Summer is preparation season in the museum/London world, apparently. It is now all too common for me to spend a whole week away from home every evening, leaving work and heading to an exhibition planning meeting. Hence the lack of blog posts recently.
All this rushing around has meant my diet and lifestyle has become less than healthy. I’ve taken to making myself smoothies to bring into work to rectify this somewhat; I’ve developed a mistrust of shop-bought ones since I read they contain huge amounts of sugar (I have too many fillings to risk that!). Unfortunately we don’t have a blender, forcing me to use a potato masher on my chosen fruit and avocado…and meaning green and purple lumps float around on the top. But however it looks, it tastes good, especially in this heat wave!
But I can reveal some good news: after months of deliberating and nail biting, the waters have cleared and I am now all accepted to start my PhD at Oxford in October! I quite honestly cannot wait. I also only have 2.5 weeks left at work. Something else I am counting down the minutes for…. That being said, we are having a Great British Bake Off competition this Friday, and I am much enjoying the move away from sporty events. Make and eat cake – much more my style!
But back to the PhD plans. Finally on track to get started with my pilgrim flask project. For those of you who don’t know, the research project is entitled “Pilgrim Flasks: chronological and cultural changes throughout Egypt and Sudan from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period”, and has 3 main aims: to create a typology of pilgrim flask, with a particular interest in the deviations between Egypt and Sudan after Egyptian withdrawal at the end of the end of the New Kingdom; to assess the relationship between the changes in shape and shifts in society; and to try and understand the purpose of the flask and it’s usage across different cultures. The creation of the typology will be particularly challenging, but it will be great to work with material from current excavations – so often we have to rely upon old excavation reports with vague contexts!
This does mean that we’ll be moving out of our amazing flat (sob). I think I’ve been spoilt this year, living in such a light, spacious flat with a garden. Moving day is the 5th September – not that I as yet have anywhere to move to….The bureaucracy of the whole thing is keeping me tethered temporarily to earth however. I’d forgotten quite how much PAPERWORK the whole thing requires. Financial declaration forms, contracts, accommodation details… I am particularly getting stuck on the latter. The fiancé may (or may not) be getting a job up north, and as such I am in housing limbo. Managed to reserve myself some uni accommodation luckily, as a back up plan, although I’m sure they’ll be chasing me to sign a contract soon….
I was a bit worried about finding accommodation for myself; during the first two years of your undergrad, your college usually arranges your housing, and then I lived with friends for the following two years. However it actually ended up being surprisingly easy even at this late stage. I emailed both my college accommodation office and the university graduate accommodation office and both found me a room within a few days. The one I chose is in a purpose built block near he Oxford train station and (the clincher for me) is right next to an allotment. Which I of course promptly signed up for! Planning on growing courgettes and sweet peas. Courgettes are just so easy to grow, and I’ve always fancied trying my hand at the sweet peas. Now I just have to see what happens to force my hand next week.