Alex had his conference at the Said School on Friday, so I set off to tour Oxford.
I know these signs are literal, but I feel like some of my sabbatical research shows that this is part of the problem. Historians need to engage with the public more, we have things to contribute, and the building should be open to the public. But look what has happened when we try. The case of William Cronin's blog Scholar Citizen should inspire us to be more engaged in public debate, not less.
The most beautiful parts of Oxford are for the college fellows, not for tourists. But I love the views through the doors when they are open. Of course many colleges do let visitors in, for a small fee, at certain times, which is, really, as it should be, since the colleges should be for teaching and learning.
I decided I wanted to get the wider view of Oxford, and maybe walk just a little bit less than I normally do, so I paid for the on-and-off bus tour (very touristy). At first, I had the bus all to myself, with my little red headset and the English-language recording on channel 1. After we got to the train station a live guide got on, and other tourists started to arrive too. The view was great from the top, and the guide was interesting. Sometimes it was harder to take good photos, the rails got in the way, and we moved quickly when there was no traffic. But well worth the price.
We went past the Eagle and Child. These photos from the tour will probably be out of order. I had two cameras, and the time stamps on both of them are a bit off, so if you know the tour well, please just ignore the order and go with it!
After I had been around the tour more than once, I got off and went to enquire about tours at the Bodleian Library for Saturday. It was complicated, and I was not sure we wanted the long tour I could reserve for the next day, so in the end I decided we would just turn up and take what we could get on Saturday. I don't think the "silence please" can be respected by the construction crew.