Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Worlds Apart

I was born in Oxford and lived there all my life until 2008. Then I moved to the wilds of unspoilt Abruzzo, a total contrast to the cosmopolitan, lively and historical world I had been brought up in.

Oxford is a stunningly beautiful city, with dreaming spires and turrets in abundance. I love the atmosphere, the cobbled lanes, the mixture of youth and wisdom, the culture, the array of exciting activities, the olde-worlde pubs, the grandeur of the colleges, the perfectly manicured quadrangles, May morning choristers singing from the top of Magdalen College Tower, Christ Church College with the smallest cathedral in England. Well, I could go on......

So, you may ask, "What does Janet find so appealing about living in a place surrounded by hills, olive groves, vineyards, peace, quiet, solitude, falcons, hawks, snakes, lizards, frogs, chickens, dogs, cats, fruit trees, an ever growing jungle, an impassable road? Well, I could go on......

Norris enjoying the country lifestyle - as free as a bird, literally. Here she is quietly contemplating her next move, after having dutifully laid her daily egg....

These two sites are literally worlds apart in terms of lifestyles.

I am happy in Abruzzo.

I am happy in Oxford.

I am happy in Cyberspace.

I am happy anywhere and everywhere I have ever lived in.

"Non, je ne regrette rien", as Edif Piaf sang so memorably.

Below is a fabulous Bookr that one of my teachers created on the Learning Curves Teachers' Refresher course at the Lake School of English in November 2011. I felt very proud that she had been inspired to create such a lovely digital book of my city.

This is a slideshow I have just created using my own images of Oxford, taken in April this year.

Have a look at how much fun you can have studying at the Lake School of English, in Oxford!

Below is one of my favourite Animoto videos on Abruzzo that I've created, called "A Change of Lifestyle".

Create your own video slideshow at

And, here's another slideshow on My Abruzzo created via Slide:

About Abruzzo blog is my absolutely favourite blog on this area.

Read "Abruzzo App-roved: A Handy Guide to Exploring Abruzzo

Now, the BIG question is: which world would you choose to live in, and why?? I'd love to hear your views :)


Tamas Lorincz said...

Another delightful post, Janet. I love your reminiscences of Oxford. It is and will remain the city I loved the most. Being happy no matter what your surroundigs are is a skill one acquires by daring to expose themselves to a wide range of environments and situations. Sometimes the place stays the same but situations can change so radically that you feel like a new person. This is what I enjoy most learning to go for it and live with it. Thanks again for this post it did make me feel happy.

Natasa said...

I love Oxford. I spent seven beautiful summers there between the ages of 17 and 23. Still, I choose Abruzzo. If you had asked me 10 years ago, my answer might have been different...

Bodach said...

I'm honoured. Thrilled to bits. Overcome with joy. Smiling from ear to ear. Feeling quite chuffed really!

Thank you for your most kind comment.

popps said...

The more i live in the hot south the more England looks beautiful.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Janet Bianchini said...

If the heart is happy, then anywhere in the world is beautiful!

J :-)

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Tamas

Thank you so much for your comment. I have only just become aware I had comments waiting in the moderation section, so I do apologise for this delay in replying.

I'm so pleased you liked this post on Oxford. That's cool you know Oxford well.

Hope you are keeping well.


Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Natasa

As I said to Tamas, I've only just seen comments which were hidden away. Sorry for this late reply!!

That's great you know Oxford, too. I wonder if we ever passed each other at some stage while you were there?

That's nice that you choose Abruzzo - it's an amazing region of Italy, and still relatively unspoilt.

Janet Bianchini said...

My pleasure entirely, Noel. I mean every word :-)