Dreaming spires

Before the snowpocalypse, Mum and I made plans to have our traditional Christmas shopping trip to Oxford. We booked tickets on the National Express coach and thought happily of dreaming spires, Blackwells and pretty streets where we could finish off the odds and ends of our shopping.

Then the snow hit and we started to feel a tad concerned.

This morning we got up bright and early so that we could get a bus that would get us to town insanely early for our coach to Oxford. We bundled up (thank goodness I brought my snow boots), grabbed the walking poles and tramped down to the bus stop to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Forty minutes later, a bus finally arrived. We were just a bit cold.

The bus took another half hour to get to town and we were feeling concerned that our coach would have already gone. No fear! The guy trying to repair the NE coach going in the other direction (to Standstead) assured us that the Oxford bus hadn’t arrive yet and he’d been there since 8am with a frozen bus. Er, not that reassuring really.

The doors for the bus station had frozen open and it actually managed to be colder there than up in the village. Thankfully our coach arrive half an hour later, just as we were debating how long it was practical to wait bearing in mind that our coach home would be leaving at 2.15pm. It took the entire trip before we regained feeling in our toes.

The contrast between home and Oxford was amazing. No snow! Warmer! My big job was finding a present for my father. Someone at his work had gone onto his Amazon wishlist, seen what he wanted and then bought the presents elsewhere. Note to people: never do this. Seriously. They bought the only two things on his wishlist and I now have to send my original presents back because they’re duplicates.

Thus I needed to find something. Anything. Something that he might like. He had no ideas. HMV in Oxford has a very good DVD section, though, and I’ve picked up two things that I’m 99% certain he’ll love. Phew!

People, be very good about how you use peoples’ wishlists. Buying elsewhere really screws things up for other purchasers.

Anyway, Mum and I did a few other bits and bobs and had some lunch. I took some pictures, spent a few minutes in Blackwells (not long enough, but several days wouldn’t be long enough) and generally soaked up the Oxford-ish atmosphere before we headed off to find our coach home. It was only a couple of minutes late so we were quite pleased.

I dozed off for a few minutes on the coach. When I went to sleep, we were driving through rolling green countryside. When I woke up, we were back in a winter wonderland and it was foggy. Then the snow started as we drove through one of the outlying villages. As we approached the bus station, the driver got a call on his speaker phone advising him to change his route because the next town was completely snowed in.

Er. Yeah.

England in the snow isn’t the easiest place to get around. It was hard enough finding a bus this morning, we were a little concerned this evening. Several buses came down to town going in the wrong direction. Buses going to our village proved to be thin on the ground. Eventually one appeared and we joined the masses trying to get onto it. Thankfully everyone squashed on – someone told us that three previous buses simply never appeared and that was why this one was so packed. Between all the people and all their shopping, it was tight but we did it. And at least it was warm.

The snow got worse as we went. Mum and I were both really pleased when the bus finally got to the top of the big, steep hill outside town: if it broke down, at least it would only be two miles of relative flat to walk home! Not that we wanted to walk home through the snow that was now coming down pretty thick, but we wanted to walk up that hill in it even less!

Thankfully the bus made it to the village and we wished everyone a happy Christmas (and good luck!) as we got out. Our walking poles were very much needed because a couple of inches had already settled on top of the old snow. It was so nice to get home. Dad had been calling our mobiles because he was worried and he kindly made us cups of tea…while we put the paper stuff out for the recycling collection tomorrow. We’re both a little unsure of whether they’ll find it under the snow…

Theoretically I’m going up to Manchester tomorrow. I’ll have to call the inquiries line tomorrow morning to find out whether the train is running and see what lines are open between here and London. This travelling concept is proving interesting.

I think that I’ll spend the evening working on a cowl and watching TV in my nice warm house.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. achelois
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 20:52:28

    Wow, I just really enjoyed reading that post. You conveyed your adventures so well for a moment I was lost in your world. Ready by the end to say a cheery Happy Christmas to one and all! Thank you. Ummm, I stayed in by the fire by the way. Looking forward to seeing some photo’s.

    To the wish list nicker – bah humbug.

    Hoping your adventures haven’t tired you too much.

    Kindest regards.


    • archerygirl
      Dec 22, 2009 @ 03:49:53

      Thank you!

      I was thinking that I wouldn’t have time to put up the photos until tomorrow. Er, I’m snowed in. My trip to Manchester is a bust 😦 So photos will be forthcoming and I’m spending today by my warm radiator.

      I really wish that I had a nice fire 🙂


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