Another month, another link-up. Once again, I’m joining with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.
I’m afraid that, despite luggage restrictions, I’ve succumbed all too often to the temptation of picking up books from English bookshops (because, hello, English bookshops). I loved Martin Sexsmiths’ The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, although the ending upset me so much I froze and nearly missed my train stop. I hope to see the movie with Judi Dench sometime. I laughed out loud at John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson Will Grayson and at the new (!) Adrian Plass book (Adrian Plass is a riot. If you’ve ever been part of a charismatic church, you’ll identify with his sacred diaries so much). P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley was an enjoyable way to revisit the Austen universe. I also read Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath, the Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau, Elizabeth Esther’s Girl at the End of the World, Generous Spaciousness by Wendy Gritter, and Elora Nicole’s Every Shattered Thing.
After anticipating them for months, I got a chance to watch Maleficent and The Fault in Our Stars. Both were good, although I’m having difficulty getting past the fact that Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort just played siblings in Divergent. I was also introduced to Sunshine Over Leith and its infectious soundtrack by friends here at the castle, which I enjoyed. I was less than enamoured, however, with Bridget Jones’ Diary and Legally Blonde II. My favourite watches of the month were definitely The Lizzie Benett Diaries (I tried to get into them when they first came out and couldn’t, but this time I watched them practically straight through. Watching the evolution of Mary Kate Wiles as Lydia was especially moving) and The Bletchley Circle (a bit formulaic at time, but who doesn’t love period dramas about smart women solving mysteries). Currently, I’m binge-watching Ugly Betty, which is occasionally over the top but fun nevertheless.
Sarah Bessey mentioned this song a few weeks back, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. Such beautiful. So truth. Wow. (I’ve developed a bit of a habit of speaking in Doge lately, unfortunately)
I was also able to track down a favourite childhood album (Hella Heinzmann’s Die Hochzeit zu Kana) on itunes, which has made for an enjoyable stroll down memory lane.
We’re still loving all the day trip opportunities here in England. We kicked off the month with a trip to the lovely city of Oxford
The Ashmolean may just be our favourite British museum we’ve seen so far.
Double Decker Tour Bus Selfie
The Eagle and the Child, a pub frequented by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I may have been fangirling a bit.
We also got in to Battle Abbey and the (purported) site of the Battle of Hastings
The doors were super low. I’m 5’4″ and barely had any clearance.
Our next day trip was to Canterbury, where I had to talk myself out of purchasing a teddy bear in Archbishop’s vestments for 85 pounds.
How ’bout that cathedral (although, is it blasphemous of me to say that I prefer Salisbury’s cathedral?)
Also, we decided to take the bus to Paris for a day and a half, because that’s totally feasible here. I know, right?
Stereotypical Paris tourist shots.
Cluny and the Middle Ages Museum–my favourite part of the tour (and they gave me free admission for studying history and have thereby secured my undying loyalty)
We also took a break from all the medieval history tourism to make a stop at Bletchley Park, an important place in computing history (this is what happens when a historian and a computer scientist go on vacation)
The WWII propaganda posters on the walls were my favourite. I think this is meant to be sung to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It.
On the more professional side of things, I spent the better part of the last two weeks doing artifact processing (which is a fancy way of saying I washed medieval bone and pottery shards with a toothbrush) on an archaeological dig, which was a really great experience
This was my view while I was working. Gorgeous, no?
I also had the chance to head over to Goldsmiths for an academic conference on early modern prophecy, which was a fantastic experience. I didn’t have a paper to present, so I just got to go and soak everything in. It was totally worth the daily commute into London for the duration of the conference.
I brought my new owl purse from Asda (British Walmart) to the conference, because it’s pretty fab.
And, in between working and day-tripping, I finally managed to finish a family tree cross-stitch I’d been working on. Just in time, too, as it’s a gift for my uncle’s 50th birthday next week.
That’s it for me for this month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s page to see some of the other posts.