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Today we went to church at St Ebbe’s. It was a great service, with full-voiced singing and a good sermon. I didn’t realise, but Phillip Percival from Emu Music works at St Ebbe’s as music director, so the music was good quality, especially the song they did during communion by Stuart Townend which had glorious harmonies and was very moving. It was nice to have communion again too, haven’t done that for ages as they only seem to do it once in a while at Wild St.

Here is JD dancing on the baptismal font:
I held him for the whole service and he was so good. Jen said that apparently the English get extremely upset if a child makes even the slightest noise during the service and suggest very pointedly that you might like to take the child out. This is so different from in Sydney, where the kids pretty much just run around all the time and nobody says anything. I think a happy medium would be good! But JD was so quiet, just lay there smiling at me, drank a bottle of milk and went to sleep. I’m told he’s on his best ‘guest’ behaviour.

Jen and I liked this pic – thought it looked like he was plotting world domination:
I left the Bs after church to have a little wander around Oxford. It was a very grey day today, but nice just leisurely strolling around, looking in shops and up at all the beautiful buildings jostling for space in small laneways and long, elegant streets.

I most loved Radcliffe Square, between the University Church and the Bodleian Library. I’m especially impressed by the huge, round building that is Radcliffe Camera. It was built to house a library devoted to the sciences, and is now a reading room for the Bodleian.

The Bridge of Sighs was also cool, built to look like the bridge in Venice and linking the two halves of Hertford College over New College Lane.

I looked in a few shops, and stumbled across Neal’s Yard Remedies. I love their stuff, beautiful scents and everything in apothecary’s blue glass bottles. They also offer massages and things, so I booked myself in for one tomorrow (a birthday massage, hooray!). The girl who served me kept looking at me peculiarly, as though she couldn’t quite work out why I was in the shop. I almost wondered whether I had made some unknown faux pas, but Mark later assured me that it was just the English way. Customer service is apparently a foreign concept to most shop staff; Mark thinks it has something to do with the class system and people not wanting to appear to serve other people. Or something.

Then I went back to my room for a quick nap and ended up sleeping half the afternoon! But hey, it’s a holiday…