I’ve been on annual leave for 4 weeks. In that time, I’ve been on c. 20 trips exploring various locations in North Wales and the North-West of England, a few bike rides, a few walks, gardening including laying out some patio sections with some stepping stones. dismantled an old trampoline and put together a new one, assembled a hutch (guinea pigs too), done a portion of household chores, and watched a few series of TV shows (including a season of Deep Space Nine), as well as reading Tintin and Asterix comics.

IMG_20190813_192846Another development is that I’ve also abandoned Facebook in a personal sense (still on there with my page) and I’ve come off Instagram. Feels good, but I miss the community of the former and the random visuals of the latter.

Still, it hasn’t been all fun, fun, fun. I’ve had a car breakdown twice on me and I’m dealing with one dying and one seriously ill relative.

Also, haven’t stopped trundling on with academic work in some ways. While I have stopped my admin and teaching, I’ve been doing some research, including blogging (including some hefty ones) and continuing with the editing (some heavy editing icnluded) on 2 books and one journal volume.

One additional thing I did was acquire an old wrecked mountain bike for free and I spent a small amount of time doing some repairs. I repaired the wheels and spokes, tweaked the gears, fixed the brakes, pumped the tyres, cleaned it and test-pedalled it. Then I thought; what if I don’t keep it the colour of a diseased lung as it was, but give it a quick paint? So I got some leftover white metal paint and dark red floor paint, and I applied them. Then for £2.99 I ordered some bespoke transfers and added them. The result: Archaeodeath on wheels!

Why? Why not? Seriously, I’ve honestly no idea! But all my life I’ve seen independent businesses with their logos on vans and cars, and I thought… why can’t my blog have a dedicated bike? Maybe it will feature in some future bike rides to archaeological sites that I can then blog about? Who knows? The main things is that I have a back-up bike that won’t be any loss if I get it stolen, and if someone is stupid enough to steal it, they will have a cringeworthily specific paint job to contend with!