Shopping visitors

The week after we were in York, we had visit from my aunt and uncle from Oslo, and my cousin Tonje. Tonje is currently working as a volunteer in Stuttgart in Germany, you can read her blog here. They all arrived and spent a day in London on Wednesday, before coming to Oxford for an evening meal with sausage rolls and winter pimm's.

On Thursday, we headed off for the compulsory shopping on Tesco. We got all the food we needed there, but the real shopping didn't start until we went over to NEXT and across the car park. Tonje got a pair of shoes and Marita a sweather on NEXT, before we all went crazy in the sports store. I think we spent over an hour there, buying sports clothing, jackets, cycling wear and I don't know what else. Compared to Norwegian standards sport equipment is very cheap in England, so the general consept is that we saved a lot of money. In the afternoon, we all went to my workplace, and our guests had a tour around the garden and the house, and had afternoon tea.

Friday was planned to be the Oxford-day. We visited the covered market, and had milkshake on Shakeaway. Marita bought a phone, after ensuring several times that it was unlocked, could be used in Norway, and had Norwegian language. After turning the phone on to start using it, we very quickly discovered it did not have Norwegian as a language option, and returned to the store. They asked us to come back a couple of hours later, as the guy that could fix it was back then. So we went shopping for a while, nearly hoarding clothes in the larger clothes chain stores. After a while I was quite tired, not being used to so much shopping in one day, so I went back to the phone store together with Ove. There, the guys talked a bit among themselves and made a call, before the seller took us outside and said we had to go somewhere else. Then he walked us to this very shady kind of Pakistani store with money exchange and mobile unlocking services. They would install new software for £10, the seller told us. Of course we denied to pay that, since we actually bought a phone we thought had Norwegian from the start. It would also take an hour, and we didn't want to wait that long. The seller denied to take the phone back, as "they had no return policy on handsets". I suppose he thought we all were tourists and would be gone the next day. I would have pursued it if the matter had gone further, but in the end, the Pakistani guy (in whose store all this discussion took place) offered to buy the phone, and gave us the money we'd paid for it. A bit annoyed for the waste of time, but happy enough, we left to have dinner. We'll not be returning to Phones 4U in some time... Tollef hooked up with us, and we had a nice dinner in Eagle and Child, the regular pub of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Tonje was quite popular with the bartenders as well.

On Saturday, Marita, Tonje, Ove and I took off to see Stonehenge, and visit Arnstein in Bath. Stonehenge was quite windy, so I stayed in the car, since I'd been there before. In Bath, we picked up Arnstein at his place, and went to the city center. After having brunch at SubWay, the boys went off for sightseeing and beer, and I took Marita and Tonje to the Jane Austen centre. After leaving them there, I walked further on to the Assembly rooms, that Jane Austen mentions in at least one of her novels. It was a very pretty but not spectacular old house. I'd like to attend a dance there! In the cellar there was a fashion museum, unfortunately most of the exhibition was quite modern.

After picking up Tonje and Marita, we went sightseeing and shopping. We was the Bath Abbey and passed the Roman Bath. By then it was raining, so we fled in to the clothe stores to do some more shopping. Tonje and I had "lunch" at Shakeaway again, before we found the guys on a nearby pub. The place where we had decided to have dinner was full, so we ended up having dinner at a Wetherspoons right by the car park. We had an all right dinner while watching rugby games on the sports channel.

On Sunday, we went to Tesco to do some food shopping, and also ended up going through Boots and Sportsdirect, before returning home. Our guests left for the airport in the afternoon (Stansted is definitely the worst airport to get to and from Oxford), and we were once again on our own. A very nice weekend! I got myself two new jackets for the spring, new trousers, sweaters and some sportswear, and I definitely won't be shopping much for a very long time!