Sometimes time flights… I did not realise it was already October when I came back from Crete last Sunday. I did not even realise it was in August last time I updated the blog. These past weeks have been intense and productive and I guess it is time to say why.
Summer is a good moment for fieldwork, although in my case most of it is not really in the field doing ‘archaeology’.
#pubarchMED will take me to the north of Greece too, and the case studies focus on archaeological heritage, but a short trip to Zagori made me think about posting some thoughts about the relation cultural-natural after realising some common issues and diferences between this amazing region of Greece and the area around my village.
So, the Greek course is over, now I should continue by myself trying to fix the knowledge I apparently got. But it is also time to start for real with the project. Yesterday I went to Thessaloniki like who goes to the market… Well, for a bit longer, but still maybe too fast. For those of you who do not know it, Thessaloniki is the second city in Greece, within Macedonia in the north of the country, but next to the sea. It has around a million people living in its metropolitan area and I have to admit that I was very possitively suprised about it.
I love Athens. This is a fact I can state. Sometimes I am a bit cruel and compare my three beloved countries: Spain, Greece and Ethiopia as in a timeline where each one reminds me to the other some years ago or ahead. I do it with nostalgia, remembering the Spain of my childhood, my village (probably the place I like most in this world) and all the happy things that happened back then. Still, this does not change the fact that I enjoy this city a lot. Good friends and colleagues, lots of things to do and now… an intensive Greek course. But let’s start from the beginning, because this month has been busy.
Καλιμερα! Such a happy start can only mean I finally settled in Athens. It is true that a month ago I was here, but the last weeks have been busy with activities in Madrid, a fast trip to Santiago, a real closing of my placement in London and a great conference in Menorca. More flights, more miles (I am becoming like George Clooney in Up in the air) and more work to carry out before starting the real deal with the project.
A month has passed… I have taken half a dozen planes since then, staying in half a dozen different cities in three countries. Ahead, while I finish my first placement in UCL, I have another half dozen planes, staying in half a dozen different cities in three countries. After watching ‘Up in the air’ I realised I am becoming a bit like Clooney’s character.
During the last couple of months I have been quite busy… reading, writing, planning, etc. This is why I did not really update the blog. This, and maybe because of the strike in London, the snow, and a fast trip to Athens to start sorting things out for the move. Actually, it has been difficult to find a moment, and also a topic where I could actually write a bit more than nothing. I thought about writing about the strikes (Pensions in the UK and the first feminist strike in Spain), but there is few I can say. On the latest advances, Chiara and me are finishing a short piece for Archaeology International (UCL’s journal) on the preparations for the project. We have also been discussing the fitness of our case studies’ candidates. There have been some administrative issues to take care of, and my first meeting with Dimitris. But a piece of news in The New York Times yesterday gave me the perfect oportunity to write about the importance of this project.
As part of my contract I have to spend two years abroad in placement on academic institutions. When designing the project, University College London was one of the main options. Why? Not only because Chiara Bonacchi is here and she is part of it, but also because of its library. Ten years ago I did my MA in Public Archaeology here and the depth of the collections was overwhelming. Here you have access to almost everything you need in the field of Public Archaeology and if I wanted to delve into a good bibliograpy this was the place to come.
I just got home after a long trip back from London…