And so the finals begin [insert sad sigh here]. Our final Sunday. To mark the occasion, we might as well resurrect that grand tradition that we enjoyed so much…Go Slow Sunday. It so happened it was a good day for it, being another one of heavy rain and temperatures well towards the bottom of the thermometer, so we began with a gentle cruise around Oxford again.
The original Go Slow Sunday, a tradition we began on the bikes, involved a day of not going very far, preferably including a stop at a tea room and finally a pub lunch. We couldn’t come up with a tea room today, but we did find a nice organic bakery cafe to seek some warmth and shelter, so that was good enough for us. Steve discovered their “Healthy Hot Chocolate” made with raw cacao and almond milk and soon took a liking to that. I was happy with my cup of Earl Grey and of course, what has become my near favourite food on this trip, simply because it’s been so hard to make myself…toast! It was very nice grainy sourdough too. So despite the weather, Go Slow Sunday began rather pleasantly.
I began reflecting on our time in England and particularly this recent festive season. I will leave with many enduring memories, but one that I will take with me, from this festive season, is the abundance of Christmas jumpers! For the time we’ve been here, leading up to Christmas, every second person was wearing a knitted Christmas jumper. There was a one day, “Wear Your Christmas Jumper” national charity fundraiser, but that aside, for weeks and weeks, every town, city and village seemed to be full of people in their festive knits. What struck me the most was, the people wearing them were the people I’d probably least expect to be wearing a jumper like that. I think my favourite was a fella who looked like he should be riding a Harley Davidson. He was big, with a shaved head, long beard and lots of piercings, but that didn’t stop him wearing his knitted Santa and Rudolph jumper! The other unlikely wearers were the teens. Teenage boys, who one would think might be a bit choosy about their appearance and needing to wear skinny jeans to match the effect they were after with the accompanying hair product; even those fellas were in their green and red knitted Christmas trees and reindeer! It made me smile every day! I so wanted to take photos. I said to Steve, I wanted to have a collection of them, just as I stop and take photos of pub signs all the time, I wanted to take photos of all the different Christmas jumpers people were wearing. A tad intrusive though I felt, so instead, the images will remain in my head, as another terrific memory of our time here.
Time to find a pub for our [sad sigh] final Sunday pub lunch. It just so happened that Oxford had one single vegetarian pub, in Jericho, so we headed there. It was a terrific little pub, with low ceilings, dark wood beams and even shelves of books. Just right!
The menu was all vegetarian and vegan, so we had heaps of choice, which is always great and still a bit of a novelty. We ordered drinks. “To the bikes!” I toasted, lifting my glass. We drank a toast to our faithful two-wheeled companions who had carried us so well on this grand adventure and began comparing notes again about the highlights and surprises we had noted from our travels.
The food arrived and it was sensational. We both opted for the mushroom pie and veg and it was deeeeelicious. Fine and fitting fare for our final Sunday tradition.
Well, being Go Slow Sunday, we’d better stay true to the tradition, which meant not doing much at all after lunch. So we didn’t. Back out in the rain, back to the hotel, a second run for the day in the gym and that was about it. I hope we keep some traditions alive back home. Sundays have been fun and the treat for the week. It’s a bit sad that the “Finals” have begun, but hopefully we can pay homage to some travelling traditions, even when we’re back on home turf. I reckon a bike ride to a tea room (they’re a bit hard to come by at home so I might have to settle for a cafe), followed by a ride to a pub for lunch, followed by a leisurely afternoon pedal home, sounds like a ripper tradition to Tasmanian-ise! We shall make it so! Or maybe, a whole new tradition…an easy pedal down to our village, followed by a DIY lunch on the beach, a gentle pedal along the foreshore and then a cruise home for a barbecue (summer Sunday tradition) or home cooked roast (winter Sunday tradition). It shall be done!
I don’t know if these will be part of the “Finals” or not, but here are the last, to date, pub signs from our collection.