Friday, 31 August 2007
Thursday, 30 August 2007
It is a very fine Bed & Breakfast establishment. Everything was done to a very high standard and very artistic. Nothing was spared in making this a very comfortable and appealing place to stay. A nice large en-suite room with every convenience: One could have breakfast in the beautifully furnished and artistic studio. We chose the option of having it brought to our room, with no extra room service cost. Several choices of very fine hot food – all locally grown and organic and home made bread and preserves, plus freshly prepared juices and fruits and home made muesli.
We were supplied with a fan (not a usual option in our climate), umbrellas, bath robes, ear plugs, alarm clock, bottled water, clothes brush, and a library of books and D.V.D.’s., Lloyd Loom table and chairs, a nice settee and a superb modern shower room. If one wanted tea then home made cakes were supplied. In other words 5 star treatment.
The Orchard House was originally an artists house in the early part of the last century, hence the studio. The owner was an artist himself hence the artistic flavour of the place. They also had two of the most adorable pedigree cats that I have ever seen. We would not hesitate to go back.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
The first one is clever. Viewed as one sitting in an airline seat.
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Set within a garden of beautiful borders and stunning plant collections are seven glasshouses where plants from dry deserts to tropical rainforests can be seen. Alongside a 100 year old cacti and extravagant water lilies grow the plants that give us chocolate, sugar, coconuts, bananas, oranges, medicines and much more. Some of the plants even bite!
The Palm House is packed with tropical fruits and spices. The giant Victoria water lily has leaves big and strong enough to hold a baby. Hope you enjoy the photos.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
It is a holiday weekend here in England - the last Bank Holiday before Christmas. After so much constant rain for the last week and temps. in the mid-sixties, today it is warm and sunny.
That combination means the roads and tourist spots are very busy.
For me it is a time to get out into the garden. I am looking forward to eating out there today.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
The Bodleian complex houses the library and the School of Divinity. The library was built as a Divinity School in the 15th century. Prior to that the first library was housed in the room above the Old Congregation House and begun in 1320. Divinity was considered the most important science at the time. In fact nobody could have a degree in any subject without passing in Divinity.
We visited Duke Humfrey’s Library. Originally a library of manuscripts only, it had a collection of scholastic and legal texts and a remarkable presentation of the Humanism of the Italian Renaissance. It was restored and brought back to magnificence by Thomas Bodley. Many of the books in this library are chained up as they are so valuable. The library is still used by scholars today, but obviously only with a special pass. I wish I could have taken photographs as it is impossible to explain what it was like. We were not able to get near the books but just looking and sensing the atmosphere was quite something, to me anyhow.
There are 8 million books in the Bodleian Library at present, and this includes the New Bodleian Library which in comparison is a nasty modern building. The oldest manuscript kept here is dated 527 BC. The first printed book is The Life of John the Baptist printed in 1599.
Oxford University examinations first took place in this School of Divinity. It is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The ceiling contains 455 bosses in which religious symbolism appears alongside monograms and shields commemorating benefactors and other persons associated with the building.
The Tower of the Five Orders. This is an impressive tower which today holds the archives of the University. It displays the five classical orders of architecture (starting at the bottom with the most ancient): Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.
The Statue is of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Chancellor of the University and Bodleian benefactor.
Around the quadrangle the doors still have painted over them names of the schools to which they formerly led. They represent the curriculum of the early 17th century. The seven Liberal Arts.
(The Trivium: Logic, Grammar, Rhetoric; and the Quadrivium; Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry, Music), the Philosophies, and Languages. Scholars had to study and pass in all of these subjects. No wonder there were some such brilliant minds in those times.
The Proscholium entrance
The Divinity School