It’s a weird feeling, being sad to leave one place but excited to visit another.
This was exactly my thought as we said goodbye to Delfina and made our way to Victoria. We were travelling to Oxford, by the Oxford Tube which I highly recommend if you ever visit London. Oxford is just an hour and a half away on this bus and it’s really comfortable and regular.
~ Sneaky tip – Book your tickets from Victoria via Megabus and you’ll get a seat on the Oxford Tube for a third of the price ~
We grabbed some chocolate-covered brazil nuts from M&S and made our way to the bus. The only thing with booking by Megabus is you book a seat on a specific bus, so you have to wait for that particular one. So I had some time to order some flowers to be delivered to Delfina as a thank you from Interflora before setting off.
It struck me how similar everything was, even though I hadn’t been home for about 8 months. We spent some time chatting to a German guy behind us, who was very eager to know what was going on as soon as he learnt that I’m local to Oxford.
He was from Munich, killing time and money by touring the UK for summer. He was especially excited for Stonehenge and had an impressive schedule lined-up for the following month. I’m sure he’s now seen more of the UK than I have!
My dad picked us up from the bus station. He’d been waiting 40 minutes as he’s always always early, and was also a little bit emotional (he cries easily, especially when dogs die on Coronation Street).
We Skype often, so there wasn’t much to catch up on. Dad gave us a very detailed story about his van at work and a very detailed description of the steak & ale pie we were having for dinner.
Let me take a moment to share something I read on Wikipedia just yesterday:
In areas where “tea” refers to the main evening meal, the meal eaten in the early afternoon is called “dinner” generally replaces “lunch” as the term used to refer to a midday meal. Thus school lunches are often referred to as school dinners and the time at which the evening meal is eaten is called “tea time”. Even more confusingly for foreigners, working-class and middle-class children and some adults in the South of England refer to the meal eaten at tea time as “dinner” and yet refer to lunch time as “dinner time”.
I’m a working-class girl who grew up in the ‘ghetto’ of a middle-class town, so you can understand my confusion growing up. Dinner in our household is always warm, and always around 3pm. Then ‘tea’ is a sandwich or cake or something later on in the evening. Basically, dinner was waiting for us when we got home.
Steak & Guinness pie with new potatoes and some kind of broccoli. It was amazing. As usual. I gave Shota my meat and abandoned myself to the gravy-soaked pastry. I like sloppy food, okay? I know British food has a reputation for being a bit… Wet, but leave it be.
Recovering from my meal was the perfect time to reunite with my pets. Lucy, our 16ish year old cat:
We took him for a walk, enjoyed the cool air and held hands in the fields.
I’m spoilt to have been surrounded by such scenery growing up!
We did actually have some tea and biscuits when we got back, and spent most of the evening chatting to my dad and step-mum. Then I had the most incredible bath (accompanied by Christopher Isherwood) which I’d been yearning for for months! I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 10, what a hard life.