We opened September with a trip to Oxford. Highest on the priority list for our bookworms was a tour of C. S. Lewis’ house, The Kilns. We were so, so pleased when they were able to accomodate our last minute-ish request. The tour was long but super interesting, and it was so fun to see the home of a family favorite. We also visited the Bodleian Library, part of the University of Oxford. Oh, how it makes me wish to go back in time and study at Oxford (I considered it for a while), just for the opportunity to study in such a beautiful place! The Divinity School is pictured below; Harry Potter fans may recognize this place, as it was featured several times in the movies. Such a remarkable building and surrounded by other amazing buildings as well. Oxford did not disappoint!
Above: another Oxford stop, the Eagle and Child, which Tolkien & Lewis fans will recognize as the home of the Rabbit Room.
Below: The final stop on our Oxford tour, Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill . . . and most importantly to some of our children, home of one of the world’s largest hedge mazes.
Busters’s birthday wish was to hang out in the trees of Thetford Forest, and so we did. And we all survived! A couple weekends later found us in London to see Buckingham Palace which is only open to the public in the summer, when the Queen is in Scotland. We toured the Mews where they keep the horses and carriages, some of which are really over the top; as in, yes, that is real gold all over that carriage in the picture below! We also toured the Palace which was amazing, though I think my favorite part may have been the beautiful garden – right there in the middle of London!
Our littlest started nursery this year at one of the local schools. Children start nursery at age three here; most kids attend for three hours a day, some only a few days a week. The next year, students go all day at age four. I won’t go into my whole educational philosophy, but I don’t fully appreciate the idea of sending three year olds to school and starting all day school at age four. BUT early childhood education here is really fun – think mud puddles and gardening and playing outdoors – even in the rain, lots of books, and friends. Also, this homeschooling mama was tired! So we decided to enjoy the free nursery year; he goes a couple mornings a week. We love, love, love his teacher and his school! It has been such a good experience! Oh, and the uniforms – so. darn. cute.