It turns out life as a postgrad second time around involves considerably more work than I remember from back in my Leeds days. I’ve yet to work out if the difference is institutional, personal or a mix of the two, but I can’t complain as what I’m doing is exactly what I wanted to be doing when I sent in my application, put together in the periods when my senior manager at my last job was away from his desk. Anyway, it’s not all work work work – I got to spend yesterday afternoon in the company of Robin Hood (hurrah!), Maid Marion (swoon!) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (boo!), which was well worth the price of admission someone else paid for the tickets we were kindly given just before we got the the ticket office. (Check out the Knights of Nottingham website for more on the good folks behind the show.)
At times I can’t help but wish there were a few more hours in the day (and a few more consistencies in Old English verbal conjugations). This will be even more true in the coming couple of weeks, as, in between my regular reading and so forth, I have to crowbar in putting together a presentation for the 2013 Society for Medieval Archaeology Postgraduate Colloquium, which this year is being held in Aberdeen. Regardless of the logistics, I’m stoked to be giving a paper at the event, since it will be the first time I’ve done a proper talk about my research outside of Surrey, and will be a great opportunity to meet fellow postgrads interested in the same fields of study. My presentation is entitled ‘Integrating early medieval portable antiquities and place-names in Surrey’, and will be a distillation of this, this and this, as well as one or two bits I haven’t blogged about before (it’s always good to try out new material on the road). Indeed, the bits of research I’m doing to fill in the gaps led me to learn of a really exciting discovery, about which I wrote a short piece last night.
Registration for attending the event closed a while back, so this post will be most relevant to those who are attending the colloquium, although anyone for whom this is not the case but who happens to be in the Aberdeen area on 7th and 8th November might take their chances and prevail upon the kindliness of the organisers to see if they can attend – in return for a generous contribution to the SMA, of course. Moreover, if anyone has any recommendations for what to see and do in Aberdeen while I’m there, please let me know – I’m a true Sassenach so it’s the furthest north I’ll have been in Britain!
For those not making the trip north, I’m rostered to speak to the SyAS Medieval Studies Forum meeting taking place on Saturday 30th November in St Catherine’s Village Hall on the edge of Guildford. Not quite sure what the nature of my contribution will be beyond it being on the subject of updating of the Anglo-Saxon portion of the Surrey Archaeological Research Framework. This is being tackled initially by the compilation of thematic research bibliographies within the various broad periods. Needless to say, such things involve a whole heap of work and I haven’t got a whole heap of time to spare right now, so I am aiming to put one together for settlement archaeology and use that as the springboard for discussion, but don’t be surprised if I manage to squeeze in one or two references to Middle Anglo-Saxon coins and economics on the day. In fact, I’m going to try to be as iconoclastic as I can as to the present state of knowledge and attitudes towards the period within Surrey – though I have a feeling circumstances may not permit me to go as far as I’d like. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.