bon voyage

Oh gosh I had planned to get some reviews out and time just flew away! You know how it is a few days before you leave anywhere, chaos! So much to do! I'm off to London in the morning and then flying to Rhodes tomorrow night. I won't be back in the 'Pool until June 5th. I'm sure I'll be able to track down a wireless signal somewhere on the island so I'll try to check in and depending on the signal and the speed of connection I may load a few photos. But just in case I don't pop in I hope everyone enjoys the rest of May and is prepared for a fantastic summer!

Oh and in case you're curious, I'm going to Rhodes for the Xth International Congress of Egyptologists - over 300+ speakers will be giving lectures from May 22-29. I'm going a week early and staying a week after in order to have a nice holiday. I may go island hopping or I might just pop a squat on the beach and read until I'm nice and crispy.

I was at a BBQ over the weekend to welcome 2 new Drs of Egyptology to the world. It was great! Although typical to an English BBQ we ended up inside when a thunderstorm hit (yes people real thunder and even some scary lightning! - but NOTHING compared to what we get in AZ). Below is a picture of a wee little man I found hanging out in my friend's garden. Apparently he was there when they moved in and so they just left him there. Seems like he's been there for awhile since his pants have nearly disintegrated! Ha! Ha! He's really roughin' it! Love the beard!


I Need New Pants!

. listening . la camisa negra . juanes . mi sangre .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 22:41, ,

six random things & childhood favorites

I've been tagged by Danielle to share 6 random things about me... hmmm... let's see:

The rules ::
: Link to the person that tagged you
: Post the rules somewhere in your meme
: Write the six random things
: Tag six people in your post
: Let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
: Let the tagger know your entry is post

1 : I don't know if I want to be an academic. I want a PhD but the idea of being a professor isn't really appealing. But teaching English literature to high schoolers is... I wish I could be an English teacher and go off to excavate during the summers. Then I could do research on my own terms and meet my own deadlines. Plus it would mean doing two things I love, Egyptology and sharing my love of books. I think this must have something to do with being a Pisces and my fish swimming in opposite directions...

2 : I'm afraid of aliens, more specifically I'm afraid of The Greys. They freak me out to no end! Watching Signs was pure torture!

3 : I'm a wee bit of an obsessive compulsive and am definitely anal. I like to have and do things just so. When I like something, say for example a movie I will watch it over and over and over again.

4 : I'm afraid of being a spinster. I'm extremely picky and am pretty ignorant when it comes to paying attention to signs of interest from the opposite sex. Doesn't help that I'm convinced I must get involved with someone in my field, which is turning out to be nearly impossible as practically every guy in my field is either gay, emotionally unstable or a man whore.

5 : I like gummy worms!

6 : I wish I could be obsessive compulsive when it comes to losing weight, i.e. I wish I could stick to something until I'm where I want to be. I seem to start a program/regime or whatever lose a few lbs and then fall off the wagon and quickly find myself back on square one with some extra luggage. Though one summer I was really good, stuck to Weight Watchers was walking 20+ miles a week and lost 10+ lbs. I need to try that again and drop at least 20 lbs.

Tag You're It!
: A High and Hidden Place
: Everyday Reads
: Ranger Sarah
: Books Please
: Wild Yarn
: A Striped Armchair

Weekly Geek Assignment #003 :: Write about your fond memories of childhood books.

When I was little I was an avid reader (still am). In first grade I was the first student to reach the goal of 100 books and thus my teacher took me to Dairy Queen where I ate my very first and to this day only banana split. It was delicious! Mrs. Abraham and I talked about the books I had read. It was a real treat and I felt uber-special. It's a shame that teachers are unable to treat students like that anymore! I loved taking trips to the library and going through the picture books. This is where I first fell in love with the smell of books.

I can remember being obsessed with collecting and reading all the Babysitters Club books by Ann M. Martin. Sadly I think all of those books are gone now. I really should chase after them. I thought those girls were so cool and when I started babysitting I created my own little kit to take to kids' houses so that there would be fun things to do. I also loved R.L. Stine's Fear Street, those books were super cool and creepy but not overly so. I also loved the American Girl series, especially the stories about Kirsten and Felicity. I remember getting the catalog in the mail for the American Girl dolls and just falling head over heels for them. Those were just the best looking dolls ever and the outfits and all the goodies you could buy were fantastic! After visiting the American Girl store in New York a couple of summers ago, I think I still want one! Ha! Ha! Seriously if you're ever in New York you MUST check this store out. It's several stories tall with a Hair Salon for your dolls and a doll hospital where your doll will be admitted for repairs and will be returned in a hospital gown complete with hospital bracelet and depending on the injury a wheelchair or crutches! Crazy! There's a playhouse on the top floor and a cafe where you can order tea and scones for you doll.

One of my all time favorite books as a child was The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. My aunt bought it for me and I just loved it to pieces. It's about these kids that find an abandoned yard behind an antique store which they quickly transform into an Egyptian haven. It reminds me so much of my sister and I playing in our backyard pretending to be Egyptians, mummifying barbies and then the next day playing Egyptologists and discovering them. Only the kids in the book were lucky because they happened to find an old replica of the Nefertiti bust in their yard so they were able to set up a proper altar where they could consult the oracles. It such a great book! I've lent it out to my friend Gina who's bringing it to Rhodes. I hope nothing happens to it!

. listening . she is . the fray . how to save a life .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 22:33, ,

hmm what to call this

Cone in the Park

Ok I think I like this new look! It's bright, it's flowery, it's making me smile - just like the weather we've been having here in the good old 'Pool. We've finally reached 75F/22C - Yippee! I even had a chance to sit in the park and eat an ice cream cone bought at a genuine ice cream truck. It's been so nice and sunny I've been able to wear my very expensive yet to be paid for prescription Coach sunglasses! I'm not really a material girl but these are my first pair of prescription sunglasses, I've been wearing glasses since kindergarten/first grade and the last pair of sunglasses I had were yellow and red with Ronald McDonald on them... So I thought I deserved a posh pair of shades! And let's not forget what an absolute necessity they are for working in Egypt, us Egyptologists need to dig in style!

So first the bad news... due to an unforeseen shortage in my stimulus payment (that'll teach me to rely on incoming funds) and the snail speed with which my loan checks are being dealt with there will be no trip to London. Boo! I've got friends who are willing to open their pockets but I'd rather use that offer for needs. I just don't feel right about having fun on someone else's tab. I'll still be heading down there on Wednesday to catch my flight to Rhodes but I'm really bummed, I was looking forward to good times. But now I suppose I'll have time to get some other things done. Like review writing! And reading (may finally finish those Mitford novels and poor Douglas Adams has been sitting on the shelf for awhile)! Finally I'll be able to do both guilt free because I'm done with the proofreading and I'm done with the scanning! My time is mine once again. Oh I do need to slap together a seminar that I'm giving when I get back but that shouldn't take too long.

I think I'll take a walk around Liverpool too! There's so much more to see. I've been invited to a BBQ on Sunday to celebrate the successful completion of two vivas and thus the birth of two new Drs. Wow finishing a PhD must be like the biggest relief ever! So here's hoping it's a good weekend for you and me. I'll just have to plan another trip to London perhaps one that will coincide with a trip to Paris...

Oh make sure you stop by Heather's (who I want to thank by the way for the awesome comments she made about me and my blog) to check out the teaser trailer for the movie Twilight based on Stephenie Meyer's book of the same title. It's awesome, I'm excited and unlike others I'm digging Edward's hair. I'm also excited about the next book, Breaking Dawn - I think it's awesome that Meyer is also a Phoenician well technically she's a Glendalian but that's just north-west Phoenix.

Ok gotta run and watch the latest episode of Lost! Ciao!

. listening . crash . gwen stefani . love, angel, music, baby .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 00:53, ,

catch up

Wow I seriously need a good catch up AND a new look, it's looking a little drab around here AND you guys need some book reviews! Yikes! I don't even know if I'm going to London on Saturday or not, my loan may take 3-4 weeks before it's deposited and where the heck is my stimulus payment??? It looks like I'm going to have to mooch off my pals for the time being, which I hate doing! And this means that my birthday wish of seeing Wicked may have to be delayed yet again! Poo! At least we've been having some awesome sunny weather lately and have hit 75F/24C. I've been soaking it up! But I do apologize for ignoring this space, I've been so busy proofreading and trying to get things wrapped up here before I take off. I've even been putting in some hours in the book room this week - paycheck at the end of the month! Woo Hoo! I'll try to check in soon with at least one or two book reviews.

. listening . lightning rod . guster . ganging up on the sun .


posted by Ashleigh @ 23:30, ,

collecting book review links

Weekly Geek Assignment #002 : Collecting and sharing book review links. Whether you're a Weekly Geek or not I am asking all blog visitors if they've read and reviewed a book that I've also reviewed please let me know via a comment on that particular post. I will then post a link to your review at the end of mine. Perhaps you had different thoughts, people want to know! I only started posting reviews for the books I've read this year, you can find the list by clicking on Book Log up at the top or by clicking here. For more information on Weekly Geeks or what this assignment is all about, go here.

There's no deadline and I'm officially adopting this as a new policy so please share those review links! Thanks for the help!

. listening . six feet under . no doubt . return of saturn .


posted by Ashleigh @ 11:48, ,

1% well read

10 books in 10 months from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Sure! Why not? To sign up click here. I've selected 2 books from each category (pre 1700s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, 2000s).

completed books are in red

: The Thousand and One Nights . Anonymous
: The Princesse de Clèves . Madame de Lafayette
: Justine . Marquis de Sade
: The Mysteries of Udolpho . Ann Radcliffe
: Castle Rackrent . Maria Edgeworth
: The Red and the Black . Stendhal
: Doctor Zhivago . Boris Pasternak
: The Satanic Verses . Salman Rushdie
: How the Dead Live . Will Self
: Cloud Atlas . David Mitchell

. listening . already gone . crossfade . falling away .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 11:57, ,

fairy tale friday

Hobbit Hole
Hark is this a Hobbit hole?

I met up with my friend Campbell to visit Reid's Used Books in search of books to bring to Rhodes. So many to choose from! There were several copies of pristine 1001 chunksters that I drooled over but I had to settle with stroking their spines and sighing. I couldn't however pass up the 2 Dickins chunksters offered outside, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby £1 each, now that's a bargain. They won't be joining me in Rhodes but I will read them this summer. Campbell chose a copy of E.M. Forster's Maurice and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The hunt is still on for a copy of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.

I have decided that my Rhodes reads will be:
  • Robinson Crusoe . Daniel Defoe
  • Ivanhoe . Sir Walter Scott
  • Howard's End . E.M. Forster
  • The Bell . Iris Murdoch
  • Shadowmarch . Tad Williams

    If I finish them all I will be shocked because we're only going to be gone a little over 3 weeks. And it's not like we're not going to be speaking to one another or busy sightseeing. But variety is always good!


    After coffee and a sticky bun at No. 7 we took a little stroll down Rodney Street to look at William MacKenzie's pyramid. St. Andrew's Churchyard was in bloom, this time with bluebells. Even though the churchyard faces a very public street we couldn't help but think it looked like a secret garden. What with the weeds all over grown, the bluebells, butterflies dancing about, dandelions silently begging someone to pluck them and blow their seeds to the wind. It was quite charming.

    John Moore's University 006Campbell then took me down a side street I've never walked down before and low and behold we did find a sort of secret garden, well not really but we can pretend right? It was really John Moore's University Mount Pleasant campus but it was so quiet and quite beautiful. I've only ever seen the front of it and had no idea this back part existed. There was a gorgeous church complete with spire and stained glass windows. Apparently before it became a university if belonged to the Notre Dame Convent and School. We followed a little trail that brought us to the back of St. Andrew's but unfortunately it was all boarded up so we still couldn't get to it but it felt like we were in a miniature forest. Down one of the other trails we spotted the little arch pictured above covered in bluebells. Now what is that all about? An old statue niche? Perhaps. I can imagine a statue of Mary inside.


    There were even bushes with little red berries. But as we all know from having read fairy tales it's not always a good idea to eat something when you don't know what it is, especially when you're in an enchanted little place like this. We may have fallen into a deep sleep and missed our flight to Rhodes! Or they could have given us super writing powers causing us to write our PhD dissertations in one night! Hmmmm....

    Abercromby SphinxQuite a few people have been posting fabulous pictures of tulips on their blogs. Unfortunately I didn't get over to Abercromby Square in time to snap a photo of the pristine peppermint striped tulips. They're still there they've just completely opened up. But I still think they're gorgeous almost like a completely different flower. I love the little sphinx details of the gate leading into Abercromby Square pictured to the left. All in all it was a good Friday, save for my shopping expedition to ASDA but that's never really any fun. However, I do like walking by Toxteth Cemetery. I would really like to go inside only I will have to have someone with me because it's not a very good area and I don't think the dead will come to my aid. There are more new photos posted on my flickr page which you can access by clicking on photos up at the top. Well the books are calling my name. Ciao!


    . listening . tripping billies . dave matthews band . crash .

    Labels: , ,

    posted by Ashleigh @ 20:31, ,

    enchant me please

    I've been searching for some enchantment, a.k.a. I've been wanting some new books. I did manage to snag Salman Rushdie's new novel, The Enchantress of Florence today along with a copy of Jeanette Winterson's The Passion (which by the way according to the author's website Miramax just bought the rights to and Gwyneth Paltrow and Juliette Binoche have signed). But before I can get any more new books I seriously need to finish everything listed to the right save for I, Robot and Timbuktu, those are checked out from the uni and aren't due till July. I actually need to read all those books if possible by the end of next week, because if all goes well I'm supposed to be leaving for London next Saturday but am definitely leaving for Rhodes the following Wednesday. I'd like to get caught up on my reviews too before I leave... lots to do!

    But first, back to that book coveting...

  • I've never read anything by Rushdie before, but the bright cover of The Enchantress of Florence caught my eye in the bookstore last week. And upon reading the description on the inside flap I knew that I had to get my hands on it. So here's hoping it's good!

  • Danielle's review of Ice Land has convinced me that I must too read this book and I'd really like to check out the author's other novel, The Bounce which has been described as a book about "lion-taming, cross-dressing, lost mothers and lost innocence set in the glamourous and squalid world of the Victorian circus" and it's supposed to be spine-tingling!

  • As some of you know I absolutely loved G.W. Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (see my review) and the sequel, The Dark Volume was released today! Unfortunately the library copies are still on order and the chances of me getting my hands on one, as only 3 have been ordered, and reading it before next week are quite slim. But it'll give me something to look forward to when I return.

  • Karen Maitland's Company of Liars has been described by the Daily Express as "A richly evocative page-turner which brings to life a lost and terrible period of British history, with a disturbing final twist worthy of a master of the spine-tingler, such as Henry James". I believe it's supposed to be about the plague. I quite like the cover as well, not that I'm judging based on that or anything.

    There are many others which hopefully will be read all in good time. Something else I've been thinking a lot about is Paris. Not just because I recently finished Les Misérables but because there's just so much I want to see there. So many things to do, like sit at the little café next to Notre Dame and read Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Could you imagine? Sitting there sipping a latté reading The Hunchback in the shadows of Notre Dame? And then entering the cathedral and climbing to the top to look out over Paris? I've got a copy of the book, I just need tickets... and I'm seriously thinking about going before I leave. I actually took the picture featured at the beginning of this post from the top of Notre Dame when I was there in 2005. Unfortunately it's the only one I have at the moment, I found it floating around my flickr page, must have been going to use it as a headliner for my blog at one point. The hundreds of other photos I took are on a disc at home.

    I'd like to spend a good week there, visiting the Louvre. On my previous visit half the Egyptology exhibit was closed so that right there is a major reason to return. I want to read in the Jardin du Luxembourg, walk along the Champs-Élysées, return to Père Lachaise and visit all those graves I managed to miss the first time. Can you believe it I did not kiss the tombstone of Oscar Wilde? But not to worry I'll pack my brightest red lipstick and see that the deed is done. Though I did pay my respects to Jean-François Champollion, the man who translated the Rosetta Stone and thus led to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. I never did to make it out to Versailles and I so wanted to and I also managed to miss the Panthéon where Voltiare, Rousseau, Emilé Zola, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas lie among many others.

    Thinking about Paris, makes me think of what other books I might like to read while there. Perhaps Henry Miller's scandalous Tropic of Cancer which was banned both in the UK and the US for 30 years after its publication. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, Michael Musmanno wrote, "Cancer is not a book. It is a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity". Hmmmm... could be fun, no?

    . listening . if you were there, beware . arctic monkeys . favourite worst nightmare .

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    posted by Ashleigh @ 12:33, ,

  • random field notes

      ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
      1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
      2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
      3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
      4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from random field notes. Make your own badge here.

    :: reading ::
    : Ivanhoe . Walter Scott
    : Schindler's Ark . Thomas Keneally
    : The Amber Spyglass . Philip Pullman
    : The Red Queen . Margaret Drabble
    : Un Lun Dun . China Miéville
    : A Handful of Dust . Evelyn Waugh
    : Adjunct: An Undigest . Peter Manson
    : A Kestral for a Knave . Barry Hines

    :: recently finished ::
    : Falling Man . Don DeLillo
    : Written on the Body . Jeanette Winterson
    : The Bell Jar . Sylvia Plath
    : No One Writes to the Colonel . Gabriel García Márquez
    : The Subtle Knife . Philip Pullman

    :: book rating ::
    5 : True Love
    4 : Like
    3 : Good
    2 : Ok
    1 : Why did I read this?

    :: challenges ::
    : 1% Well Read
    : 888 Challenge
    : Chunkster Challenge
    : Decades Challenge 2008
    : Novella Challenge
    : Once Upon A Time II
    : The Parisian Underworld
    : The Pub

    :: creating ::
    : sadly nothing at the moment

    :: recent posts ::
    : so what have you done since your last post?
    : 1001 books you must read before you die (2008 edit...
    : a longer break
    : bon voyage
    : six random things & childhood favorites
    : hmm what to call this
    : catch up
    : collecting book review links
    : 1% well read
    : fairy tale friday

    :: labels ::
    : book
    : book review
    : challenge
    : craft
    : egypt
    : life
    : liverpool
    : movie
    : photos
    : quiz/meme
    : random
    : school
    : travel
    : weekly geeks

    :: archives ::
    : 2008
    01 :: 02 :: 03 :: 04 :: 05 :: 06

    :: blogroll ::

    :: bookish
    : 1 more chapter
    : a high and hidden place
    : a striped armchair
    : a work in progress
    : bookie
    : books please
    : eloise by the book pile
    : estella's revenge
    : eve's alexandria
    : the hidden side of a leaf
    : people reading
    : red room library
    : stainless steel droppings

    :: crafty
    : cosmicpluto knits
    : crazy aunt purl
    : how about orange
    : inside a black apple
    : ma petite théière
    : midnight knitter
    : not martha
    : posie gets cosy
    : ranger sarah
    : wild yarn
    : yarnstorm

    :: special
    : idyll thoughts