Monday, 23 July 2012

Family Fun

Worcester College Lake
As well as attempting to house-hunt 60 miles away, we had my parents and aunt visiting, and then Mike's grandma's 80th to go to on Saturday. Aunty Judith had only been to Oxford for our wedding so I took her on a tour of Magdelen College (she liked the deer), the Radcliffe-Camera (we didn't climb st Mary's tower though due to height fear), Worcester College (my old college - the best one) and then to the ashmolean to look at the pre-raphaelite collection. I hadn't been to the Ashmolean since it was re-done, it's SO much better now. 

On Wednesday, Mike and I saw an amazing cottage in napton-upon-hill that I would happily have lived in forever (it had two staircases, fireplaces, and random hallways that turned into rooms). Unfortunately, it was just a bit too expensive and as we ummed and ahhd somebody else took it. They were late to the viewing so we had to race back to Oxford in time for dinner with my parents and aunt at Mamma Mia's. We really like it here: very informal, quick service and yummy huge pizzas. We were buying dinner for the parents for their birthdays but they didn't spend very much (we all shared puddings and no-one was drinking). 
Work Dresses- these are actually the same dress

On Thursday, Mum, Dad and Aunty J took me shopping to Bicester Village for clothes to wear to work next year. I bought two dresses in Jaeger but Mike doesn't like them very much, so I'm taking one back. I think it's hard for me to think about wearing a suit every day, so jersey dresses are a good transition from just wearing jeans to work. Dad did VERY well considering we were there for 5 hours - he was very sweet and full of comments about the dresses. We did the standard 'wow everything here is so expensive' when Aunty J picked up a £6000 handbag, but due to having bad eyes her and dad thought it said £600 (which is still too expensive). I didn't manage to find any shoes or a bag though, so onwards goes the search. 
birthday presents - same colour!

Mike and I had bought beef from the village farm for dinner, it went down very well and was followed by a Nigella Chocolate Guinness cake - my favourite chocolate cake recipe. I also got to open two of my birthday presents, aunty judith and mum hadn't consulted on colour but managed to get the same turqouise. I love the pot so so so so much. It will go with the cream cast iron casserole we have.

Blenheim Palace

Friday was left to go to Blenheim Palace with just the parents since Aunty J was going home (but she actually returned to Bicester Village for more shopping). Mum and Dad and I had a great morning walking the grounds. As ever, the tour of the palace itself is very disappointing (well, the untold story part of it) but the grounds, and the rose garden especially, were impressive. Mike met us in the afternoon for scones and pizza in the caravan before we said goodbye. He also managed to beat mum and I at scrabble - which is frankly ridiculous because I normally get double his score at least and mum is a scrabble ninja (grumble).
trying to get balloons into the carboot

Then on Saturday, we visited a few houses in Leamington Spa before heading off to Bourton-on-the-Water for Mike's grandma's 80th. I didn't enjoy the lunch very much but, most importantly, she did! She even went on the trampoline. I don't see Mike's extended family at all really (I'd only met the aunt and cousins once before, at our wedding) but it was nice to see his grandma so happy that everyone was together.

And that was a busy week, not much work achieved so I have to try hard this week to catch up. We've applied for a house so if that goes through then we don't have to keep driving around Warwickshire for viewings and I can get more done.


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