ossamenta: Close-up of Viking Age rune stone (Ashmolean runestone)
Isn't it nice when this is your writing environment:

view from the 1st floor café at the Natural History Museum in Oxford: glass panelled ceiling, ornate ironworks, stone columns

Hopefully tomorrow will be another good writing day, although considering the weather forecast (rain, rain, more rain, bit of sunshine somewhere just to get your hopes up, rain) it will probably spent at home.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
I've been rather busy lately, working on a new PhD proposal. Admittedly, there is unlikely to be any post/grants announced before summer, but that's no excuse to wait until the last minute. This time I will leave the crafts mainly behind, instead focussing on animal husbandry strategies (well, that's seriously simplified, but it will have to do) in Early Medieval Scandinavia/southern Baltic area. Oxford's libraries don't have everything I need for background research, but luckily I can use the copac database to see what other UK libraries have available. So last Saturday I headed into London and the British Library. Photocopying/scanning is rather expensive there (25p/single page, no spreads allowed), and unfortunately my tired brain didn't think to check academia.edu until afterwards. So I spent £3 on an article I could just have downloaded for free... Note to self: have lunch first so the blood sugar levels are up before you make any financial decisions! But it's a good library, with excellent sit-writing facilities. There are usually lots of students (and others) there, so it might be hard to get a seat unless you come early or use the reading rooms.

(For London tourists: the BL's permanent exhibition is very good, ranging from medieval manuscripts to Beatles' songs. They usually have interesting temporary exhibitions too, so worth checking out)

I've also found a new favourite café for writing: upstairs at the Natural History Museum. A lovely view over the collections, enough far away that the children downstairs create ignorable white noise, and as a bonus there are small glass cases along the balcony so you can learn something as you have your tea/coffee.
ossamenta: Radcliffe Camera and Brasenose College, Oxford (Oxford)
Friends and family at home have suffered from surprise!snow, but here in Oxford, spring has arrived. Unfortunately I've more or less been too busy writing to actually go out and enjoy it, but I've managed to take a few pictures.


pictures below cut )
ossamenta: Radcliffe Camera and Brasenose College, Oxford (Oxford)
Yesterday I went for a long walk through the parks, just enjoying the autumn. I do miss the Swedish autumn - you don't really get the smell of fir forests around here - but I'll take what I can get. I'm a seasonal person: not one or two favourite seasons - I love them all. (Although I must admit that the typical winter in Skåne* is best enjoyed from indoors, with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book or two.)


Photobucket
Pathway in University Parks along the river.


*: grey, sideways rain/sleet, temperature a bit above freezing, but with a lazy wind that blows right through you rather than around you.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
On this year's World Book Day, the Bodleian Library exhibited some of J.R.R. Tolkien's original watercolours for The Hobbit. I had admittedly seen a couple of them reproduced before, but I figured if I didn't go there on my lunch today, I would seriously regret it. And I'm very glad I did: they were so crisp and bright! They had really lost some of the colour intensity when they had been reprinted. According to the local paper, over 1000 people came to view the illustrations.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
To all of my Swedish readers, I know most of you suffer from snowpocalypse. However, there is hope. Spring will come. It just need a bit of a push to cross the North Sea...

Snowdrops

It was a beautiful Sunday today, and I just couldn't stay cooped up in my room. I decided to cycle over to Christ Church Medow, which was full of people doing their Sunday walks. The College rowing teams were out on the river, and the geese were grazing on the fields. It's still too early for most flowers, although I saw some winter aconite here and there.

I can't wait for late spring and summer, where on the weekends you can have your lunch at the banks of the Cherwell, reading a few chapters in your book, and watching the punters and waterfowl pass by.

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ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
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