boat looks like fun! Wonderful views from on high and I loved the gargoyles.

  2. I know exactly what would have happened if I was standing on that boat. Well done that you kept your balance :).

  3. absolutely, the laugh is the important thing. Life is too short.

  4. That's so funny, but it reminds me of my attempts at solo kayaking. I kept going in circles and getting stuck. At least you didn't have alligators nipping at you, which could have happened to me in Florida.

  5. It looks like great fun. The cygnet is very funny. We hired a row boat once and ended up tangled in an overhanging willow tree.

    When I read you headline, I guessed there would be water involved and not gambling.

  6. OMG, I can imagine the fun you must have had, glad you made it without falling into the water...

  7. Well it's obviously harder than they make it look! Glad you didn't fall in.

  8. Great view of the city and I love those gargoyles on the way up.
    200 meters! I'm laughed but I shouldn't be because I've never tried it either!

  9. It's a wonder you didn't land in the water what with switching back and forth. Looks like a fun day and good trip.

  10. Nice overviews you got from the top. Great adventures while punting too! I also tried it once and drove 10 people against a wall. I found it quite difficult!


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