Second-last day

The fatigue was manageable today, so I felt pretty good! I woke up in time for breakfast,had a shower, then caught a taxi to my meeting with Dr Elleke Boehmer in the English department at Oxford. We had a good chat about possibilities for study,and I also got to speak with another Australian writer—Sophie—who was absolutely lovely. We’re going to grab a coffee tomorrow morning before I get on my plane!

I stopped back in at the accommodation briefly to pick up some things (pressies for the mentors) and then hopped in another taxi to go to our high tea—our final activity together as a group. The food was tasty (and sufficiently cute), the tea was good, the company was fantastic. We were all given copies of the info brochures we’ve been handing out all trip, and we all swapped and wrote notes in each other’s books. It was lovely. We gave the mentors their presents and they all seemed chuffed!

I walked back towards the accommodation afterwards with one of the other Scholars (Jacinta), and we stopped in at a couple of shops before I had to call it quits to go home and rest. After about an hour of rest I’d had enough of that, and met up with some of the others for dinner at Thaikhun. Jacinta gave me a book as thanks for editing her thesis, and I proceeded to get very soppy and went on and on about how much I love her and everybody else, and how much I will miss everyone once we all go our separate ways. It was great.

I’m tired and looking forward to going home, but I’m also sad that this grand edventure is coming to an end. It’s been the most rewarding experience, the most fun I’ve had in ages, the best group of people to travel with… it’s been amazing. I am so so lucky to have been given this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see where all of the members of my new Aurora family end up!

My next post probably won’t be until I’m home on Saturday afternoon, and that’ll mark the end of this edventure series (though I might revive the tag if/when I go to study overseas). Thanks for coming along for the ride! It’s been fab.

The rickshaw inside Thaikhun. I will miss this restaurant, and all the memories I made here.

Wanderings and musings

Today was slow and comfortable. After breakfast I went back to bed for a couple of hours,then I grabbed a coffee and a slice of cake from the café at the YHA around lunch time and settled down to read. I’m now about halfway through Caliban’s War, and things are happening. It’s intense. I’ll be heading straight to Crow Books when I get home and picking up Abaddon’s Gate.

Once I gathered a little more energy I decided to walk into the centre of town and look around. I ended up at Blackwell’s Bookshop where a couple of books on AI might have leapt into my bag of their own accord…

Blackwell’s is a treasure. It’s two or three levels, it’s hard to tell, with stacks upon stacks filled with all manner of interesting books. One of the mentors recommended the basement level so I went down to suss it out, and I was not disappointed. I thought Boffins back home was the best bookshop for nerdy stuff and specialty books, but I was wrong. Blackwell’s wins hands down. I wish I could bring it back to Perth with me.

After losing track of time in the bookshop I crossed the street to visit the Museum of the History of Science. Yet another favourite place among all my other favourite places on this trip. If you ever get a chance to go, you really, really should. I took a selfie with Einstein’s chalkboard, but as I am bad at selfies it turned out terribly. So I won’t be posting it. Sorry not sorry.

In the evening I walked to the Eagle and Child Pub in search of dinner, but it was packed and so warm inside that my glasses fogged up and I was effectively blind for a good ten minutes, so I ended up heading back to Jamie’s Italian to eat. The Eagle and Child was where Tolkien and CS Lewis set up their writing group, I am told.It felt a little too cozy and cramped for a writing group I’ve gotta say, but it was nice.

During my dinner at Jamie’s I made some notes about a couple of story ideas that are brewing in my brain. I finished the evening with a delicious chocolate brownie and a cup of English breakfast tea. I was tempted to take more photos of Thaikhun through the window because it’s just so damn pretty, but the restaurant was quite full and I was already getting funny looks for the number of snaps I’d taken of the chandelier.

It was agood day, all in all. If I have the energy tomorrow I’d like to go look at theOxford Castle. There’s a mound! It looks interesting.

Only five more days until my flight home!

A travelling medicine chest and other curiosities at the Museum.

Oxford adventures (sort of)

Today I proofread an archaeology thesis for one of the other Scholars.

Oh my gosh. She is amazing (I already knew she was amazing, but now she’s like, amazing-er). Her work is so insightful and respectful and original and it took me way longer to edit than it should have because I was so engrossed in just reading it. I’m so excited to hear her results and see where she goes from here, because jeez, that woman has a lot to offer this world.

We spent the afternoon working together at the George Street Social, a lovely two-storey café with powerpoints and wifi and good coffee. We both had a serving of pancakes with fresh fruit and maple syrup for afternoon tea, which was delicious, and fantasised about the high tea we will be attending on our last day in the UK.

Late in the afternoon we parted ways briefly—I went in search of Boots, a Priceline sort of deal which I’d heard about on the interwebs and was curious to check out. I found a perfume by one of my favourite YouTubers, replaced my empty mouthwash, and stocked up on some hair dye for when I get back home.

Then I metup with Ms Amazing Archaeologist and one of the mentors, and we had Thai foodat Thaikhun for dinner. It was delicious, and the atmosphere inside therestaurant was bustling and urban. For the hour or so that we were there Ialmost forgot we were in Oxford!

One of the other Scholars joined us for dessert, and my chocolate ice cream betrayed me by containing chilli. It was very off-putting, expecting my throat to be numbed by the cold and instead finding it warmed, very off-putting indeed.

I spent the rest of the evening reading Caliban’s War, the second book in The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. And now to bed!

The restaurant we visited for dinner. There’s a rickshaw in the window!