Temple Bar, Dublin
May 19, 2013

Colourful Dublin: A Tour in Pictures

I adore Dublin. I’m not sure whether it is the excellent food, large selection of Irish trad sessions to attend, or the gregarious Irish nature, but I have always felt comfortable here (I also look/am Irish by ancestry, so I can easily fit right into the crowd). One cannot walk along Dame Street, Grafton Street, or Temple Bar without encountering the smell of delicious pastries wafting down the street,1 a busker attempting to make a few bucks on a tinwhistle or fiddle, or the sound of Irish trad music (i.e. “The Wild Irish Rover”) seeping out from the many pubs, cafés, and other venues.

My week was packed with work at the Old Library in Trinity College Dublin (where they also house the Book of Kells) and exploration of this lovely city. I visited a few of the tourist spots, including the amazing Chester Beatty Library, the National Library of Ireland, and the Dublin Zoo, but otherwise spent much of my time wandering the streets of Dublin or playing my whistle at a real Irish trad session (if you are interested in listening to a true session, go to Cobblestone Pub, Hughes, or O’Donoghues, which are all located within walking distance in the city centre). I believe meandering is one of the best ways to truly experience a city and Dublin is no exception. While walking the many streets and attractions, I realized just how colourful Dublin is, and perhaps this vibrancy acts as a way to mitigate Dublin’s typically cold, rainy weather. Buildings and Georgian doors, as you will see, are often painted bright pinks, yellows, and red. The graffiti littering the many buildings could be considered highly skilled works of art. The parks, gardens, and greenery juxtapose the cobbled medieval streets, and the city centre illuminates at night. Paris may be called the “City of Lights,” but Dublin also seems to come alive at dusk in a spectacle of lights, sounds, and tastes. This post is a tribute to Dublin. I’ve snapped fifty photographs that attempt to capture the moods and colours of this fair city— its heart, people, weather, and history. I really enjoyed photographing and putting this collection together and hope to return to Dublin soon.

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  1. If you are in Dublin, be sure to check out The Queen of Tarts for some delectable pastries. []
Exploring Asquiths Teddy Bear Shop
May 4, 2013

Bearly Medieval: The World’s 1st Teddy Bear Shop

When I had arrived in Henley-on-Thames during my long walk along the River Thames, it was late and I was starving so I was not able to do much exploring that evening. Last Sunday I decided to return to Henley (via rail) for a relaxing afternoon of discovery.1

As I made my way around the little city centre, I happened upon a most unusual site: situated in a fifteenth century building—one of the oldest buildings in Henley2 —was a teddy bear shop. A real teddy bear shop, complete with elaborate window displays of antique, brand name, and handmade teddy bears.

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  1. For anyone thinking of going to Henley-on-Thames on Sundays, be aware that the trains do not run as often, so it can take upwards of one hour to reach Henley from Reading. []
  2. The oldest bulding in town is The Old Bell is a traditional pub situated right in the centre of Henley. The building has been dated by experts at 1325. []
April 29, 2013

Walking along the Thames River (Reading to Henley-on-Thames)

The Thames River Trail is a national walking path that opened in 1996 and stretches 294 km (184 miles) from the source of the Thames in the Cotwolds, through London, and out to the sea. The trail is fairly well-marked and passes through numerous rolling meadows, rural villages and historical sites. Many sections of the trail use the original old towpath as well. I am an avid hiker and jumped at the opportunity to walk a small stretch of the longest river in England (someday I would love to hike the entire trail!)

Thames River Trail

Thames River Trail


I began in Reading and walked to Henley-on-Thames, exploring the villages of Sonning and Shiplake along the way, and returned via rail. This section of the trail is quite rural. I only saw a few other people on the trail (many of which were near Henley-on-Thames).

2 feet. 6 hours. 26 kilometres. 380 photographs. 38420 steps. Here we go!

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Trinity College, Cambridge
April 15, 2013

Cambridge in 26 photographs

As I am getting ready to head out tomorrow, I wanted to share some of the pictures I’ve taken while wandering around Cambridge and Cambridgeshire. I have spent the last ten days here working in the archives at various colleges and exploring this lovely little town.

One trend in Cambridge that I saw immediately was the near ubiquity of wicker baskets on bicycles:

The lone bicycle

The lone bicycle


All in a row

All in a row

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My workstation at the Cambridge University Library
April 8, 2013

#DayofDH: A Day in the Life of a Digital Medievalist

‘Day of DH’ is an annual online event celebrating the projects, work, groups and people involved in digital humanities (DH). Members, for the most part, tweet and blog about their daily activities as digital humanists, which provides insight in the DH field, elicits discussions among researchers, and creates a sense of community. If you are wondering what ‘Digital Humanities’ is, the term is difficult to define and responses vary widely among researchers. This ambiguity, I believe, adds to the appeal of the event since you can explore various ideas, responses, and definitions from every member here. This year the event is hosted by MSU’s own DH center: MATRIX: The Center for the Digital Humanities & Social Sciences.

You can also follow along today by visiting dayofdh2013.matrix.msu.edu or through Twitter with the hashtag #dayofdh.

I’ve been following the ‘Day of DH’ for a few years now, but was always a bit shy to participate. This year I decided to send in my post (now that my life is a little more interesting!) I’ve written the original post here, and have copied it below for your reading pleasure. I am not usually the sort of person to write about what I had for lunch (etc), but it seems relevant to discuss these types of things in a post about one’s daily activities. So here goes:

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