City of Words and Stone

IMG_6502From Durham Botanic Garden – my motto for the autumn.

IMG_6423I thought my daily commute from Marrickville into the Botanic Gardens in Sydney was impressive and enchanting but walking down from St Aidan’s College on Windmill Hill to the Institute of Advanced Study on Palace Green, where I am currently a Fellow, is a stunning way to begin the day.  Getting to know any city on foot is the best way to do it and here, in Durham, an absolute delight –  so many short cuts that are simply invitations to make your journey longer.

IMG_6547In Bishop Cosin’s Library – part of Palace Green Library, where the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition has just come to a close, notching up over 100,000 visitors.  We were lucky enough to catch some of the researchers still in action down in the basement examining the pigments used in the illuminations.

IMG_6544This weekend the Durham Book Festival gets properly underway and I’m looking forward to being on the spot while it all happens.  The Debate in the Great Hall of the Castle on Wednesday that This House believes great science is great science fiction got proceedings off to a good start.  For a few brief moments I was able to see what it might look like if the old distinctions between Art and Science could dissolve.  I don’t imagine this will be the last time I change my mind about something during this exciting Michaelmas Term of interdisciplinarity.

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