thegirlwiththemouseyhair: (Default)
Just got back from the Oxford Ghost Tour. I really hesitated before booking this, as I’m such a wimp about horror media (see: my experience trying to follow Penny Dreadful this summer), but apparently I’m more and more of a skeptic about any supernatural and unlikely, no-real-evidence-to-show-for-themselves experiences each time I do a tour like this. Like… the ghost tour of Boston in 2004 creeped me out, the Ottawa one in 2012 was interesting but not scary, and tonight I’m just thinking “Eh, if you’re the ghost of Charles the 1st still wandering around Oxford after the English Civil War 450 years ago, maybe you should just get over yourself by now.” (Seriously - I expected the history and sheer age of the place to make ghost stories a little more believable, but they actually had the opposite effect.) I guess I’m more an end user of folklore and ghost stories and things than an actual believer, especially given the boyfriend’s and the brother’s good scientific and skeptical influence. I had my literal candle in the dark (to borrow a phrase from Carl Sagan) with me, too, in the form of my smartphone flashlight app.

I was struck by the one or two stories of ghosts haunting the various Colleges, however, especially because McGill does have a bit of a similar story about an alleged ghostly old man in old fashioned garb appearing and then disappearing on the sixth floor of the McLennan Library. Also, while on the subject of spooky libraries, I got into Doctor Who the spring I was working at the Library of Parliament, and had to do some research in the very quiet, empty stacks of the main library right the day after I saw Silence in the Library, the episode introducing the Vashta Narada. That was really creepy. (It's weird. Apparently, if you try to sell me any supernatural phenomena as a "true ghost story" that people have really sighted, my desire for demonstrable, predictable, rigorously testable evidence-based theories kicks into overdrive and I'm like, "Nope; claims require evidence, and the greater the claim, the greater the evidentiary burden it should meet and this ghost sighting just isn't cutting it". If you try to sell me something as a TV show/short story/whatever and it's well-written, my imagination kicks into overdrive and I'm like "Well, what if what if what if...")

Also - saw this cute little black cat with lovely blue eyes on my walk back from the ghost tour, daww. That was very appropriate - I just wished I’d been carrying some cat food on me to assist her if she was a stray or bribe and befriend her if she wasn’t. (I had the same thing when I saw Macbeth last night on one of the College’s grounds and what looked like a stray tortoiseshell ran by me running away from the crowd and the production.) Seriously, it’s not even out of line for me to be walking around with cat food in my pocket for any stray kitties I may run into; I just didn’t bring any overseas…

Also also - I was probably walking around for like 8-9 hours today. Yesterday morning I felt like I was going to collapse before I even left my dormitory in the morning, before yesterday’s 7-8 hours of being on my feet, but today I feel like I’ve crossed the line twice and got used to pushing myself so hard I barely feel the foot cramps and exhaustion. Ah, well - bus tour to London tomorrow so I can sit on the bus, and then flying back to Canada Sunday ( :’( ) so I’ll sit on the plane…
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