katycat: (Default)
I finally got some photos from Dominica posted - they are up on Flickr here!

Now I gotta tackle Iceland and Greenland ...

BLIZZARD

Dec. 19th, 2009 05:43 pm
katycat: (Cats - chessie)
THERE IS A BLIZZARD OUTSIDE!

But first, have some pictures from Cambridge:

Cambridge pics )


But the important thing is, THERE IS A BLIZZARD OUTSIDE!

SNOW )

And now we are watching Doctor Who on BBCA. :D
katycat: (Misc - me with cows)
[The following was mostly written yesterday evening.]

This morning I clung to the side of a cliff like Spider-Man and troweled away at an exposed tephra sequence. After lunch I sat in a pit that was overrun with tiny, annoyed flies. This afternoon I dug a hole in a bog, and helped take samples from the side wall before the whole thing filled with water.

Iceland is still awesome.

And I've been ill with the Ox Flu, the dread disease that has decimated our entire house over the last week. It is named for the huge (probably not ox) bones that have come out of our main site. Luckily, the Ox presents only as a rather bad head cold. Yesterday I stayed home and learned how to float, and last night the NyQuil Fairy paid me a visit (it works so much better than the Sudafed I brought). In another day or so I should have completely kicked the Ox.

I'm sorry I haven't posted recently; I haven't been to the lab much, and when I have, I've mostly been entering data. Since the last time I posted we've been joined by two more people from UMass - the pollen people, who I'll probably be working with in the fall. So we've switched from systematically coring lots of fields in search of cultural markers, to coring two specific fields in search of good tephra so we can dig 1x1s at the right place for well-dated pollen sample extraction. We should be finished with that by Monday - and then there's only a few more days left till we fly out! I can't believe the summer has gone by so fast.

At one of our sites, our cars are regularly licked by a herd of cows. They bit one of the bumpers. We've had to ask if our insurance covers bovine intervention. One of the cows in the field next door leapt halfway over the barbed-wire fence trying to get to the bull in our field. It was awful. She was just sort of ... hanging there, with the bull licking all over her face, until finally she managed to back off the fence. It was very Pyramus and Thisby. The farm where I was this morning has two wonderful dogs that like to come visit us. The border collie is so desperate to play fetch that he'll bring us rocks, hoping we'll throw them for him. And Buckets the cats has still been visiting regularly - a couple people went to see his family, and they seem nice, so we hope he won't be too sad and lonely when we leave him behind!

I'm not too informed about what's been happening at the other sites. At the main site, they've finally gotten through the medieval barn that's sitting on top of the Viking-age stuff we're more interested in (this involved moving lots of gigantic rocks), and a couple of churchyards have been excavated. There's been some exciting GPR going on at a few places, and at the site with the cows they've found a whole lot of really cool textiles (fairly recent, but still awesome).

I've also had a lot of fun side trips, and there are two more left (well, three, if you count England). This weekend we're going to Reykjavik - I'll do the Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss, etc) and some museums, and it's also Pride weekend, so I might check out some of that. Also I think Friday we might be taking a field trip to climb to the top of Drengey, the huge, flat island with puffins on that we can see from town. I'm not sure how that will work with Reykjavik, since I'm in the car that's planning to leave Friday evening, so I might have to skip Drengey. That would make me sad, but Reykjavik will be fun too.

The summer's almost over. It's starting to get dark at night now. There are school supplies on display at the KS. The chalkboard says our trip is 77.08% over. It's so sad.

[Written tonight: Today I took the place of someone with worse Ox than mine, and worked on one of our midden excavations. It was the first real down-in-the-dirt trowel-and-screening that I've done all summer, so that was great. Lots of bones and iron slag, one thing that could be a nail, and we exposed a whole lot of turf.

The weather has been pretty crappy for the last few weeks, but yesterday and today it's started to turn nice again. Horribly windy, but warm. So windy that I used my dust goggles for the first time ... and so windy that my plumb bob wouldn't hang straight.]

Now let's catch up with side trips and pictures ...

(Very image heavy, because I can't not.)

Akureyri, Siglufjodur, Blonduos, and lots of scenery )

There are (or will soon be) even more photos on Facebook, and also I sent out a second batch of postcards on Sunday, so if you haven't got one yet, watch the mail!

That's all for now! I'll be back before you know it! Time to go hang some more laundry! I'll be posting this (and the pictures) tomorrow night! [Which is now tonight. Anyway.]
katycat: (Default)
Things I have done since the last time I wrote:

- chipped a tooth while pulling up a core (I have an appointment on Tuesday, but the insurance is going to suck)

- placed 47 cores in 3 hours with only one other person

- visited 2 extant turf churches (we think we might have found one, so we're getting some context), and incidentally accidentally seen all the highlights of Hofsos (the dock, the old warehouse, the emigration center, and the restaurant)

- survived 3 awful, windy, rainy, freezing cold days in the field

- bought a few gifts for people

- lost (and found) my hairbrush at the pool

- tentatively maybe found a potential roommate for next year

- learned to use FileMaker

- stayed out at Mælifell till 4 AM. Again.

- eaten shark

- lost lots of kronur at poker

- told my life story two or three more times

- searched for a nonexistent lake in an overgrazed moonscape

- dropped my iPod and broken the case (the player itself is fine though, thank goodness)

- bought & started reading a book of Icelandic folk tales

- leapt boggy ditches in a single bound

- developed quite a taste for Týr

- bought Guinness (omg yay)

- watched Jurassic Park (and some Firefly, but not the new Torchwood, alas)

Due to suddenly having a 2-day instead of a 3-day weekend, Reykjavik and Harry Potter are both postponed. Today I mostly bummed around; we went to the second turf church and a gift shop in Varmahlið and ate at the Áskaffi again (best hot chocolate ever). I went to the local museum, which has a thoroughly excellent exhibit about Skagafjorður archaeology (including some stuff that SASS has done) and some early-20th-century workshop mock-ups (carpentry, watchmaker, etc). Tomorrow there will definitely be a trip to Akureyri -- we might go by way of Siglufjorður for pizza at the end of the world. Next weekend we'll have one day off, and it's probably going to be a return to Akureyri for Harry Potter.

Bouncing on the bed in my double(/triple) room in Iceland, listening to metal on my headphones while hanging laundry from the ceiling to dry makes me feel more bohemian than I ever have in my life. It's pretty awesome.

Still, I'm looking forward to getting back and starting classes. This week two more people from UMass are joining us, and the pollen-sampling phase of my summer will be starting not long thereafter. I'm pretty excited about getting into that.

The field season is 43.75% over.

pictures )

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