Formosan Tea Bar: a piece of Southeast Asia in the heart of Oxford.

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I’ve wanted to write about this place for a while. For me it’s quite a recent discovery as I only found it in January this year. It just goes to show you that can have lived in a place for a while and still keep finding something new. Tucked down an alley just off Oxford’s High Street (follow the signs for The Wheatsheaf pub and the tea bar is right at the end of that alley), I believe Formosan Tea Bar is still one of Oxford’s best kept secrets.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways.

Ack – I’m late with this week’s photo challenge post but I went into town specifically last weekend to take these pictures so they are being submitted dammit! šŸ˜€

These are photos of The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford, which links the two parts of Hertford College together. It is popularly believed that The Bridge of Sighs is modelled on the Venetian bridge, but it was never intended to be a replica.Ā  In fact, it bears a closer resemblance to Venice’s Rialto Bridge. I’ve included some pictures for a comparison. šŸ™‚ I found this challenge a bit more difficult this week, though it did help me with perspective I suppose. My landscape and portrait photos of the bridge looked rather too similar, so I decided to zoom in on the bridge’s central carvings instead for the landscape picture. There really are some beautiful buildings in Oxford, taking the time to try and photograph them well is helping me to appreciate them more.

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.
(Photo credit: Flickr user ptpgrad.)

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy. (Photo credit: Flickr user it_outsider.)

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy.
(Photo credit: Flickr user it_outsider.)

A night in the cells…2nd anniversary at Malmaison Oxford

Now, I will have lived in Oxford six years this September and one of the things I have wanted to do since moving here is stay at Malmaison Oxford. For those that may be unfamiliar with Malmaison, it’s a chain of unique UK-based city centre boutique hotels. There’s 12 different locations and as Mal’s website likes to quote, they each dare to be different. Different is definitely how I would describe them – you can stay in a converted railway station in Reading, a nurses’ home in London , a Church in Glasgow or…a Royal Mail Sorting Office in Birmingham. Whatever floats you boat I suppose! At Oxford’s hotel you can stay in a prison.Ā  Next door to a castle.Ā  šŸ™‚ Continue reading

May Day madness: Celebrating May Day in Oxford

As today is the 1st May, I thought I’d write my first “Oxford Living” post. To be honest, before I moved to Oxford I just viewed the 1st of May as a normal day, nothing special. I’d never lived anywhere where anything different happened, and in most places in the UK, nothing does. Yet this isn’t the case in Oxford, and the traditional May Day celebrations remain one my favourite city quirks.

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So….why did I decide to emigrate to Australia?

So my first post! I have to admit I’ve never been much of a diary writer, though I’ve tried to be numerous times! Let’s hope I’m a better blogger, though judging by the gap between creating my “about” page and writing this first post I’m not that hopeful!!

If you’ve read my ‘about’ page you’ll already know that I met my partner of over two years in a Japanese evening class in October 2010 held here in Oxford where we’re currently living. We had known each other for about a month as friends before we started dating. Originally, the plan was to meet up and practice our Japanese together as his was (and probably still is) more advanced than mine. However the Japanese lessons were kind of abandoned early on as things took a different path šŸ™‚ From the moment we got together, P was pretty adamant that he aimed to travel back to Australia in November 2011, in time to celebrate his younger sister’s 18th birthday that December. As sad as it was to be beginning a relationship that apparently already had an “expiration date” we continued regardless. We had a lot in common, similar interests and tastes in a lot of things and I was determined to make the most of what time we had, whatever happened at the end of that next year.

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