Oxford to Cambridge via Scotland and Paris.

This morning was the time for us Artists of Oxford to drop off our work at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts, for our upcoming show: Water, Purely Interpreted.  I delivered four of my paintings (one large, three very small) and one each for a couple of my friends.

I decided, upon looking at the map, to take the back way to Cambridge, via Scotland, Paris, and Glen Morris, using Hwy 24 and the East River Rd.  I am so glad that I did – what a lovely drive!  It’s always good to explore new territory, and much of this drive was along the Grand River, so it was quite scenic.  There was one place that had a stone fence and four or five apple trees in full bloom overhanging it, along with a nice inviting looking house and garden.  It seemed to invite you in for a cup of tea.  Well, I’m sure that would have surprised the owner greatly, but you get the idea.  Someday maybe I’ll visit the more famous Oxford or Cambridge.  I’d love to visit Scotland (the realm of some of my ancestors), and Paris too.  But for now, I am content with these back roads of rural Ontario.

The route only took me an hour, even though naturally, I got lost in Paris.  Again. Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris (especially in the springtime), but their well-intentioned efforts to direct strangers through their town only serve to confuse me.  I think it’s because they have stationed large and alarming signs directing you to other cities and these signs appear to you out of nowhere just after you come around a bend in the road.  You have about ten seconds to rethink where you thought you were going and you always realize halfway through the turn: “Nope, I did not want to make this turn.”  If they would just stick to telling me which road I may or may not be turning onto and which highway that may lead me to, I’d be much better off.  I’ve had easier times navigating my way from downtown St. Louis, MO back onto Hwy 40, with no signs (if you’ve been there, you know what that can be like).  Anyway, once I found my way to the bridge that I could see above my head, and then failed to make yet another turn that I needed to make, I was on my way again, happily.  It’s not so bad being lost when you fully expect it.  I texted my daughter later about it and after chuckling at me for doing it again she asked why I don’t just use the GPS?  Because that wouldn’t be any fun, I said.

On my way back through Paris on the way home, I stopped at the Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe.  I didn’t really need to but ever since I went there a few years back with my friend Sue, it’s been a favourite of mine.  This time I tried their Montechristo sandwich, simply because on the weekend we had watched The Count of Montechristo (a good story) and the sandwich had come up in conversation.  I must say, it was delicious (except for the pickle on the side), but I don’t know what the connection is, if there is one.  The proprietors were kind enough to let me put some Oxford Studio Tour brochures and Water invitations out in their comfy couch area, and someone who came before me had been allowed to put a poster up for the tour on their bulletin board.  They are one of many businesses who’ve cooperated in this way and we thank them all!

When I left the gallery, 27 of the 31 pieces in the exhibit had been delivered, and I was very pleased with the way things were looking.  I can honestly say, I think there is something in this exhibit for every kind of art lover, so I hope if you live close enough you’ll check it out.  Opens Friday!


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