Some Favorite Things

I’ve only visited Oxford a few times now, but I confess to a growing fondness for this place. First is the way the sun seems to shine brighter (when it comes out from behind the clouds, which hasn’t been very often on this trip). It appears to hang differently in the sky and so the shadows are longer and the light seems brighter. The tree trunks are green, covered with what must be a thin layer of moss. (I can see how fairies and the green man could fit in nicely here.) The birds sing a different tune here, with an English accent no doubt. But last year when we were here, they had more to sing about: the sun was shining and the daffodils were up.

And who doesn’t adore the wonderful English knack with place names? One of the Merkles’ favorites is referred to on the highway as the Wallops: Upper Wallop, Lower Wallop, and Nether Wallop. Another choice one is Toot Hill Butts (right up the street from them). There’s Bicester, which is pronounced Bista. Names like that do make Moscow sound like a bit of a dud. The language really is glorious. Music to the ears. They spell jewelry funny too: jewellery. No kidding.

This place seems to me to be a bit like visiting your great-grandmother. She is familiar, but has some old-fashioned ways, some closely guarded family treasures, and many stories she keeps to herself unless you can coax them out of her. Here at Oxford you might stumble on to one of those breath-taking family treasures at any moment when you turn a corner and wander through an old gate smack into something splendid and ancient. And ancient doesn’t mean two hundred years old…..but rather six or seven hundred years old.

Drinking tea seems entirely appropriate, just like it would be if you were visiting your great-grandmother. She may not have modern appliances or up-to-date plumbing, but her china is lovely and her conversation sparkling. Each year when we return home, I determine to drink more tea, but it is never quite the same as it is here. I always prefer coffee at home.

One last thing I love about this place is this view from Bekah’s kitchen window. Isn’t this a cheery spot?


Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0

16 thoughts on “Some Favorite Things

  1. I love the comparison to great grandmother’s house! And I agree about the tea. There is nothing like a cup of Earl Grey with a slice of lemon in a real English garden. I fell in love with it there. . .but it never did taste the same again!
    I will have to give it another go, if I ever get back ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I am so jealous, she has DAWN! All the way over in England.
    Just here is Canada, I have to really shop and hunt to find Dawn.
    I have stopped and studied that sink photo twice now.

  3. That is a lovely kitchen window and a lovely view.

    And my great-grandmothers were all long gone by the time I was born, bur I don’t suppose any of them ever had any sort of indoor plumbing. The last one died in 1953, and I know there was still an outhouse at her former home when I was growing up in the ’70s. When I think about how normal that seemed, I’m grateful. One can’t become too over-fastidious when one has been used to using such rustic facilities. Of course when I think on a cold winter night about the blessings of pipes and porcelain, I’m even more grateful! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. It’s a very pretty window, but I must confess my first thought was “glad I don’t have to dust that every week”!

  5. As someone who has lived in Oxford long enough to become exasperated with the lack of conveniences and modern appliances and, oh, let’s see, working infrastructure, it is lovely to be reminded that there are things about this place that make it nice to be here. I still can’t help thinking it’s nicer to visit than to live here, but one should always seize the day! Although the light is still muted, I can see some blue sky from my window this morning and will enjoy it, because I know it will be gone by lunchtime!

  6. Thanks for sharing, I’ve never yet been to England so it is fun to hear about your visit.
    Love her inspirational sink area!

  7. The colors of the tea set remind me of her Amoretti website; everything Bekah does with color really “sings”. Do you think she would share the source for the tea set? Or maybe sell them on Amoretti?

  8. Okay so tell me something about that tea set. Are those cups, well, big? For some reason I thought tea cups were smaller or is that just outside jolly old England?

  9. Okay, ladies! I will happily disclose the source for the tea set. Bekah bought it at the covered market as a gift for her cousin Brooke (who is living with them). The brand is Whittard of Chelsea (which was the name of the store as well), and given the superior powers of the internet, you may be able to find it. The cups are normal size, not dainty, but not over-sized either. The reason it is in the window is because it seems a safe place, given that five children are often busy in the kitchen in the wee hours slathering Nutella on toast.

  10. Very cheery! And a fun contrast between the beautiful English tea set and the Bath and Body Works hand soap. Best of both worlds.

  11. I love the picture! And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m still laughing about Toot Hill Butts…

  12. What is the name of the tea set pattern? I looked up the company, but could not find the same pattern. It is so unusual, it really caught my eye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *