There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Max's Morning Walk ~ April

After breakfast Max The Dog, Stuart, and I are all chomping at the bit to get out of the kitchen, leave the bacon infused air behind, and get out into the fresh morning air for a walk.  With aprons put away and guests settled in for the day, the leash comes out, the jackets are put on, and the three of us head east down Holywell Street.

We stop to say hello to our neighbours and admire the pansies they've put out, beautiful against the backdrop of their stone cottage.

Max impatiently pulls us on down the street, past No. 99, JRR Tolkien's home in the 1940's and early '50's.

At the end of Holywell Street, we turn left onto Longwall Street, toward Holywell Manor.

Longwall Street ~ The brick garage on the right is the old Morris Garage,
where the first Morris car was built; the wall to the left encloses
the grounds of Magdalen College.

We follow St. Cross Road, down past Jowett Walk, and cross the street at St. Cross Church where the wedding of Dorothy L. Sayers' character, Lord Peter Wimsey, took place.
St. Cross Church now holds
archives for Balliol College.
As we walk into Holywell Cemetery, we see someone has left a little tribute to Kenneth Grahame--Wind in the Willows carefully wrapped in plastic and left on his gravestone.

The daffodils in the cemetery have made 
way for the primroses, like a pale yellow carpet.

After Max has had his fill of snuffling and sniffling through the undergrowth, we leave the cemetery and turn right, to see if the magnolia is in bloom at Holywell Manor, just around the corner from St. Cross Church.  It is in full and glorious bloom.

A peak through the gates shows the beautiful garden.  Breathtaking.

Holywell Manor on Manor Road, has been a part of Oxford's landscape for centuries and is recorded in the Domesday Book as having, "23 men living herein, each with a garden."  At one time there's been a holy well, a mill, farmlands, and even a women's penitentiary as part of Holywell Manor.  The original manor house most likely dates back the 11th century, but the manor is definitely mentioned during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307).  The manor house as it is today dates to the 16th century and is owned and used by Balliol College as their post-graduate site, also hosting seminars and conferences throughout the year.

.....but back to our walk.....

...and once we're thoroughly intoxicated by the magnolia blooms, coupled with the blue sky, Max leads us back the way we came. Down Jowett Walk and past Harris Manchester, checking the time on their beautiful clock tower.

We also walk by No. 1 Mansfield Road, C.S. Lewis' 
humble beginnings in Oxford, where he 
lodged when he first came to Oxford.

Then it's back to Holywell Street, taking a moment to check the progress of the tulips and pansies blooming at the front of the house, before starting the rest of our day.  We're relaxed and happy to smell of magnolia rather than bacon--well at least Stuart and I are. I'm pretty sure that Max The Dog much prefers to smell of bacon.

"Beauty surrounds us, but usually we
need to be walking in a garden to know it."


  1. Absolutely enchanting! I feel like I have been on the walk with you!! And such a lovely glimpse of Oxford that I haven't seen before!! I know, of course, of all the people you mention, and so interesting to see where they once lived and now some lie at rest. Thank you so much for sharing. I know it is a bother to stop and take photos at every turn when you are out for a nurturing walk! So appreciate it!! Jane xo

    1. You're welcome and it's our pleasure. I have plenty of time to take photos normally, since Max has a lot to do on our walks--with all the traces of deer, fox, badgers, squirrels, and cats he has to monitor. :-) xxoo