On Silence

Lifting the first turves at the Sweet Track Excavation

Lifting the first turves at the Sweet Track Excavation

Hello Internets,

I didn’t blog in May, at all, so that is one of my resolutions I’m not doing so well on, In fact, compared to last year they are not going so well in general, which might explain why I’ve not been blogging- it gets a little depressing contemplating telling you all the things I haven’t managed to do quite yet…

… but that doesn’t mean I’ve been silent- I think in part the reason I’ve not been posting at length is also Twitter; I’ve been using it a lot lately and I have some (badly composed) thoughts on the use of it. I use it primarily as a microblogging tool. I’m not interested in gaining followers by ‘offering them something’ such as news or links or pithy wit. I follow people that are either friends or talk about stuff I find interesting, and I indulge a wee bit of geeky stalking: Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (Authors/ Comic book writers/ Artists) reduce me to fits of giggles on a regular basis, and Stephen Fry is just lovely. I don’t expect anyone to follow me, and I’m always a bit surprised when people do (One person I asked why answered with ‘because (someone) promised me you talk about archaeology, dinosaurs and cake’- which is great as far as I’m concerned!). But it does serve as my primary vehicle for letting people know what I’m up to; which was the original purpose of this blog.

As I’ve said before, I’m not sure what this should become instead: I don’t feel confident enough yet about my academic voice to blog any strong archaeological discourse much beyond my very narrow field, and I’m at that stage in my PhD (7 months to go and counting) that I’m a little wary of upsetting future employers, or sticking my feet well and truly in it!

So, for those of you that don’t do the Twitter/Facebook thing, or those wanting a summary, in May I did the following things:

  • Ran an excavation at the Sweet Track, in the Somerset Levels. I’ve talked about this site before. Running the dig was pretty nerve wrecking if I’m honest as some serious experts had to be on site with me, the archaeology was that important, and I had to have government permission to do the work in the first place. It was pretty successful, despite some glitches with the dGPS (for those who followed my anxious tweets: I’ve just had the data back today and the trench was pretty well in the right place, and caught all of the anomalies we were interested in). I’m still making sense of it- there are issues around just how accurately the position of an anomalous response in the radar can located on the ground, for example, but I think we detected the track, or some associated wood with geophysical survey, which is the whole point of my PhD. I now have a month in the lab to look at the soil chemistry on the site to try to work out exactly how the trackway is causing the responses. Watch this space!
  • I invigilated a lot of exams, which was boring but I get paid!
  • I had a few driving lessons, one of which involved a slightly scary moment on a roundabout, but I’m getting better, slowly. I still have stopping issues though, so my instructor will only let me go forwards at the moment…
  • I tried to see Counting Crows on the 18th, the gig was cancelled and I eventually saw them on the 30th. They were very, very good and mostly played tracks from ‘August and Everything After‘ with mad mid song diversions into Beatles tracks, and one inspired Fairport Convention cover (Meet on the Ledge).
  • I saw the Chinese State Circus on one Bank Holiday and spent the other one watching Coraline in 3D, which was also highly awesome.
  • I got to see the amazing Cas, but still haven’t been to Oxford to see her.
  • In uni I wrote reports and did horrible things to soil in order to determine particle size distributions.
  • I read a LOT of Tamora Pierce– this always happens when I get my hands on a new book of hers; I want to go and re-read everything she has written. Her novels are like old friends. I also read the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and hated it much less than my friend Cat did, and Pride and Prejudice which I hated a lot less than I though I would. Cas gave me all of the Princess Diaries and I devoured them; my guilty pleasure for the month, though they are actually a lot smarter and much more wholesome than the (not very faithful) film adaptations would have you beleive.
  • I loved Star Trek. Matt has been to see it twice.

I don’t have a lot else to report! My dad has started a blog, mainly about poetry and writing so we’ve been having some exchanges there which has been good.