Every now and again I get a present from a student as a ‘thank you’ for the help I’ve given them. While I cannot document them all on this blog, and I don’t want to give the impression I expect any gifts at all for simply doing my job, I cannot pretend these are anything but touching and morale-boosting. Some ex-/outgoing students place considerable care in identifying an appropriate material token to express gratitude for ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ support as they perceive it. Last year, for example, I got a Viking ship model (that I still haven’t assembled and painted yet, to my shame!). Recently, I was the recipient of another early medieval-themed gift: it is very cool and extremely educational: a Viking mug!

On its handle is an ornate brooch, and there are representations of all manner of things ‘Viking’. There are themed texts explaining aspects of ‘Viking’ life from ‘farming’ and ‘feasts’ to ‘gods’ and ‘games’.

There is even a long-boat within that can set sail on hot brown milky seas when it is full of tea.

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It’s gifts like this that tell me I must be doing something right in the job! More significantly, they give me early medieval archaeological super-powers. For now, I can not only teach like a Viking and research like a Viking, I can even swig tea ‘like a Viking’!