J.R.R. Tolkien’s works changed my life. So, it’s no surprise to those who know me that I had to visit Tolkien’s old stomping grounds in Oxford and the pub he frequented with his Inklings crew, Eagle & Child.
So what did I do? Well, I took a C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien Walking Tour that brought us around Oxford giving us access to their colleges. I think as someone who has studied Tolkien for years much of what the tour guide said was nothing new, but the fact that I was able to walk where they once walked and see the colleges they attended and taught at made the tour worthwhile.
One of my bucket list items was to drink a pint of Guinness at Eagle & Child (check!). My friend and I were able to get in there and grab a seat in the back corner before the night rush. It is a strange sort of pub, very long, with many side rooms, which is perfect for small conversations.
Did the experience live up to what I expected? No, not really. I was hoping to eat there but the kitchen had just closed. Whilst getting the drinks, someone accidentally poured beer on me. And there was an urgency to see more of Oxford before the train that I couldn’t just sit there and take it in. I was able to journal a little bit though, and this is what I wrote:
It’s not so romantic as I expected, but it’s still special because Tolkien and Lewis were here once creating and discussing their works.
I will publish my novel someday. Just like Tolkien and Lewis, I will love God and my craft.
All in all, it is something I will always remember.