Be like a train; go in the rain,

go in the sun, go in the storm,

go in the dark tunnels!

Be like a train;

concentrate on your road

and go with no hesitation!
~Mehmet Murat ildan

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

***Unfold your own myth.***

I hope you will go out and let stories,

that is life, happen to you, and that

you will work with these stories . . .

water them with your blood &

tears & your laughter till they bloom,

till you yourself burst into bloom.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Oxford Walking Tours


Stuart may start his day as an attentive host at breakfast, but by 11am he hangs up his apron and is off down the street, giving his walking tours of Oxford.  For 30 years he's been guiding tourists through the rabbit warren of streets and colleges that make up Oxford's city centre.  Stuart grew up in Oxford, his father a bursar at Linacre College, and attended Christ Church and Magdalen College Schools, so there isn't much about Oxford that Stuart doesn't know or hasn't experienced.

There are other walking tours of Oxford of course, but none come close to Stuart's tours (if I do say so myself).  There are the "Official" tours from the Information Centre (prepare to be bored to tears), and there are "Free Tours" (prepare to definitely have to pay for your tour at the end).  Because none of these other tours come close to what Stuart offers, tourists on the official and free tours leave Oxford without experiencing the very best thing the city has to offer -- which is experiencing the colleges on the inside.

Stuart prides himself on the fact that every tour of his will visit at least two to three colleges, going inside to actually experience the college and it's atmosphere.  Joining one of Stuart's tours means walking through a college dining hall, much like the one Harry Potter ate in, sitting in college chapel, or walking through one of the stunning college gardens.  Throughout the tour Stuart mixes Oxford's long history with college anecdotes, a few jokes here and there, architecture, and a Who's Who of the famous and not so famous who attended Oxford University.

Stuart's tours depart from Broad St., in front of the big, blue gates of Trinity College, and you can join his tours every day at 12, 2, and 4pm.  For groups large or small, you can also book a private tour with him. Stuart has a great love for this city, it's colleges, and it's history, and he loves nothing better than to share this with everyone who joins his tours.  If you do join his tour, tell him I sent you and have a great time seeing where Malfoy was turned into a ferret, where Morse drank when he was on the case, and the colleges of David Cameron and Boris Johnson.  Most of all enjoy all that this beautiful city and it's colleges have to offer.         
The tour begins in front of the blue gates
of Trinity College, Broad Street.
Exeter College Garden with
the Radcliffe Camera in the background.

New College gardens.

New College Lane

All Souls Quad