Playing in Spain | Day 1

Myself and seven other people with me arrived in Valencia, Spain just yesterday. I was completely ready for my holiday even if the last minute packing wasn’t evidence of being so, and couldn’t wait to get there. Of course, I had to fly first. 

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I don’t like flying. As handy as it is I can’t help but think that it’s a metal box hurtling itself through the air and that in itself is quite unsettling. I don’t mind the actual flying, as I so loudly said to my mother- aged 11- as we were going to Florida, it’s the taking off and landing that is the worst, and so after my two hour nap on board the box I was awoken to the worst landing I had ever experienced. It was so turbulent and shaky, and extremely fast. In fact there was a huge drop at some point that even had the air stewards swearing under their breath (reassuring). I was sure the oxygen masks would be needed soon. But, alas, we made it safely, and although we flew with some cheap company no one had lost their bags. 

The first thing we did, because we had bags, was find the flat we had rented out for the 10 days we were here for. We stepped off the metro train that bought us most of the way and the sun was so lovely and the sky was so blue. There were these huge buildings that I thought were hotels but were actually flats. Apparently almost everyone in the city lives in an apartment. When we got to the one we rented the man wasn’t in and so we had to wait. There was a bakery next to the place, however, so we all grabbed paninis and sandwiches for lunch. The man then came, handed us the keys and set off on his little motorbike thing. 

We looked around the flat, which is very light and airy, as things should be on the Mediterranean coast, and Ed and I were allocated the study. 

“The futon in here is tiny!” I squealed when I saw it. Ed doesn’t fit on it properly. Half his legs hang off unless he bunches himself up. Though the futon may be small we get the balcony, while no one else does, and we get air conditioning while the others don’t. And we have the wifi right next to us, which is handy for all our needs (that is instagram and wordpress). We set down our bags, got changed and then headed out to take a gander. 

the view from the balcony, and Argonaut sitting in the sun.

the view from the balcony, and Argonaut sitting in the sun.

We walked about seven minutes past the harbour, which our flat is literally two roads away from, and then on to the beach. At first we just walked down the promenade, although Pookie and Mouse went down to the sea with Mouse’s dad, though we all sat down for a drink first. Luckily Jem has a degree in Spanish and can speak it extremely fluently so ordering is hardly a hassle (except for her) and so beers, colas and lemon drinks were consumed. I had a lemon drink. It was delicious, but extremely sour. 

the promenade

the promenade

The promenade is spectacular, it sort of reminded me of Venice Beach in L.A (not that I’ve been) because of all the palm trees along the side. It was so hot though, even at five o clock in the afternoon. In fact, I was so hot that Ed’s dad had to go to a shop and buy me a fan because he thought I looked a bit red. There were shops, restaurants and market stalls all along the promenade, and my objective was to get a bigger bag as the single one that I had bought was tiny, but nowhere really had any I liked. Still, it was beautiful. There were also a whole gang of stalls selling fresh corn on the cob, still in the leaves. It was spectacular. 

As far as Europe goes there’s still street vendors who look shady and illegitimate, but having been to Greece and Italy with the school I sort of learned to ignore those people, no matter hoe long they hung around. 

And then we walked on the beach. Coming here we were told that the sand was so hot even the native Spanish couldn’t walk on it without sandals (though there was a volleyball match going on and none of them had shoes on). Of course, I put it to the test. The sand was warm indeed, but not too hot, though I wouldn’t be on it for too long, just in case. The sand, however, was extremely soft. We went down the board walk towards the sea, and set up some towels on the sand and all hand a bit of a paddle about in the sea, though there was always someone on the shore looking after the bags. I tell you, it is refreshing to go into a sea that you an see all the way through to the bottom of. England just doesn’t have that luxury, even if you go to a nice beach. 

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And then we all got ice-creams. I got a marshmallow one which was extremely child-like of me, but it was pink and it was delicious. Ed had a white chocolate one which was gone in five seconds flat, Pookie had a brownie one, and then I don’t know. They also had a mango one I’d like to try next. We went back home. Chilled out, and then got ready to go out. I had a bun in my head all day so took it out and it was all wavy, like a fifties hollywood actress, so I kept it like that, slicked on my nicer sandals and went out for dinner around nine o clock. I went to Spain when I was six years old with my family, and when we were going for tea at this time then I was falling asleep at the table. Things have changed, however and I was wide awake (though Pookie and Mouse weren’t). 

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When we got to the restaurant there was a kerfuffle over tables (I don’t think they have ever had to deal with such a large group) but we got seated, placed orders of everything and it was all bought out within minutes at rapid fire. First there were olives, and then chips, ‘patatas bravas’, calamari squid rings, grilled cuttlefish, chorizo, anchovies, salad, Salerno ham, croquette potatoes with ham, spicy chicken, and this really delicious cheese that I liked so much I had half of one plate. It sounds like a lot of food, but all the dishes were shared out between seven people (Mouse had her own sandwich for dinner) so the portions were totally manageable. We all wolfed down the food, at a rate we were sure the waiters would find alarming, but it was absolutely delicious. The only thing I did not try was the anchovies, but I’ve had them before and was never keen. We were so full at the end we wouldn’t even contemplate dessert. I have not been so satisfyingly stuffed in weeks. 

Luckily the tapas was only a few streets away from the flat so we didn’t have to walk far back home. And then we all went to bed. 

Regarding the first nights sleep the study now seems unfortunate. There’s this thing outside that has been making noise throughout the night, on and off, so you can’t even get used to it and it is so hot that it’s ridiculous, even without a duvet at all I’m sweltering. Also, because this is a relatively new area, I don’t really know what the bugs are like here so have been paranoid I’d wake up with a huge spider on my face (I did, however, see my very first cockroach while were were walking back from tapas). I woke up at 7AM in Spanish time, so not too ridiculous, though I am awake before anyone else, which is really strange as a lot of the people here often wake up at six o clock. I can only assume that they all have jet lag and I don’t because I slept on the plane, and napped throughout. Perhaps we should participate in siesta? 

I also bought a video camera with me so hopefully I can film some things to show you because I think that would be fun. I’ll try.

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Can People Just Be Humble About Charity, Please?

Facebook ruins everything. First it ruined socialising by wearing a clever disguise and being called a ‘social networking site’, then it ruined any sport event in the world. The Olympics? Ruined. World Cup? Ruined. Wimbledon? Ruined. Simply because there are far too many statuses about it. Now Facebook is ruining charity. Why? 

Well, Facebook is really just a website that allows you to brag about how good your life is to all the people you used to go to school with. On it we brag about friendships, of relationships, new cars (and how much we spent on them), holidays, clothes (and how much we spent on them- in fact someone on my facebook posted about how they bought two pairs of jeans for £120 each pair, when in actual fact they were on sale at £40 for both. As he admitted later in the comments), and now instead of appearing superficial and braggy we want to look charitable and generous which is where the whole thing comes from. 

On Tuesday my area took part in a Race For Life which, for those unfamiliar, is a ‘run’ hosted by Cancer Research UK, to raise money for the cause and pay tribute to those who have suffered from cancer. See, a good cause, and it’s being ruined. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that Facebook exists so that people can raise awareness to charities and events for them, and how good it is for spreading the world, I’m not THAT much of a meanie! But seriously, people just need to be humble about these things. 

Since Tuesday I have seen just about everyone on my timeline post a sweaty after-run race bragging about either a) how fast they ran, b) who they ran with or c) how much money they raised. It just reminded me of the make-up less selfies that went around the world the other month to raise money for the same charity. A good cause, ruined.

The thing with the selfie thing is that, despite being hidden under a mask of good-will it was still selfish. For one there was the ‘tagging’ thing, which brought up your friends and basically said ‘ha! I was kinder before YOU’, and yes maybe I am a little bit bitter about that because I was never tagged because I have no ‘friends’ and whatnot, but still. Next is the selfie in general. People were actually refusing to take part in this because they didn’t look good without make-up and that is a selfish thing to add to what is meant to be a selfless thing. In the end people were posting WITH make-up which stripped away the point, it then became a game of ‘show us how pretty you are’ and that sucked. And then thirdly there was the charity aspect where it was all about oneupmanship. First you didn’t have to donate, just raise awareness, then SOMEONE did and everyone else needed to look just as kind. 

Oh, look. My friend donated £5, I need to show her up and donate £50! 

Suddenly, everyone was not just donating, but talking about how much they raised. There were hundreds being given. Suddenly it was all about the spare money you had to give away and how much you spent. That sucked more. DON’T GET ME WRONG IT WAS A GREAT CAUSE AND MILLIONS WERE RAISED BUT WHERE IS THE HUMBLE PIE! 

But I digress. That’s the thing with this Race For Life, it’s become a matter of looking good to other people, people that you don’t actually care about but want to impress, because for some reason society is so superficial about our image that we can’t even keep something respectful unscathed. Since Tuesday (that’s literally only two days) everyone has had to say “I’ve had so much fun running at the Race For Life for Cancer Research UK with my best friends. I did it in just thirty seconds (aren’t I miraculous) and have donated a bajillion pounds because I am THAT generous! P.S. Here is my tee-shirt and pink Nike Airs that cost a bunch specially for this occasion.” Jeez! (that being said, my school had to stop ‘charity dress-up days’ in sixth form because people were spending more money on their costumes than they were giving, which is SO not the point)

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I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I was talking to Ed about it earlier and he thinks the same as his timeline was also littered, and not even for the right reasons. I’m all glad that they did something good, and am very happy that such a worth-while charity is getting such recognition, but I can not express how sad I am that it has come to this. 

Whatever happened to just texting a number to donate £1 like they do on Red Nose Day, or giving your clothes to charity shops, whatever happened to generally being generous out of the kindness of your heart and because you want to do good. (I’m sure that many people who took part in the race for life did do it out of good-will, too, I’m just saying) Why can’t we just send in a cheque nowadays without having to cause a ruckus over the number that was written on it? I’m not saying these people were bad because they did the Race For Life, definitely not, and I would have taken part myself if I ever managed to keep up with these sorts of events, because I genuinely believe in the things that the charities try to do. I’m just saying that the song and dance that people have made over the whole thing has turned it all into some kind of show, more than ever because we have somewhere we can easily talk about it without having to wait for the moment to arise, a place where EVERYONE can see, and the humbleness has sort of disappeared. 

I think it will be mean to write such a post, without having donated any money so I will, because I want to. And I urge you to do the same as well, I want everyone reading this to pick a charity, any charity and donate some money, whether it is just a pound, or a hundred, I simply don’t care. But if you do, please do it because you are being kind, not because you want to look good. And please don’t tell me how much you have given, and please do not post it on Facebook. 

Digging Into the Past

A few hours ago Ed came back from his archaeological dig. It was only in Sedgeford, a measly fifteen minutes away by car but I was still not able to see him for a week, which felt weird, considering I was still staying in his house, with his family.

Sedgeford offers a ‘BERT’ course for archaeological beginners to gain the Basic Excavation and Recording Techniques, for a week, which is what Ed was doing there this week, but of course as part of the programme they also have to do presentations to the public on a Friday. Jem, Pookie and I decided to go and see. I personally was looking forward to seeing Sedgeford as I had dug there two years ago and was eager to see how it had progressed since my being there.

“We’ll leave at three o clock.” Jem said. But really what I learned is that when someone says a time they’ll leave at they really mean fifteen minutes later. The thing that stalled us was that Pookie had left her school bag at school and needed to go back and get it, which added ten minutes to the leaving time already. However. At quarter past three all the schools are done for the day and there’s an abundance of cars picking up kids and taking them places that we got stuck in traffic coming out of town. We decided it must be because the schools are done either for summer, or for the weekend that everyone is going off to the beach (doesn’t help that today was meant to be the hottest day). The traffic was so awful it was at a standstill so we didn’t even get out of town until twenty seven past three, just three minutes before the presentation started.

We were frantically trying to call and text Ed to say we were going to be late and to see if he could stall the presentation a little bit, alas no. The presentation has already started. Luckily, the traffic eased up considerably once we left the town and we were quick enough getting there, even if we were twenty minutes late. But it was fine. We made it JUST in time for the BERTs to speak. Ed was first.

The presentation was great. Though the funny thing is that Ed did just about the same thing I did. He dug a trench that was the shape of a quarter circle on the edge of the trench and found…….

nothing. Just a sliver of bone near the top.

Two years ago I also dug a quarter circle (I’m very sorry, my archaeological lingo is a bit rusty at the minute) on the edge of a trench and found nothing but a shard of bone. The only difference is that Ed didn’t lose his bone.

(On my behalf it was not MY fault I lost it. We were called to lunch just as I found it and I asked what I should do with it to which they told me to leave it on the bucket of a lid next to my trench as they couldn’t get a finds tray at that exact moment, and when I came back from lunch the lid, and the bone, was gone. It was fixed, however, because the supervisors told me to write on the context sheet that it went through to enviro because then there’s a scapegoat)

It’s funny though, that Ed and I are dating, and we have done our digs on the same weeks (or just about) that he is two years younger than me and is doing his dig in the same year of school as me and has ended up digging the exact same hole (sort of) and finding next to nothing. However, none of the other BERTs found anything either, unlike when I dug and the people next to me where uncovering cow skulls and bits of metal working.What was the conclusion about the area the BERTs were digging this year is that a lot of it is just natural features from the glacial period (approx 12,000 years ago) which, even though not as cool as a burial or anything is still exciting. Ed did theorise that, because a lot of the deposited rocks were iron rich thought that perhaps it was actually an iron deposit or somewhere in which iron would be dug up and worked which would explain, partly, why there is a settlement.

However, in the next trench (or context, as we like to call it) they found what looks like a house. There was a hearth with what could be a clay floor, some hook thing that they suspect is a door latch and post-holes. Empirical evidence that there is a house. However the coolest find was a piece of daub from a wattle and daub house which had an imprint of the woven wattle on one side and the hand-print of a seven year old[?] on the other. HOW COOL IS THAT! I can’t say it’s every day that mud used to build a house in the Anglo-Saxon period survives.

Of course, while I was there I wanted to find my hole and go through nostalgia, but I think I may have missed that part of the tour. Of course, just being there and seeing familiar people made me nostalgic over Sedgeford, and I think being there again made me realise exactly how much I miss being there and how much I miss digging, and now I am itching to join one again (if I can wrangle some money out of my family Ed and I were going to try and come back as volunteers some time this summer- *hinting towards mum*).

What’s more, is that Sedgeford are actually publishing a book about the archaeology there, called “Digging Sedgeford – A People’s Archaeology”, which is an editorial on the site, which reflects and input on all who have been associated with it, so you never know, you might be able to see my name somewhere, again, HOW COOL IS THAT! The book si being published on the 15th of August this year and will be available in bookshops as of that same date for £19.95 which really isn’t badly priced for an archaeology book. And you can also order it online. They, I believe, are currently doing a pre-publication offer to those who order before the publication date at just £15, and can be delivered outside of the UK too. I’m very sorry if this promotion has bugged you, but you see, Archaeology is a passion of mine and Sedgeford is a site that will remain dear to me for as long as I live, so I would like to share these things with you.

Afterwards we went home, and bought Ed back with us, who is now very happy to be back in a normal bed and have a good shower in a more private setting, and then we went to the beach for fish and chips and to make ourselves even more muddy, probably making this day perhaps one of the nicest I’ve had in a while.

What I’m Reading | ‘Four’ by Veronica Roth

Earlier in the year I read the Divergent series, following the story of the character Tris Prior on an adventure through a divided Chicago as she comes to terms with what, and who she is. My review on the series was a bit mixed, but I have actually came to the conclusion that I do actually really like the books, which is great (because I’d hate to have wasted my money)! It is for this fact that when I walked into Waterstones, the book shop, yesterday and discovered that Veronica Roth has released a new book I was ecstatic and bought it immediately. 

‘Four’ by Veronica Roth is a ‘prequel’ to the Divergent series, set two years in the past, however is not written in the voice of Tris Prior but in the voice of ‘Four’ or Tobias Eaton, a former Abnegation citizen who, on the date of the choosing ceremony, decided to transfer over to the Dauntless faction. The background of the story, as I read in the introduction, is that Veronica Roth started writing Divergent in the voice of Tobias but stopped thirty pages in because she didn’t think it was right, and then chose to write in Tris’ perspective for the most part (apart from half of Allegiant). Tobias is perhaps my favourite character in the series which is why I was excited to read it. I am currently halfway through. 

The story of ‘Four’ is written in four parts, wonderfully enough, as Four in the series only has four fears, hence his name, so it is only fitting to write it in four parts (and I do like a good play on words). After the story of Four, however, there are also three deleted ‘scenes’ which Veronica had changed or omitted and this intrigued me to see how these scenes may have played into the story. Great, my curiosity is held. The names of the four sections are:

The Transfer

The Initiate

The Son and

The Traitor and essentially follow Tobias as he chooses to leave abnegation, go through the initiation stages in Dauntless, settle into his new life and then find his place in Dauntless and become one of the most powerful members of the faction. The final quarter, The Traitor, then documents meeting Tris, though is not the first moment they meet as that is contained in the deleted scenes under the title ‘First Jumper, Tris’. Ah, it seems confusing. 

Reading it I am currently halfway through ‘The Son’ which the name itself intrigues me (I won’t say why that will spoil everything) but judging from the other titles I can only take a guess at the contents on the pages. The story itself is great. As I said, I adore Tobias Eaton and his voice as he is a strong and well developed character which comes across well in these short stories, which may be due to being the earliest developed character that Veronica Created. He almost, almost puts Tris to shame. At points the voice of Tris and the voice of Tobias sort of blend, as they compete with the authors own writing style but they’re still distinguishable enough to see them as separate characters. 

The story itself is a little bit repetitive as the training processes and initiation are just the same as Tris’, only less detailed and in a slightly different order, however that is understandable given the background to the story, it therefore is not quite Hunger Games repetitive with the multiple games. Also, the story sees behind the scenes of Tobias starting a career which is not talked about as much which is where I am at the moment in the book, and this is roughly where the repetitiveness ends and Tobias becomes more his own. I can only assume there will be a little bit more repetition as we here about him meeting Tris, as obviously both of the characters were there at the time, but of course they lead different lives and talk to different people so it won’t be too samey in the end. I would call this book ‘un-put-downable’ but I have been doing other things since I last read this book. 

I can normally testify how good a book is when I choose it over sleep, and last night I was battling with my eyelids into the early hours, just to keep reading, despite the similar early plots. If you are a Divergent fan then I truly recommend this book (but if you are a fan you most likely don’t need my instruction). If you are a fan of Dystopian futures (like me) and have not read the Divergent series yet, but want to, I also recommend it. Four’s character is more dramatic and developed than Tris, and is therefore a good way to introduce yourself to the fandom. You could also play around with the chronology of the stories and read Four before you read Divergent, and so forth, in an almost Star-Wars-esque fashion, or not. Just a suggestion. If, however, you have already read Divergent and was not a huge fan at all then I would not recommend it as the repetition may irritate or bore you a bit. However I personally love it and would solidly rate this book a 7/10. 

Trialling Life in the Adult World

I’m nineteen. I’m twenty in just over six months, which is crazy because my child self has always thought twenty to be that age where I am officially an adult, like, for real, because that is when I am literally no longer a teenager. The reality is that my child-like self currently wants to shy away from all things adult and just spend a little bit more time being irresponsible (psychologists out there must be thinking all manner of things with this statement) and this is perhaps why I have been stalling on looking for jobs, and places to live. I just don’t want to grow up. I have a Peter Pan complex going on. But today I have taken a glimpse into the future. No T.A.R.D.I.S needed. 

Ed is currently away camping on an archaeological dig and is there for a week. No huge biggie, I’m used to spending time apart because university has made me that way but it’s the fact that he is away on an archaeological dig that’s made it strange. Because we are both interested in archaeology and ancient history and general history what is likely to happen, if we remain a partnership after university days and whatnot, is that we will be all over the place digging all over the world. I went on the same dig two years ago, but because I went home every night, instead of camping, I never realised what living on a camp site would be like. I didn’t know that it would only consist of one phone call per night, and spending the days waiting for the time to call. This is perhaps the least attractive thing about archaeology. At least Ed has signal though, I just feel sorry for the people there who might have children and marriages waiting for them at home, who might not have signal. Perhaps it won’t end up like this. Our plan, at this moment, if we last, is to find a job in Italy and moving there together so that I can work on restoring Pompeii, and he can go out and fulfil all manner of digs from classical to medieval periods and live on the Italian coast (preferably Sorrento) but who knows, it could end up being a case of broken phone calls as we stand in a countryside field desperately seeking signal. 

Of course, while Ed is on his dig, I am currently still staying in his parents house, which feels a little bit weird, but there’s no space for me at home, unless I fancy sleeping on a sofa, futon, or on the floor. Not so much a look into life. I’m sure I’ll have my own place at some point, I’ll have to if I’m going to be in Italy. But today everyone was out. So for a little bit I pretended the house was all mine. My sister came round with Boscy, my nephew, and we chatted and watched episodes of Gossip Girl, which even though we literally live across a park from each other made it feel like she had travelled to come and see me and catch up (despite the fact we have seen each other every day since I came home). This is adult life. I always pictured adult life with Vie to be different. Miles different. For one I never imagined having a nephew when she was so adamant on never having kids. I also pictured us travelling together, living together, spending a year in New York or Los Angeles after university but it’s not going to be like that. It’s never going to be like that. It’s going to be sporadic visits and ‘catching up’ and reminiscing. 

Today, while I hung out at home I waited for Pookie to come home from school and we went to the supermarket together to pick out food for dinner and then we went home and I cooked us all a meal. All right, it was bunging a pizza and garlic bread in the oven and then making super noodles for my sister, but as I heated up bottles of milk for Boscy and made the food, it made me feel like a parent. I’m still currently on this ‘I’m-never-ever-having-kids’ mindset so this idea scared me. It was weird cooking for an eleven year old. Taking on the responsible role. It was freaky. It made me feel old. It’s weird to think that maybe someday (but highly unlikely) I’d have my own eleven year old that I’d have to look after. It was weird to think that maybe in the future life will be staying at home waiting for my eleven year old to come home from school and then cooking them dinner and looking after it. Making sure that they’re ready for Scouts or Girl Guides and then tidying up. 

Life will be me looking after the kids, somewhere in Italy, but probably actually England, actually back home, because the education is better. (of course I could send them to boarding school while I preserve Pompeii, but where would I get the tuition fees from an archaeologists salary?) Ed will be off on some dig somewhere, making me very jealous that I am not out there too. I will be missing him, waiting by the phone because I don’t know when he’ll next get signal or when I’ll see him next. I’ll get visits from my sister every so often, and will go to see my parents when I get the time. That will be life. Not anything near what my dreams are. I probably won’t ever find the right time to live in Los Angeles and New York and Paris just because I want to. There will come a time when I have to settle in one place and stop travelling the world and more. Maybe not. But probably. It’s weird. 

So I haven’t done any taxes today, or anything else as responsible and adult-y as that but I have had a glimpse into the future from the little things. Those little things that make people realise that one day they can’t be Peter Pan and remain child-like as ever. It was an epiphany that freaked me out because I am still very much a person that is incredibly naive, that still has a childish wonder about the world and desire to just explore it. I’m a person that is too shy to order in restaurants. How can I be an adult? I don’t want to be an adult. Not yet. Definitely not yet.

I think, this may just be the first time in my life that I actually relate to Wendy from Peter Pan. I know that there are responsibilities that I will have to accept, but I just don’t want to yet. I want to fly away to never-land and not go back for a long time. I mean, I know that I am only nineteen and I have years yet before I actually have to settle down for real. But seriously, that time will go incredibly quickly, I’ll be a fully sledged adult in six months for Pete’s sake, my mum had my sister and I when she was twenty, and I’ll have to get a job and that will actually change the entire game-plan. I must say, though, that although there seems to be one major downside to archaeology I’m glad I chose it and have a passion and ambition in that, because although I may not have great contact, or a permanent house, and I’ll be living in a tent most likely, I can still travel the world and keep some of my childhood dream. At least for a bit. 

And The Results Are In…

I’ve just looked at my university portal to see if my results have been posted yet. They are in. With an intense click on the left hand button the results are as follows:

I HAVE PASSED ON MY FIRST ATTEMPT! I think I’m quite pleased with that.

The way university works is that you need 40% to pass a module and 40% overall in the year to pass, meaning that you don’t need to succeed at every module that makes up 120 credits altogether. I have successfully passed all six modules with full credits and can therefore return to university for second year (if I find a place to live, that’s next on my checklist). Of course, each module has varying degrees of success. 

LATIN: D, 44% 

This actually does not surprise me. I got a D in Latin at GCSE and in the two years between then and now I had forgotten everything except ‘Caecilius est pater’ and have a terrible memory when it comes to labelling the grammar (why is it all so similar!). Added to the fact that the department failed to tell me about a mid-year assessment that counted to this years grade until after it was done and there was nothing I could have done and the grade is even less surprising. If only I hadn’t have been ill that lesson and I would have had a higher grade, possibly even a B! 

FIFTH CENTURY ATHENS: D, 45%

I should have known this. I thought I did well in the exam. I don’t know what made me grade so low. The only thing I can think of is that my coursework wasn’t spot on. This was one of the earlier modules and I was still getting used to the referencing system, bibliographies, how to write the essays and more. I could spew to you facts about Greece left right and centre but I could not for the life of me tell you where they came from. 

PRIMATES TO PYRAMIDS: D, 47%

Not my best work. I blame the coursework which I spent forever suffering through the most difficult question that I have ever seen (how am I meant to write about the archaeology of the Assyrian Empire from 2000 to 1000 B.C when a quick Google and multiple sources told me that there is no surviving written record and very little in the ways of archaeology to go in this period, like the dark ages in Britain only in a dessert. Also, I have never studied archaeology until this year. 

ROME TO REFORMATION: C, 50%

This grade annoys me, purely because it shows that if I had gained three more marks then in my Fifth Century Athens module then I’d have gotten a better grade. THREE MARKS. But still, a C. Not bad, that’s a 2:2 in the university world and that shows that I have potential to get better, surely? Again, this was an early module in archaeology. 

PRACTISING ARCHAEOLOGY: B, 63%

What!? A 2:1!? I thought I did terribly with this module following my 90% in an assessment at the start of the year. I believe that what some people call “hubris“, the pride before a fall (there’s tonnes of it going on in The Iliad) but mind you a 90% is a nice little safety mat to fall back on if I do happen to fall. Sophie the Academic Stunts-woman. 

AUGUSTAN ROME: A, 72%

I believe this is a first. I can’t quite remember the grade boundaries, but seriously, how can an A not be a first. If it isn’t then it’s pretty damn close and I’m happy with it. I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to all things Augustan Rome. I did an essay on propaganda in literature including The Aeneid, which I have read at least ten times (I was 9% off a first class grade with that essay) and then my exam was on the Forum Augustus which, you should know, took some inspiration from The Aeneid (or vice versa) and the myth of Romulus and Remus. See! I know it! 

To be frank the later modules are a lot better than the early ones, besides Primates to Pyramids, which was always going to be the case. Mix having to completely learn new writing styles, not being able to access key reading (a university library SHOULD have the books on your reading lists!) being ill for a week and a major depressive period where I was skipping some classes and generally not being motivated to do anything then I honestly say I deserve each and every grade I got. All I wanted to do this year was to pass as I learned how everything worked. The important thing is that I know where I went wrong and can improve this greatly when I go back; besides, this year doesn’t count towards my degree so none of it will effect me, but now I can be serious and get the best grades I possibly could. Bring on second year!

Pillow Talk #1

Just now I’ve had a funny conversation. The funny things about it is that my counterpart in this dialogue was asleep. I find the conversations with a sleeping Ed to be hilarious, if not slightly weird (one time he confessed to being a serial killer and proceeded to put his hand vaguely around my neck….ookaayyyy). Because he is asleep I haven’t got a clue about what he sees in his head and the guesswork game is all part of the fun. I must say these conversations are the only up side to being awake at four o clock in the morning. Today’s went as follows:

Me: shifts in bed and pushed Ed away

Ed: What was that for?

Me: Because I’m all hot and sticky and uncomfortable. (it was very hot, and being snuggled up to someone in bed makes it unbearably so)

Ed: Well come here! jauntily extends arm and pulls me in so that I’m even closer to the sticky heat. I do not see how this will help but I go along with it for the sake of the conversation. What are you doing now!? 

Me: What do you mean?

Ed: You’re going in slow motion! (one can only hope that in his mind he is playing out some cute romantic montage, and not because I’m making myself look stupid)

Me: I’m not going in slow motion

Ed: Yes, you are. You’re all like d..d..du..duu (this is apparently the sound of slow-mo.)

Me: Already too hot to handle. I move away from him and move the gap

Ed: I just got the word ‘hat’ from the bottom of my coffee!

Me: What? Really?

Ed: nods his head

Me: How did you do that?

Ed: I don’t know. I was just thinking of the UCAS day thingy makes weird hand motion and got…yeah, that. 

Me: That’s new. 

Perhaps Ed’s coffee is like the prophetic tea leaves in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and is telling him that one day he will wear a hat. Who knows. This is however liked to UCAS so unless there is a university whose UCAS code is HAT or there is a university in Hatsfield (is that a real place?) then I can’t piece this together, never mind why I would be walking in slow motion. 

I hope to have more pillow talks soon. Documenting them is pretty fun and I could show this to him when we wake up and embarrass him, or just entertain him with his unconscious babblings of his subconscious mind. There are some people who say dreams mean something, can someone help me decode this?