August Pieces Of My Mind #2

Getting rid of excess stuff. Azerbaijani dude with a huge beautiful beard showed up on his wife’s orders and collected both bike baby seats, the rolling baby stool, the dinner table lamp and the microwave oven. *happy* My wife’s workout app is giving her orders. It sounds like a very, very strange satnav. User interface…

Danish Castle Road Trip

I spent last week in Denmark at a friendly, informative and rather unusual conference. The thirteenth Castella Maris Baltici conference (“castles of the Baltic Sea”) was a moveable feast. In five days we slept in three different towns on Zealand and Funen and spent a sum of only two days presenting our research indoors. The…

Scanty Copper Alloy From Landsjö

Late Iron Age settlements are full of copper alloy objects, making them the preferred site category of metal detectorists. High Medieval castle sites, on the other hand, are quite poor in these often distinctive and informative finds. The picture above shows all the copper alloy and lead that my team of ~15 found in over…

August Pieces Of My Mind #1

For the first time I got an ebook instead of a paper book to review for Aard. I like it. Less pressure to push through and read + review a boring book when all they’ve given me is a copy of a file. Jehovah’s Witnesses really have a self-defeating theology. Their cap on the number of…

I’m Donating White Blood Cells

I’ve been a blood donor for over twenty years. The other day a doctor called me and asked me if instead of my normal quarterly donation, I’d be willing to give a few extra hours of my time along with a chunk of white blood cells. I said yes. There’s this transplant patient at a…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

Jrette wandering around watching TV on the iPad, overturning and breaking things in the kitchen. *sigh* Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold. Jrette stole my zombie novel — Carey’s 2014 Girl With All The Gifts — and proclaimed it to be the best book she’s read in ages. Now I am bookless. Mistakenly…

July Pieces Of My Mind #1

I tried to call my son. No reply. I tried to call my boss. No reply. This must mean that I have no responsibilities until they call me. Learned from Melvyn Bragg’s programme today that Frederick the Great of Prussia was most likely gay and his brother, the exceptionally successful general Prince Henry, was openly…

I write these lines on the day after we backfilled the last two trenches at Landsjö, packed up our stuff, cleaned the manor house, hugged each other and went our separate ways. It’s an odd feeling to take apart the excavation machine while it still runs. It’s been four fun and successful weeks! Since my…

Like Stensö, Landsjö Castle has half of a rare perimeter wall and is known to have been owned by a descendant of Folke Jarl – or rather, by his daughter-in-law, the widow of such a descendant. Last year we found that the high inner bailey has a previously unseen southern wall with a square tower…

June Pieces Of My Mind #2

Archive finds strike me as a weak kind of empirical discovery. OK, so you’ve found a piece of writing that had been forgotten. Now you’re writing a paper about it. How long will it take before your paper is forgotten? When will it be found again, as an archive meta find? Or conversely: is any…