PhD: Pause

It has been some time since my last post, but certainly not because there is nothing to write about – quite the opposite in fact. A few days after the cross-posted journal article SMACKDOWN (measured review) I headed down south to the Cheltenham Science Festival. I volunteered there for nine days and it was an incredible experience. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity, I would highly recommend it!

The highlights (for me) were definitely taking care of giant molecules (even if penicillin was a pain in the arse), meeting many friends-from-the-internet in person, and carrying a baby meerkat (meerkitty?). Oh and of course all of the incredible talks, demos, sessions, and workshops! I attempted to attend a variety of events, from ones in my subject area (like The Secrets of Skeletons with Ben Garrod and Alice Roberts) to ones that pushed my boundaries a little (like The Nature of Reality with Marieke Navin and Jim Gates).

"Look! There's *water* in the *fountain*."

“Look! There’s *water* in the *fountain*.”

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the enthusiasm, engagement… and explosions! The whole thing (even the insane days of rain) made me all the more excited for the upcoming Lancashire Science Festival and then the Manchester Science Festival (sadly no Live from Jodrell Bank this year). Speaking of upcoming science festivals, I mustn’t forget to mention #gummyscifest and all of his adventures! While currently still kipping in order to recover from the piles of laundry following our return home from Cheltenham, the wee fella is about to start prepping for a day with the Zoo Bus at the end of the month. Hmm… monitor lizards don’t eat sweets… do they?

Gastronomic molecular gastronomy.

Gastronomic molecular gastronomy.

In addition to all of the above, while I was running about busy from dawn until dusk scienceing (or helping scienceing happen) at Cheltenham, I was also busy applying for a brilliant opportunity, which I’m pleased as punch to say was successful.

As of this week I have hit the ‘pause’ button on my PhD and I am working at The Poulton Research Project in Cheshire. For the rest of the summer I will be the on-site osteologist, as well as an instructor for the field school excavations taking place in the cemetery. I am absolutely thrilled to me joining the team and I’m very keen for the arrival of students next week. (You will appreciate the tidying we’ve done this week, trust me).

There could be worse office views...

There could be worse office views…

While I am at Poulton I will be writing weekly blogposts on the field school and excavation progress, which I will then be cross-posting here. [Who knows, maybe I can even convince the others to write something up for the roundhouse excavations that I can share with you too.] Oh and if you Twitter, I will also be using the hashtag #PoultonProject for some live-updates throughout the week. I’m so good to ya’ll… (I may have started bingeing on Nashville. Why? WHY???).

Because I don’t know when to stop, I am also hoping that I will also have some time on the evenings to finish up some long overdue blogposts (so. many. drafts.) to give a bit of variety to what is available to read here at Deathsplanation over the summer.


We’ll see how long I last before I start arriving home after work and then just collapse in the garden with a G&T.

Or a G&Tea.*


*Gin, tonic, strong brewed black tea, over ice, with slices of lemon peel. You’re welcome.

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