The title says it all really. I’ll go into the details in a minute but I just wanted first of all to say sorry to the very many of you who are hearing about this for the first time here, online. I wish I had time/the ability/ teleportation skills to come and tell you all in person, but I don’t and this seems to be the best way to reach as many of you as possible and to explain as many of the details as I can.
Way back in November when I knew my contract at Moore Blatch would end in January I was job hunting, and a post-doctoral position was being passed around the mailing lists. It was ideal. But it was in Holland. We talked (me & Matt) and decided I needed to try to get it and we’d see what happened. I thought it was a very, very long shot, but I put in the application. Then I got an interview for a job at Solent, and was offered it and accepted, before the Holland thing even closed. It being international it took a while to shortlist, and I just put it out of my mind and assumed I would be given a polite ‘no’ based on experience of applying for archaeology stuff here in the UK over the last year- not one interview.
Just after Christmas I got an email saying ‘can you come for interview’. I went, but I didn’t tell anyone because I really didn’t think I would get it, and I didn’t want to rock the boat with Solent, but thought it would be good experience, and if nothing else, get my name known in the right circles and be a good chance to talk about my PhD. That was on Wednesday this week.
At 16.30 on Friday they offered me the job and I said yes. The downside is that they need me to start by the first of March, so we don’t have long at all to sort out, well, everything.
I’ll post some links about the project at the end, but to summarise, I’ll be doing the geophysics and geoarchaeology for a project looking at the settlement economy and ‘bottom layer’ of society in Protohistoric Italy, in a region of Calabria. It combines everything I love- geophysics, prehistory, landscape archaeology, geoarchaeology, and is part of a wider exciting project. Though the environment is quite different to my bogs, the challenges posed for geophysics are methodologically similar. It is an amazing opportunity and I would probably have to revoke my right to think of myself as at all intelligent if I turned it down.
But it means I’ll be living in the North of Holland (in a beautiful city called Groningen) for the next three years. The University is a very good one- the R.U.G. The project is and English language one, and I am hoping to do some teaching too. I need to learn Dutch and (lots) more Italian pretty fast.
Matt is 100% behind me doing this, but timing and circumstances mean he can’t come with me, at least not this year. It is going to mean some major changes and upheaval for him too. There is no question of us not being together, we have lived apart before, and we can and will do it again. We think we can see each other often enough for it to work as getting between here and there isn’t too difficult. We will also be relying on Skype!
At the moment I am waiting to get all the official stuff through from the University so I don’t know exactly when in February I will be going over. There will almost certainly be some sort of leaving do, and I will try to see as many of you as I can before I go, but it is going to be more than a little bit hectic. I apologise in advance for any stressedness! This blog is going to come back into much heavier use as a way to stay in touch (like when I started it when I was working overseas in 2006!). I also have my 30th birthday this year and I am hoping a whole load of you might come to Holland and we can eat apple pie?
I am guessing people have a billion questions. I don’t have many answers yet but I’ll try so get in touch and I’ll do what I can.