Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things...

My birthday was great. Didn't do anything in particular, since in recent years I've discovered I can't really be bothered organising a big do when all I really want to do on my birthday is stay in with my family and my prezzies. I had planned to do something for my eighteenth last year, since, y'know, it was my eighteenth, but I got so caught up in the last minute preparations for uni I forgot all about it. (sigh) C'est la vie.

Anyway...

My prezzies rocked this year. Not many fiction books this year, but I got a whole stack of cool non-fiction ones, including Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak and The Roman Conquest of Scotland: The Battle of Mons Graupius AD 84 by James E. Fraser. Suffice it to say, not once during my adolescence did I have to accuse my parents of the old cliché: "You don't understand me!!" ;)

Also got a translation of Apicius' famous cookbook. It's not the 1000 Classic Student Recipes, I give you that, but it's... er... interesting. Sadly, some of the ingredients - flamingo, parrot, ostrich, etc. - are a bit hard to get on a student's budget. Maybe I could manage the milk-fed snails, though, at a stretch... ;)

We didn't manage to make it down to London to see the Hadrian: Empire and Conflict exhibition on at the British Museum, so I also got the big book o' Hadrian published to accompany it. I've only flicked through it so far, but it looks pretty much like it has everything you could ever want to know about Hadrian and his empire. Not to mention it's chock-full of shiny photographs, mostly of Hadrian and his famous beard. Or as she's most commonly known, Sabina, heh-heh...

(coughs) Sorry. Rubbish joke, I know.

That's the only thing about that Hadrian book; it makes me want to write angsty Hadrian/Antinous stuff. And I really, really don't want the distraction. Not a month and a half till NaNo, at any rate (yes, Gabriele, I'm going for it this year!).

They also got me an Indiana Jones hat, which I love, just for the lols. Lookit (and please 'scuse the blurry photography):



Ah, shut up and stop laughing at the back there. Don't worry, I've already been warned. At one of the first lectures on archaeological practice last year, the lecturer put the poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark up on the overhead and said, brutally, "It's not like this."

Still, maybe I'll get a whip next year. Then again, maybe not.

The best present, though, was from my sister, who, because she is made of sugar and spice, awesome and win, got me the complete box-set of the BBC dramatisations of Cadfael. Because apparently I'm now an addict of historical murder mysteries, after years of thinking that whodunnits just weren't my thing. And I remember seeing bits of Cadfael when it was first on, when I was about eight. The Raven in the Foregate is the one that stuck with me for some reason. I never managed to eradicate the image of the priest's body in the mill-wheel...

Anyway. I won't bore you any more with listing what I got for my birthday. This was only meant to be a quick post to let you know I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. When you've not blogged for a while, it's easy to lose the habit. So expect my usual moans about writing and stuff to make their return soon.

And uni starts again on Monday. It's Freshers' Week at the moment, and you can tell who the first-years are. They're the ones at Hillhead Station laden down with bags of free stuff. Sara and Marion actually went up to the uni the other day to infiltrate Freshers' Fair and get free crap themselves, though the stuff I got last year wasn't even good free crap. If I remember rightly, I got a whole bag full of toothbrushes from someone last year. But apparently the lure of "free stuff" is too great...

I've got course enrolments tomorrow (or today, rather, since it's 2.20 in the morning here), and Friday, and I should probably use the weekend to brush up on my Latin. I need books, too. Aargh...

The good news is that this year, none of my lectures are before midday, and I no longer need to get up at half-six in the morning to get the half-seven bus into town. (I say that, but I probably will get up that early, anyway.)

Well, I should probably go. It's half two in the morning, and I've already had one of my flatmates in here to relate the saga of her "fucked-up love life" to me. Hooray. The usual routine is back.

See you later!

5 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Ohh, awesome pressies.

I've never been a (birthday) party girl, either. Usually I have books to read and CDs to listen to, or a museum to visit - lots more fun. :)

Kirsten Campbell said...

Parties just eat up valuable reading time, anyway. ;)

(saunters off to read about Hadrian's uber-villa)

K.A. Denby said...

"The Roman Conquest of Scotland"

Might be a great book, but I can't say that I care to hear the words conquest of Scotland strung together in any context.

"Là breith sona dhuit!"

K.A. Denby said...

And what's with stuffy scientists, anyway? They absolutely MUST spoil any and all fun that may come of science and research. I was watching something on the history channel the other day and an archaeology professor said the same thing yours did. She said "The first thing I do is get them (new students) into a room, show them a video of Raiders, and then tell them that archaeology is nothing like that!"

And I said, well boo hoo to you lady! Way to go and take all of the fun right out of it!

Kirsten Campbell said...

And yet, when the lecturer said that, all I could think about was the beginning of Last Crusade, when Indy tells his students pretty much the same thing - then, just a few minutes later, he's donned his hat, climbed out the window of his office, and he's off to find the Holy Grail. :)

To be fair, though, most of the responses my friend Sara got when she told people she was going to study archaeology was, "Oh! Like Lara Croft!" I think there are some people (in the minority) who'll sign up for Archaeology, thinking it's going to be more glamorous than it actually is. That does seem a rather excessively brutal way to put them right, though...

Re: Roman Conquest of Scotland. If it'll put your mind at ease, the title's a bit of a misnomer. ;)

Tapadh leibh. :)