Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tolk Folk in Oxford and London

So, it was great to see the Tolkien Exhibit in the Bodleian, and I know how  lucky I am that we were able to make it over and take it all in. In addition, I got to see some Tolk folk and spend some time among like-minded people: always a pleasure. We missed out on a few get-togethers (with Dimitra F and Andrew H) when the schedules of when we were free and when they were free just didn't mesh. But we got to spend some time with Yoko (always a pleasure), and John Garth (whom I hadn't seen in quite a while), and Charles N and Jessica Y and David D. I got to meet (briefly) Catherine McIlwaine, the Bodley's Tolkien Archivist who I think was the driving force behind organizing the show. I got to go to John Garth's talk* (looking at the emergence of Tolkien's mythology) and also Stuart Lee's presentation about the 1968 'TOLKIEN IN OXFORD' tv show: he's been able to unearth some missing pieces of Tolkien interview that were filmed but cut before the initial broadcast.

In short: it was a great trip.

And that's not even counting our trip to STONEHENGE,** our following in the footsteps of some of the events in Ben Aaronovich's RIVERS OF LONDON series,*** my getting to pet a semi-tolerant cat in Lecock, or our pleasant stroll in Hyde Park, complete with gawking at the architectural horror that is The Alfred Memorial. And more . . .

By my reckoning this is the 8th time I've been to England (research trips in '81, '85, '87, and 2007; our 1992 Honeymoon AND Tolkien Centenary conference; a quick trip to a friend's wedding in '94; our anniversary visit where we actually got to go places and see things together in 2012, and now this).

And by the end of this trip I found myself already thinking about the when and wherefores of the next time.

--John R.
current reading: THE FIGURE IN THE SHADOWS by John Bellairs (rereading)
current audiobook: another NERO WOLFE mystery (the tenth, more or less right in a row)


** Janice says that on our previous visit to Stonehenge I said 'This is one of the best days in my life'. Going again --and getting inside the circle this time--- felt like an extension of the same day. Wow.

***including seeing a memorial in honor of Sir Charles Chaplin, tthe greatest of all film comedians, and some woodwork by Grinling Gibbons -- who I've heard about for years but never seen anything of his before.

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