Soul Food

Late again, but again for good reasons. Got loads done at work last week and feel good that I am on top of things before going away tomorrow with the Minor Centers project. We’re off to Lazio to look for evidence about smaller Roman settlements and way-stations along the via Appia. It’s going to be hot and sticky- when we were there this time last year it regularly topped 40 degrees when we were in the field. But it’s also going to be good fun. We have a great team and we’re being hosted by a local community we have lots of ties to, so I am looking forward to loads of jokes, good food and team work.

I didn’t post over the weekend because my friend Jess was visiting. She sings in a band, The Undercover Hippy, who were playing a small festival in the north of the province. Jess came over early and we had a great couple of days together before heading to the festival for the day on Saturday. The band were great: if you get a chance to see them I’d definitely recommend going! I’ve known Jess since we were about 11: we grew up in houses two doors apart and she is so important in my life, and in who I am today. We don’t see each other nearly often enough, but when we do it’s like little bits of my soul that stay quietly hibernating are brought into the light and nourished. I realise things: that I am someone who loves sitting in a field drinking mead in the sunshine, putting the world to rights and listening to good music. That there is just a little bit of a fluffy hippy lurking inside all of the science.

Love #project52 Week 29

Love #project52 Week 29

For the rest of this week and next I am away, so here is this week’s post as well…

Gone Digging #Project52 Week 30

Gone Digging #Project52 Week 30

Running to stand still

I’ve been lax with the project 52 posts again. It’s been a busy few weeks and in my defence I was either in the UK, or had houseguests for much of the time elapsed since my last (somewhat growly) post… therefore, my two missing posts (weeks 26 & 27) are snippets of what I have been up to!

So, week 26- I left for the UK on the Wednesday lunchtime and had a couple of days with Matt, in which Adventures were had, went to a wedding, celebrated an engagement, saw my folks and played some silly games. On the Friday M and I went to London for said Adventure – we went to the British Museum, but didn’t manage to get in to see Herculaneum and Pompeii, so we wandered around some bits of the museum we missed on our last visit in February, then walked (!) over to London Zoo, via Regent’s Park, to attend ‘Zoo Lates‘ – this was a lot of fun and as you may have seen on twitter, I learned a lot about aardvarks and got a little over excited by the sloths. I only took one picture though, as Matt took his decent camera along and I left documenting the trip down to him. He had great fun before we even got to the zoo, trying to get pictures of the almost tame squirrels in the park.

#project52 Week 26 Park!

#project52 Week 26 Park!

 

When I came back to the Netherlands last Thursday I brought Cas and Cat with me, and they went home on Tuesday (via awesome pie in Amsterdam). Having two of my favourite women here with me for almost a week was such a treat. We talked about books, and men, and politics, and life as our particular generation. It was particularly interesting to me to see the city through their eyes. Cat is a keen photographer and she looks at buildings and landscapes in ways that I don’t. I think the pictures she took on the trip are stunning. Cas is a writer and inquisitive by nature, especially about people and how they work. She asked me so many good questions, about what life here is like, and how it is different from home. More than anything, it was good to spend a few days with people who know me inside out, and who have devoured the same books as me…. When we get together, Matt swears it is like trying to decipher code as we pull references from authors we love to explain how we feel, or how we see a situation. They are my coven, and I love them.

#project25 Week 27 Cat & Kriek

#project25 Week 27 Cat & Kriek

I went back to work yesterday and spent all of it reading documents that had come in for my edits while I was away, and getting on top of my email. Today I had a ‘supervision’ meeting with a student doing his BA thesis partly with me, then had an afternoon of dealing with Scary Things ™ – like the Student Loans Company, and pressing for feedback on an article I am writing, then cracked on with a report. I met the lovely Vere after work for a catch-up and then came home and decided I had used up all of my bravery for the day, so no more scary things tonight. Once this is posted, I’m going to curl up with a book, and get an early night. My holiday was lovely, but now I need to focus hard on getting some things off of the ‘to do’ list before I leave for fieldwork in twelve days!

repeat after me:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

So. Here is the way through: Breathe. Run (tomorrow after work). Plan: fear of the unknown is more than half of the problem, and a good deal of what is left is due to the chaos created by not having a plan. Eat well, sleep well and remember how in love you are with where you live and what you do. That should do it. Right?

Prologues

It’s been a while since I last posted, and my good intentions to talk about Italy, and CAA and lots of things in between have fallen by the wayside. I find myself staring the end of the year in the face, wanting to write my traditional posts to mark the passing of time, but having too much unsaid from the last few months.

2012 has gone by very fast, perhaps as the newness of life here in the Netherlands has worn off a bit and things become more homely and familiar.  I was back in the UK for a few days in the middle of November and it was the first time it hasn’t felt instantly ‘normal’ to me. There is a lot I would like to write about, musings I want to share, but my beloved M is here and I am feeling very selfish and jealous of this rare quiet time we are having together. It is simply wonderful to wake up with him every day and know that (for the next 7 days at least) there is nothing to take us away from each other. Separation just makes me realise how much we took for granted before, how lucky we are, and teaches me not to squander the little moments and quiet times when we do eventually live together again. So you aren’t going to get a big long blog from me now. I will write more tomorrow, about hopes and fears for 2013, and then again in the new year looking back at the old.

For now, I just wanted to say a belated Merry Christmas to you all, and to be a bit smug about how happy I am right now. Take care of each other,

 

K x