Sitting at home, planning a research trip seems like a fairly straightforward matter. You draw up your list of manuscripts, check the library opening hours, and book the nearest AirBnB, confidently promising valuable results your supervisor and anyone willing to give you money.
On the ground, things are a different matter: catalogues were wrong, the microfilms are awful, your bibliothecal vocabulary in the required foreign language is distressingly limited, all while you try to navigate a strange new system with surprisingly numerous slips of coloured paper.
Continue reading Bibliothecal Bumblings Abroad
Having dropped off 13,000 words of something in my supervisor’s pidge in lieu of a rough draft (more-or-less a prose version of my notes which I hope to shape into an actual argument at some later point in time), I packed my bag and headed off to St Pancras to take the Eurostar south for a much needed break in sunnier climes.
Continue reading Un Séjour en France (Long Vac)
This week was a bit of a holiday, as my little sister stopped in to visit me on her way to other foreign climes. In between a few of my language classes, we strolled around Oxford taking in the sights and doing Oxfordy things: wandering around colleges, popping into Blackwell’s, punting on the Cherwell, picnicking on the Port Meadow, eating dinner at the Eagle & Child pub–plus a whole afternoon spent rooting around the myriad and marvellous anthropological wonders crammed inside the Pitt Rivers Museum.
We also took the coach to spend a couple days in the beautiful Georgian town of Bath (whence the charmingly cheerful umbrellas in the photo) and spent a memorable afternoon getting absolutely soaked by rain in London and meekly sloshing our way around the British Museum.
All too soon, though, she was off on a jet-plane, and I was headed back to my neglected books . . .
Right in the middle of the last week of term, I took a quick jaunt up to Scotland for a postgraduate visiting day at the University of St Andrews, about 50 miles north-east of Edinburgh on the Fife coast. Although the 5am departure was less than ideal, I very much enjoyed the train ride once I had gotten through London and left King’s Cross for the long ride north. Continue reading Escape to Scotland (8th Week, HT)