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London Vacation

Got back last night from a six-day stay in London with wife & daughter. YuSie had rented a flat in Southwark for us via Air BnB, so we had a good base of operations. I fell ill with a bad cold halfway through our stay, which explains the complete lack of museum visits and rock…

“Matilda”: Class Perspective

In Roald Dahl’s last book, Matilda (1988), we are invited to laugh at the main character’s parents. They hate books, love TV, dress tastelessly and subsist on microwave TV dinners. Yet only when I saw the musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London this past Tuesday, where the mother additionally practices competition ballroom dancing and both…

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

I broke the rice cooker’s handle. Then I fixed it. Jrette smiled and called this macho display. I replied that I wasn’t actually using my willie for the work and that breasts wouldn’t get in the way. Me: Can I put the manual for your thermos flask in the recycling? Wife: No, I want to…

My Bronze Age Book Is Out

Dear Reader, it is with great pleasure that I announce the PDF publication of my fifth monograph,* In the Landscape and Between Worlds. The paper version will appear in April or May. Here’s the back-cover blurb. Bronze Age settlements and burials in the Swedish provinces around Lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren yield few bronze objects and…

Childhood Horrors

Ken & Robin have an interesting discussion in the most recent episode of their podcast, on childhood fears. Specifically, they talk about childhood responses to horror stories and movies. I was inspired to write about my own childhood horrors. Luckily there were no actual horrors in my childhood. Nobody around me was violent or insane…

March Pieces Of My Mind #1

Oh fuck. I just installed the operating system update/trojan that makes this particular Samsung smartphone model slow. I wonder how classical liberalism views labour unions. On the one hand, the right to form one is clearly a civil liberty. On the other hand, it can be seen as what Smith called a “conspiracy of businessmen”,…

Prequel to Pickwick

Stephen Jarvis’s upcoming novel Death and Mr Pickwick is a sprawling book, in terms both of its 800-page girth and of its structure. I’ve read the first third and decided to write about it now before I forget the details. There’s a present-day frame story about the narrator writing the book, commissioned by an old…

How I Select The Sites I Dig

Having read yesterday’s entry about what I need to get hold of before I can dig a site, Apel Mjausson asked me on Facebook, “How do you decide where to dig? Sweden is lousy with unexplored sites. Are you following a specific story, looking at place names, take nominations…?” Disregarding sites I’ve been paid to…

What I Need In Order To Dig My Sites

I’ve headed my own research excavations since 1996. Now I’m preparing for four weeks of fieldwork during the upcoming season. I operate as an independent scholar in this context, and none of my excavations have been prompted by land development. Here’s what I need to get hold of before I can break the turf or…

February Pieces Of My Mind #2

I thought my pet was a meerkat, but it was in fact a mere cat. Movie: Wild Tales. A collection of unconnected short wry films about revenge. Grade: pass. Eagle-eyed Roger Wikell found something that looked like a duplicate entry in my database. A flanged axe found at Vappeby hamlet by someone named Winberg, and a…