I'm an archaeologist working in local government as well as
studying towards a PhD (part-time - it takes forever!) and teaching
a bit at university. I also do quite a lot of dancing, which I've
been doing for about 5 years, now - swing and blues, but mostly
blues these days. Which looks like this (when really good teachers
do it): http://youtu.be/sghrHxKeGhc
. I'm generally pretty cheerful,
like intellectual conversations and geeking out over things I care
about (archaeology, dancing, stuff going on in the world, the idea
that there might be an epic fire-zombie/golem-zombie showdown
between certain brothers in the last GoT book). I quite often make
jokes to cope with awkward situations. I don't always judge them
What I’m doing with my life
See above - teaching, studying, working, dancing, going to the pub. I quite often go to dance events in other cities and sometimes abroad - I've been to Prague, Slovenia and Cornwall for big ones this year as well as organising one in Bristol that coincides with the Harbour Festival, for the second year running - this year's highlight was crowd-funding an extra band we found on the Saturday afternoon! I am also going to Berlin in October and Paris in November - then Tel Aviv after Christmas, which is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking: I'm really intrigued to see the Middle East firsthand and will be staying with some lovely Israeli dancers, but am also aware that it is going to be quite a conflicting and probably upsetting experience. I'm spending two weeks there and want to see as much as I can while I'm there.
Other things I love: travelling, anything to do with palaeolithic archaeology, maps, books, good sci fi (books and tv - more Firefly than Star Trek, though), hiking in the countryside/by the sea, going to interesting performances or exhibitions, singing, blues music (and loads of other genres, but I DJ blues for dancing at the moment and am getting very into it), teaching/training, parties/dancing with friends, drinking tea/gin/wine/ale/cider/cocktails, cooking/eating great vegetarian food (Vietnamese is my current favourite).
I love finding random things to do at weekends, like to go for a stomp in the countryside or a visit to somewhere historical/archaeological when I can, go to the Watershed or Cube to see foreign-language/independent/arthouse films, occasionally make it to the Old Vic for plays, read proper books when I have time and listen to a lot of music (swing to make me happy, blues and lyrical stuff to help me feel sad or thoughtful – e.g. Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, Anja Garbarek – and classical to help me work).
Since May this year, I've been living on a narrowboat on the Kennet and Avon, so a lot of spare time has been taken up with her - maintenance, but also moving her every two weeks. I really love it!
I’m really good at
Archaeology things like identifying random metal objects people find in the garden, academic-type sciencey thinking (aka critical analysis), am continuing to improve at teaching (archaeology and dancing), dancing, singing, dressing up in a vintage frock or raincoat and wellies, depending on the occasion and the weather, not taking myself too seriously, making people laugh, being silly, ranting about politics or discussing evolutionary theory in the pub . . . Driving my boat and getting oily in the engine bay. Also occasionally completely reinventing myself or packing a bag and heading off to the other side of the world for extended adventures.
The first things people usually notice about me
Short, gingerish lefty, maybe a bit of a control freak . . .
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Mara and Dann, Doris Lessing
Blindness, José Saramago
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
Death and the Penguin, A Matter of Life and Death, Andrey Kurkov
The Disposessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, the Earthsea books, Ursula Le Guin
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Loads of others, plus a pile of must-reads that I swear I'll get around to one day . . .
TV: in no particular order, Treme, GoT, The Thick of It, Borgen, Miranda, The Killing, Friday Night Dinner, Fresh Meat, Dr Who, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, Black Books, Father Ted, Green Wing, the Mighty Boosh, Flight of the Conchords. Classics like Monty Python, Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, M*A*S*H (Alan Alda as Hawkeye was my earliest crush, which probably explains my soft spot for men in 50s Hawaiian shirts). Radio 4, e.g. the News Quiz, the Now Show, a good play without too much wrist-slitting. I love a bit of R4 drama like the Complete Smiley by John Le Carré. And more recently The Waves, by Virginia Woolf. And you can't beat In Our Time for a lovely bit of Melvyn Bragg and his brain!
For music, see above.
Films – too many to list. Prefer independent/foreign language/animation. Studio Ghibli, Ken Loach, foreign language, e.g. anything with Jaques Tati, anything by Almodovar. Amelie for romance. Easy Rider, The Shining, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Silly British comedies like Sean of the Dead. Classics, like anything with Alec Guinness or by Hitchcock. Despicable Me.
Food – vegetarian, preferably non-British (Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Italian, Spanish, Mexican), though I do a pretty good veggie sausage toad-in-the-hole.
The six things I could never do without
Family and friends (that's one!), my boat, music, hope, green/old places/the sea/water, intelligent conversation. Rebelliousness.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Human evolution - e.g. what could the evolutionary explanation for that behaviour/trait be? Friends and family, places I've been or want to travel to, politics/how the world could work better if I was in charge ;-) (or nobody was in charge), stories, music and dancing, how on earth to manage all the things I'm doing at the moment, pay for things and still work on my thesis . . .
On a typical Friday night I am
Hunting down danceable jazz/blues in Bristol/further afield like a chrome-soled tiger! Or pub with skittles or bar billiards, or going to the cinema to see a strange surreal Czech film, or cooking vegetarian Vietnamese noodle soup and summer rolls for friends, with beers, wine or gin and tonic. Or lighting the fire, eating a pizza and knitting a new hat (not at the same time - tomato) in front of a film or box set.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
For a sciencey person, it's a bit odd that I practice a bit of chi gong and occasionally do my own tarot readings. But tarot is all based on Jungian psychological principles about archetypes, symbols and the unconscious, you know! And chi gong seems to work for me - mind/body links, I think - the body can respond to metaphors in unexpected ways and placebos work even when you know it's a placebo . .
You should message me if
You think I sound interesting, like intelligent conversation and a practical, independent woman! Who also sometimes wants company, loves cooking for someone else, and maybe occasionally needs and values support from someone she cares about and respects.
Or if you're any good with solar/12v systems. I need to get properly set up for winter!