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Days 7, 8, 9 & 10, in Which We Spend Time with Friends

Our last few days in Oxford we spent getting together with friends.  We spent Saturday morning with Vee, a retired missionary who spent years in Niger.  She actually took the bus into Oxford to spend time with us.  We went through the outdoor market near the Gloucester Green Coach Station and then to the Christmas Market in Oxford. 


We also walked through the Covered Market.  I had been in the St. Michael at the North Gate church before, but John and Vee hadn't, so we also went in there. 


John and I took the chance to climb up in the Saxon Tower for a panoramic view of Oxford.  Vee stayed safely downstairs, chatting with the lady in the gift shop.

We ended the morning with lunch at a very busy and crowded pub.  I think everyone in Oxford was out doing their Christmas shopping and then eating at the same pub that morning!

In the afternoon we went to the home of friends of ours from the church that John has attended when he's been in Oxford.  John and Raquelle and their three girls have really adopted John and helped him feel at home whenever he's been on his study times.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo, but we had an excellent evening with them.

We woke up Sunday morning to a white snow-covered world. Beautiful Oxford had become even more beautiful with her robe of white and sparkly ice jewels.

Apparently this is a rare event for Oxford; as far as I can tell, the last snow was in January 2013, so almost five years ago. 


It was truly beautiful, but since it seldom snows, they don't have much equipment for removing snow and many people aren't that good at driving in snow.  Thankfully our host, Iain, was a good snow driver and got us safely to church.  It was fun to see so many people outdoors with their kids or just by themselves, enjoying the snow:  walking, building snowmen, pulling sleds, etc.

It continued to snow all day, but that didn't stop us from going home with Keith and Sally for Sunday dinner and a wonderful afternoon.  

John has stayed with Keith and Sally the last few years he's made his annual sojourn to Oxford and they've taken wonderful care of him.  John got to know them through the church in Oxford, which has really become John's family-away-from-home.

Our hosts, Iain and Emma and their two daughters live in an old farmhouse.  It is really beautiful, and it is probably most beautiful in the snow!  Iain and Emma treated us like royalty and we had such a great time with them.  They are also members of the church John attended.

Monday we went in to OCMS and John worked on his corrections while I worked on some projects I'd brought along with me.  We also went out for lunch with John's house tutor.  I was in a grouchy mood that day as the cold and picking my way across ice (nobody shovels their walks) was getting to me.  I guess because I was grouchy I didn't take any pictures all day.  But the day ended pleasantly, so all's well that ends well, right?  We met a friend at a pub for a drink -- hot chocolate might not be your typical pub drink, but it never tasted better than at the end of a cold day!  John F. had come to Niger for his gap year, back when he was about 18.  We've managed to keep in touch since then and are so proud of the man he has become.  Then we had tea with Iain and Emma and had a quiet evening with them.

Tuesday I just stayed home and finished packing while John went to OCMS to work some more on his corrections.  I appreciated just having a quiet day with nowhere to go and nothing in particular to do.  And that's a wrap on our 10 days in England and also a wrap on John becoming Dr. John R. DeValve (well, almost; there's still those few corrections to do!).

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