A rainy day in Kent, UK

I earn most of my freelance income as a specialist doing archaeobotany and since last posting a ‘Day of Archaeology’ post I have added part-time …’we need bodies on site to get this bit finished by the deadline..’ digging to my income streams. I really enjoy digging, being outside, working as part of a team and doing that something extremely physical but needs finer skills for surveying, recording and working out what’ going on. Break time chats are great. During my recent stint I was mostly the only woman on site. This meant I had my own loo. Luxury!

But today I’d have had the 6am text saying ‘Don’t turn up, site is unworkable’ and lost a day’s pay.

Luckily for me, I have my specialist work to return to on rained off days. Currently these are samples from Gallo-Roman features from my French client. I have lovely waterlogged plant remains to explore and am able to earn money today.

I’ll sit in my workroom, lit by a daylight bulb as there’s not much daylight coming through my windows at the moment and pick out waterlogged plant macrofossils until I stop to go to kungfu this evening. I’ve found that kungfu training is a brilliant way to stay fit to dig when I’m back in the lab sitting on my backside all day. The weapons and stance training replicates the movements I have to make on site to get features dug quickly and effectively and spoil lifted or wheeled away. During my recent stint digging there was no way I could have trained in the evening after the beasting I’d had on site all day getting through clay with flints.

So, that’ll be my day. I may nip out for a coffee in ‘The Moonlight Cafe’ Faversham as I owe them £1.60 for the cappucino I had yesterday and neither of us had small change.

If I have time I’ll try translating a French journal article, very slowly as my school French stopped when I was 13 but I enjoy working it out and it’s fun to learn French archaeological and archaeobotanical terms. I may also get my 2014 tax return up to date so I can call up my accountant when I have earnt enough money to pay him.

Not a glamorous day in archaeology for me but a practical and necessary one. The most glam bit will be me putting away my scuba gear. I’m a BSAC Sports Diver with maritime archaeobotanical hopes. Maybe next year I can report back from a shipwreck or submerged landscape.