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St. John's & Erin

What a splendid small adventure. Walked over to St. John's College to meet with the Professor who co-wrote the introduction to the Findern MS. He's in one of the towers of the main gate. One goes up a steep spiral staircase to get to his rooms. Rather than a room number, it's marked "Old Treasury." He invited me in to sit across from him in a great old low-seated chair, and we proceeded to talk our fill about Findern trivia. He had tidbits of information that he hasn't published that he shared with me, and we shook our heads over scholarship we both disagree with, then he prowled the book cases that line the round walls of his office, looking for books, articles, and citations to show me. What a generous, kindly scholar. My thought on leaving his office was, —well actually my first thought was, "Holy crap these steps are tiny and steep!"— but my second thought was, "I want to grow up to be that kind of scholar. Someone who loves the work, and loves to share it."

Now I'd carefully mapped my way to St. John's coming from the University Library— cross the river, through Senate House Passage (a particularly narrow alley), then past Trinity College-- and bobs your uncle, there's St. John's. But somehow when I retraced my steps, Senate Passage no longer went towards the river, but made a loop back to Trinity. (Obviously Rowlings' inspiration for the staircases at Hogwarts come from walking around Cambridge.) After wandering a bit, I asked the first porter that I came to. He had mercy on me and let me just cut through his college, St. Clare's, to get back to the river.

When I got back to the B&B, I was a bit concerned as Erin wasn't there yet. But she had sent an email to me with the brand new sim card in her phone. Airplane woes, train station woes, but she made it. We had a snack before setting out to go to a pub, because, well, that's just how I roll— food must be consumed before adventures and emergency food must be carried at all times.

Unfortunately, we only had a wee bit of time before the last bus on our route was due. As the pubs were slammed with customers and not serving quickly, we had a half pint apiece and sat looking out over the river. A trip to the grocery store set us up with dinner and consumables for breakfast. Erin looks amazingly competent for having just gotten off planes and trains today. However, I did feel it necessary to wave my hand imperiously at her in the universal, "give me your hand" Mommy gesture. Crossing streets when the traffic is coming from the opposite direction you expect is tricky, so I made her hold my hand so I could pull her across at the right times.

Both of us are looking forward to our separate library adventures tomorrow. Me to the Big Library where I've been all week. Her to the Wee Little Library at Sidney Sussex College, where the manuscript reading room is so small, they can only have one visitor at a time.

An egregious number of pics below. (Click the thumbnails to see larger versions)

Wattle Fencing
Wattle Fencing
I just adore wattle fencing. You coppice trees and then let them grow back shoots. While they are green and pliable you weave them into a fence.
Punts Everywhere
Punts Everywhere
The amateurs at the poles were running over each other today on the Cam.
My Feet on Cobblestone Streets
My Feet on Cobblestone Streets
Senate House Passage
Senate House Passage
Turning left onto Trinity St.
Turning left onto Trinity St.
Trinity College Gate
Trinity College Gate
Walking past the front gates of Trinity College.
Walking towards St. Johns
Walking towards St. Johns
On Trinity Street walking towards St. John's College (the towers on the left.)
Main Gate to St. Johns
Main Gate to St. Johns
Notice the porter standing guard in the center? He's the one who helped me find the tower door. The professor's room was the second window in the right hand tower.
First Court
First Court
The main gate open onto a court.
Second Court's Gate
Second Court's Gate
Past the main gate is a square, at the end is another gate to allow you into the Second Court.
The necessary
The necessary
And the ever-gracious porter also told me the necessary room was in the far left corner of the second court. I am eternally grateful to all porters in Cambridge.
Lurking Chapel
Lurking Chapel
Most of the colleges have their own churches. You can see St. John's Chapel lurking above the buildings of the first court.
IMG_3211
They were readying their great hall for a graduation dinner.
The reasong their are no rooms
The reason their are no rooms
Degree week has made the town fill up with parents coming to see their children graduate.
St. John's Church
St. John's Church
From the inside of the first court.
Lord Burley
Lord Burley
Gilbert
Gilbert
Ascham
Ascham
Countess of Shrewsbury
Countess of Shrewsbury
IMG_3220
One of the ever-present walls.
St. John's Church
St. John's Church
Looking back as I was about to go out the gate.
Steep Stairway up the Gate Tower
Steep Stairway up the Gate Tower
The rope is to keep your balance going up.
Old Treasury
Old Treasury
I will feel I have truly arrived as a medievalist when they give me my own rooms in a gate tower.
Outside of St. John's
Outside of St. John's
IMG_3234
St. John's Chapel
Back down Senate House Passage
Back down Senate House Passage
Only now, it doesn't lead back to the river?!?
Mercy from St. Clare's
Mercy from St. Clare's
Looking back at the second gate
Looking back at the second gate
And of course, St. Clare's has multiple gates as well.
View from the Bridge behind St. Clare's
View from the Bridge behind St. Clare's
There's also a splendid garden (open to the public) and a bridge behind St. Clare's.
Successful Adventurer
Successful Adventurer
Small Adventure successfully accomplished. Once I'm at the river, I can find the Library (and my bus stop) again.
IMG_3261
Are those tiny college students?
Little Boys in Top Hats and Robes
Little Boys in Top Hats and Robes
I've no idea, but they were everywhere this afternoon.
Erin Arrives!!!!
Erin Arrives!!!!
First try at going to dinner. (Pubs were mobbed and we had to catch our bus, so we just had a ha' pint apiece and caught dinner at the little grocery store.)

St. Botolph
St. Botolph
St. Botolph is the patron saint of travelers so we poked our noses in. This church has been in continuous use since 1320.