Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Canadian Care Package, and Walking

This week, a long-awaited box arrived at our flat.  My parents had promised Tim and I a dual birthday box, as our birthdays fall less than a month apart.  It was shipped by ground mail, so it took about a month to arrive.

What we found when we opened the box basically amounted to a Canadian care package.  My parents had sent us two big cannisters of Tim Hortons coffee, for one thing.  In Canada, Tim Hortons is sort of the national coffee and doughnut shop.  On my last university campus, there were an equal number of "Tims" and Starbucks.  This is the coffee Tim and I had been happily brewing every morning for the two years before we moved to the UK.  We also knew it was tastier and stronger than the coffee we had been drinking since we got here.

The first cup, and all the cups that have follow so far, have been glorious.  Funny, how a cup of coffee can remind one so much of home.

We also received University of Saskatchewan socks (our alma mater) and two bags of Hershey's Kisses, which is I believe an American product, but they certainly don't have them over here.  There's also a small bag I have to wait for my birthday to open.  But for now, I will continue to rapturously drink Tim's.

In other news, yesterday was a fine, sunny day, so we decided to make use of our public rights of way and go trekking out into the countryside.  This was extraordinarily easy to manage, as a public footpath begins just down a nearby street.

This also marked our first, and certainly not last, use of an Ordnance Survey Map.  We had to play a bit of the "Is this the path?  Is this the turn-off?" game, but we eventually found our way to the public bridleway we had been heading for.  Our walk among farmer's fields (odd that - not something strangers do at home) was curiously a very English experience, while also reminding me of my many visits to my grandparents' farm, with fields stretching away in every direction and few signs of "civilization."

It must be spring here - look at all the snowdrops!
I've now discovered that the Oxfordshire country website has maps and directions for a great many interesting-looking walks around Oxford, so I suspect we will be doing a fair bit of exploring this spring and summer.


  1. ordnance survey maps are something of a national treasure in this country!

    have you been down to the whytam woods or up boar's hill yet? some beautiful springtime views!

  2. I have not been either of those places, so thanks for the tip!

  3. Oh, yes, Hershey Kisses are an American thing. My mother loves, loves, loves them. She can tell, just by looking at the "sharpness" of the edges of the base, if they are stale. This is some magical skill which no one else understands and only she appears to possess.

    1. Wow, now that is quite something. I like them because they are one of the few chocolates that doesn't carry a "May contain nuts" warning - I'm deathly allergic. For that same reason, I'm also a fan of the Aero bar. I'm also still rather traumatized that Werther's Original changed up their production about ten years ago so that I could no longer have their product.

  4. Well, let me know if you want me to bring a few bags of Hershey's when I come over in 2 weeks! I can promise you they won't be stale.