So, as the due dates for papers were this past week, I haven’t had too much time for writing posts, but thankfully my papers are all handed in. I wrote papers about everything from Frankenstein’s symptoms of a random Victorian disease, to the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I made some pretty weird arguments, but I hope the copious amounts of coffee I consumed made them somewhat reasonable.
Since I think I bombarded every form of social media with my trip to the Warner Brothers studio tour of Harry Potter in London, I’ll keep it brief here. IT WAS SO COOL. They had everything there from the Hogwarts Castle gates, to the actual model of the castle, to HARRY’S SCAR. I saw it. In a box. On an actual makeup table from the set.
And you could also press buttons to control kitchen things in the Burrow, so I got to knit and chop carrots with magic. Well, with a computer connected to some type of wire. But suspend your disbelief, it was really magic. We also got Chipotle beforehand, so there aren’t many words to describe the happiness experienced that day. I’ve recently learned in one of my classes, Gothic literature, that horror fiction uses the language of the indescribable, like saying “there’s no way to tell you how scared I was.” So I’ll tie in some learning here and say it was a day that I am incapable of describing.
The following weekend I took a study trip to Oxford to see some of the areas of the colleges where Lewis and Tolkien worked and stayed. We had just finished reading some of the Chronicles of Narnia and the three Lord of the Rings books, so this was basically the coolest trip ever. I also got to see the gardens that most likely inspired Lewis Carroll to write the croquet scenes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
One of my favorite parts of the day was going to the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. Tolkien apparently had a huge love for trees and wished that he could communicate with them and hear their stories. His favorite tree in the gardens was a giant one that had these gigantic branches and looked like it could walk away or yell at you for staring at any moment.
Here’s a picture of Tolkien’s favorite tree aka what I like to call an ent from The Lord of the Rings:
We also got to go to C.S. Lewis’ house at the Kilns, which used to be secluded in the middle of a forest. Now, it’s pretty suburban, with a lot of houses around it, but you can still go into the area of forest close to where he lived, or what I like to imagine is Narnia. The garden outside of his house was really beautiful, and the window above his writing desk looked out onto the garden and the forest, which must have been pretty awesome as he was writing all of the creatures and characters into the Narnia stories.
Unfortunately, most of the original furniture had been auctioned off and sold by previous owners of the house before it became a spot for visitors, so a lot of the pieces in the home are replicas. But the volunteers who repaired the home did a really awesome job of making it look just like it must have looked when Lewis and his friends sat, talked, wrote, and discussed books there. Our tour guide was American and really cool, as he left us some Turkish Delight on the dining room table, claiming the White Witch had been in there and he had nothing to do with it.
We also saw the church that Lewis attended, as well as where he is buried, which was in a beautiful spot full of green fields and surrounded by flowers. The day was one of the coolest I’ve spent here so far, and I can’t wait to get back to Oxford to finally eat in The Eagle and Child, where the Inklings used to hang out!
If anyone has skipped to the end of this post, all you really need to know is that I got to see real-life versions of things I’ve read about in some of my favorite books, so these were two of the best, and nerdiest, trips of my life.
Thanks for reading! :o)
Oh yeah, and I WENT TO PLATFORM NINE AND THREE QUARTERS IN KING’S CROSS STATION. Didn’t get through, though. They must’ve sealed it.