Went to Oxford first, with the theoretically shortest day of travel to start - only theoretically unfortunately, I think that was the single worst journey we've ever had. I routed us via A14/M11/M25/M40, coz we didn't want to do the more backroads route we usually do in case they weren't properly cleared and/or gritted nearer Oxford, given there was still quite a bit of snow there. And I wanted to avoid the A12/M25 junction where we'd sat for half an hour on the roundabout coz of the roadworks recently. But the M11 was pretty busy, the services we got lunch at (when we realised we wouldn't make it to Oxford for early afternoon) were next to Stansted and so busy it took us half hour queueing in the car park to get out, and the M25 was appalling (30 miles an hour would've been a lovely speed to have reached). So we were pretty fried by the time we got to Oxford having taken 6 hours to do a 175 mile journey. The rest of the journeys were pretty good though, and not just in comparison to that one ;)
However! The actual visits themselves were good! While we were with my parents we visited a couple of museums in Oxford - the Ashmolean (to see the little Egyptian stuff that's still on display there while they refurbish the gallery) and the University Museum so I could play with my camera taking pictures of the skeletons and the buildings :) It was a peaceful couple of days, as it generally is with them, with good company and good food :) Blanchland involved more PS3 gaming and a lot more booze :) When we showed up on Thursday we watched half a dozen or so programmes about Egypt that J's parents had recorded on sky for us (I shan't write them up, I've almost forgotten exactly what they were already!). Jo & Chris turned up lunchtime on New Year's Eve with their PS3 and Chris's new force-feedback steering wheel for Gran Turismo 5 (which I promptly hogged as much as I could ... contemplating getting one for us, coz that was cool). We went out for the evening, and saw in the New Year in the club in Blanchland (that's club as in "village drinking establishment" not club as in "nightclub"), followed by visiting a couple of open houses first-footing ... J's parents left after one place, the rest of us snuck off at 4am but the party was still going strong, I guess we have no stamina :o Thankfully we'd had our third Christmas meal of the season before we went out, coz New Year's Day itself was spent mostly with everyone (even Anne!) dozing in front of Sky Sports News on the telly (after the Man U match finished).
And we had yesterday at home, theoretically to sort stuff out but in practice we just played lots of GT5 (J got a copy for xmas) - which isn't quite as good without the wheel, but I'm still quite into it :) Today, it's back to reality.