now a long player?

well, today i hit 33 and managed to cordinate having a birthday in two different time zones just to squeeze an extra hours celebrations in. as chronological milestones are usually a time to reflect i thought i would have a look at the last 33 years

0-19: the formative years

well, this is when the majority of it all happened. i was born in harlow, essex, and after a short period of homelessness we moved to royal leamington spa. this time was spent entirely at school although it wasn’t until i was 18 that i began to take education seriously after failing my a-levels preferring instead to devote these prime years to finding self, usually in the pub or late at a friends house.

after not making the grade, a year of retakes forced a dramatic rethink of priorities and was pleased to make it into university the following year and escape for pastures new in sunny wales

19-30: the eternal student years

i initially set off for cardiff to become a primary school teacher, taking education with archaeology. in the first year i fell in love with archaeology, especially British prehistory and the neolithic period, so instead focussed my degree solely on archaeology, hoping to continue my desire to teach by aspiring for an academic career.

thus unfolded the next 11 years or so. after doing well at the degree i got a grant to take a masters at cardiff and then a scholarship from the british academy to undertake my PhD on the Neolithic of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The PhD became all consuming but during this time i met my lovely wife Peta during a dig on South Uist.

at 26 peta and i moved to edinburgh whilst i was still completing my doctorate. i submitted the doctorate and got a job at Historic Scotland as an assistant inspector of ancient monuments. i had to resubmit the thesis and in the meantime got a job at the RCAHMS as a landscape archaeologist, surveying the survival of past land-use throughout scotland. at 30 everything was about to change

30-33: sea change

at 30 everything changed. the phd was done, our first child, gethin, was on the way and after struggling to find a secure job in archaeology i decided on a career change, moving to a new role in web design at RCAHMS. in the last 2 and a half years i have rediscovered the passion i once had for archaeology in web design and an outlet for my creativity. i have found a lovely home with my wife and our baby has become a cheeky wee boy. i also have quite a few more grey hairs

33-?: what’s next?

well, time will tell. bairn 2.0 is on the way and who knows what lies around the corner. it has been a fab 33 years so far and here is hoping for a fair few more…