Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ghosts of Oxford

There is something about Autumn and Oxford that seems to go hand in hand.
An energy hung in the air. Ingrained in the stone. Centuries of thought and knowledge. Ideas sparked and creations birthed. The ghosts of so many minds, gathered in one place. Seeping between the streets and buildings like blood in veins.
Maybe it was because of the time of year, just a few days until it was Halloween, when folk speak of the veil being thin?
It was a good energy. The kind that you absorb deep inside to refill your own creative well. So we soaked it in and we wandered and browsed in book shops and sipped hot chocolate.
 Our main reason for going was to catch the Tolkien exhibition 'Maker of Middle Earth' which was in its last few days at the Weston library. I had been meaning to go since the summer when it opened, but never got around to it. So it was a last chance, before it headed off to far off lands.
So over the misty mountains we went...
Through the door,  or past it at least.
And into a lovely exhibition displaying Tolkien's sketches, paintings and notes. His desk and chair, old tobacco smoking pipes and paint set were on show too. It was wonderful for a short while to be immersed in snippets and details of his world. How incredibly small his writing was, so perfect and the attention to detail was a joy to see.  Sadly photographs inside were not allowed, so instead I will share the postcard set that I bought, which shows some of the art work which was on display.
Although the exhibition has moved on now, you can browse Tolkien items to buy in the Bodleian libraries shop here including the postcard set that I bought.

Afterwards we headed to the Eagle and Child. This is the pub where Tolkien used to meet up weekly with C.S Lewis and other writers to discuss their works in progress.
We sat in the very spot, ate lunch (a veggie burger, just incase you were wondering ;) ) and enjoyed a drink or two.
It was a lovely day out and I got to tick off the Eagle and Child off of my long list of things to do and places to visit.  


  1. I love Oxford too, particularly for its lovely old buildings and the contrast between history and modern city life. I am sad I missed the Tolkein exhibition though :(

    1. I'm sorry you missed it Caroline. It was a close call for myself, visiting on the last but one day.

  2. Wonderful photos, tour of Oxford. I used to love the Inspector Lewis series for the beautifully written and acted stories, but also for the Oxford magic.
    And the music accompanying this post is simply lovely.

    1. I love reading stories or watching films / tv with places that have a magical vibe. It adds to the enjoyment even more. :)
      I'm glad that you are enjoying the music Mary. The first piece (Northern Pastures) is by my Son who has just finished Uni & is now working hard to become a composer. You can hear more on his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0CROJX-OxffmfARs4oHm6A
      He is currently building up a portfolio of pieces.

  3. I was in Oxford once briefly, but if I get back, I will have to put The Eagle and the Child on my list. Thanks

  4. Thanks for taking us with you on this exciting trip!

  5. I visited Oxford this time last year, I love the atmosphere there too, visiting the Pitt Rivers and the Natural History museumsis eays a must for me! I didnt know about this pub, it'll be going on my list now!xx


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