I’ve been preparing at my work office. Having recently returned from annual leave, and despite one colleague telling me my office looked over-stocked on books, I have been trying hard to get it sorted out and ready for a new term on research leave.
I’ve got through my back-log of PhD and MA admissions and supervisory duties and the work office is assembled for action.
I’ve got my ‘Walking Dead’ calendar looming over proceedings.
At home I’ve been preparing too. I’ve abandoned the former ‘archaeoden‘ in the corner of my son’s room and set up a small desk in my bedroom with a brand new, small but smart white IKEA desk (more allen keys acquired and utilised).
The Hobbit calendar for Sept is set to Thranduil, I have the twin screens ready to rock.
Yes, because while I’ve kept blogging, editing and working in prep for teaching when I return in February.
In August I began the research leave, but I’m only starting on it now.
Research leave means… RESEARCH.
But what research I hear you ask? Well, I’m going to wrap up my last Archaeological Journal, I’m going to be dealing with the production of my next edited collection – Cremation and the Archaeology of Death.
Then there is the new book proposal based on the Dead Relevant conference my third-year students organised in April.
On top of this, there is the ‘real’ research: wrapping up my work on Project Eliseg will be a key part. Finishing a joint-authored article on the Smiling Abbot needs to be done soon as well.
Then there is work on the Past in its Place strands 1-3, including articles to be revised and submitted, and chapters of books to be written up., funded by the ERC and incorporating a strand on English cathedral tombs funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
These are the projects that are current. I’ve also committed to writing a review article on ‘Mortuary Archaeology and Social Memory’. Furthermore, I have a long-running book contract with OUP to sort out a plan for completion: a study focusing on the archaeology of early medieval commemoration.
I’m sure there are other things I’ve forgotten right now too and who knows what other opportunities to research and write will come my way?
How much of all this will I get done? Who knows, but by Feb 2017 I will have been at Chester 9 years and I’m hoping to have a lot of my existing work commitments with a rigorous plan for completion.