Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Oxford Ghost

In case you haven't noticed, this blog has been a bit sporadic lately. There's two reasons for this—my paid blogging gig at Gadling takes a lot of my online time and I've been in Oxford for the past six months. What does being in Oxford have to do with not blogging? Well, it's such a nice place I don't want to be on the computer if I'm not getting paid for it! But I'm going to try to blog a bit more often now that I'm leaving. I'm not saying that Missouri (where I'm going next) or Spain (where I'll be in five weeks) are boring, but Oxford is especially distracting. Too many beautiful buildings, green parks, and cozy pubs. I mean, I work at the building you see in the picture, do you really think I want to be on the computer any more than necessary?

Anyway, here I am on my last day. I saw Julian and Almudena off on the bus this morning. They're back in Spain now and I'm headed to Missouri tomorrow to research my next Civil War book. Oxford has been a great time for us. Julian became fully bilingual, Almudena did a lot of astronomy research, and we all met tons of cool people. It's weird to be here alone for this last day. It makes me feel like a ghost!

In the past six months we've seen three different Oxfords. When we got here in late March the university was still in term and the town was filled with students. That was fun because there were a lot of cultural events and talks at the university, and my local pub had a good open mike night. Soon the summer came and the students left, to be replaced by hordes of tourists. That made the city center busy and annoying, but didn't affect us too much in the residential area where we lived. Plus I could always hide in the library and write my books, with only the sounds of the larger and louder tour groups (usually Italian or American) filtering through the window to bother me.

Now as we come into autumn the tour groups have tapered off, and only a few early students have shown up. Oxford is a bit dead. I had a coffee at my favorite cafe looking out onto Radcliffe Square and had the place almost to myself. It's gotten cooler, the leaves are changing, and the ivy on the medieval colleges has turned red. I like Oxford at this time of year.

But now I'm off to a second dose of late summer in Missouri. I'll be visiting a great group of friends I haven't seen for too long and I'm planning a Jesse James roadtrip for Gadling. I'll be sure to announce it here when I write it up.

See you later. . .and I really will try to post more often. It's amazing I still have readers!

Photo courtesy Tom Murphy VII via Wikimedia Commons.

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