Spring has finally sprung, and as my mood picks up again with the longer daylight hours, I'll try to get into the the habit of posting more often. Remember, this blog is not dead, just occasionally a bit dormant.
In the ongoing saga of my Ph.D. attempts, it has turned out that there might not be enough assemblages of enough large size to do all the things I wanted to do. Sigh. I talked to a colleague about my options, and she adviced me to go for one of my alternative research ideas. Naturally, that was the most vague and least pre-researched one. So now I'm back in the library all evenings and checking that I have enough material for it to work. It's slow going. But at least they have a lot
of books and journals, not limited to those within the UK border. Hopefully I'll have assembled a decent amount of data by the end of the month and can see if the new Ph.D. idea is doable.
Otherwise it's been the classic grumble of "if only I had more money"* - not only because most of my Ph.D. problems could be solved that way: German universities seem to be happy to accept most Ph.D. students, but the drawback is that you have to fund your 3-4 years of ph.d.ing yourself by grants or money in the bank. Last year, or possibly the year before, an interesting conference on environmental urban archaeology
was announced on the ZooArch mailing list and I carefully printed the email to remind me to check for papers as the time drew near. Naturally I only just recalled the conference, and sure enough: lots of interesting papers
, but not only did the early bird option end mid-March, what with travel and accommodation even €120 would be too expensive for me right now. I'll just have to see if any of the talks ends up on Academia.edu or in journals later on... I will have to have the same approach with the European Archaeology Association's annual conference as well. It's in Glasgow this year and, again, interesting talks and sessions. I'm particularly interested in the wool session
and Lee Broderick just posted his abstract on the use of waste to interpret trade and craft in Medieval towns
(probably for the dirt session
). And yes, you can apply for travel and registration cost grants, but as an employed independent researcher who is neither presenting a poster, a talk or chairing a session, it would be extremely unlikely for me to get one. And I don't begrudge the Ph.D. students who get them. They probably earn less than I.
But I have to put money aside for next year. Not only is it the ICAZ (International council for ArchaeoZoology) every-four-year-conference, but that year's theme for the International Medieval Congress in Leeds
is Food, feast and famine
. The IMC has been on my wish list for many years, and now there is actually a theme that is really relevant to my work! I had to sit on my hands to not attempt to present a paper - as much as I would have loved to do that, I'm actually way too busy right now and adding more important things is not going to help.
*: Money this year is going towards one pair of handmade medieval shoes for re-enactment (finally! proper shoes that suits my time period!!!) and a holiday trip home to Sweden.