Literally everything has happened but nothing of ‘ohmygodihavetotellyouallnowonthisblogwhichprobablyonlymyparentsandgrandmareadbutimgoingtopretendeveryonedoes’ note. And, I’m not being ~dramatic.~
Since I’ve been back in Edinburgh, I’ve continued to plod on with what I do best, procrastinating and then doing everything on my procrastinated list in a 24 hour time period. Today I spend time at the RBGE Library working on gathering resources for my dissertation on the Botanic Cottage. I got to spend some time with archaeological reports and even some maps of the original garden on Leith Walk and architectural plans of the Cottage drawn by John Adam. One of the maps was dated to 1777 while the architectural plans date prior to the construction of the Cottage in 1763.
Now, if you’ve been away from the blog or my loud American mouth for a hot sec… I’ll recap. I’m writing on aspects of cultural heritage manage and architectural archaeology using the case study of the Botanic Cottage at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The building was constructed around 1763 and served at the gardener’s house as well as John Hope’s lecture theatre to teach botany to medical students at the University of Edinburgh. The lecture room was rediscovered during excavations and because most of the university buildings in Edinburgh were demolished in the 18c to make way for new ones, the Cottage is arguably the oldest and only surviving purpose built lecture theatre from the Scottish Enlightenment! Nice. The Cottage was in use until 1820ish when the garden moved from Leith Walk to Inverleith (current location). Okay cool fast forward. The Cottage was basically forgotten after the garden moved and went through a lot of awkward phases including becoming an office for a van rental company! That was until about 2007 when the building caught on fire and then was scheduled to be demolished. The local community decided that was not going to happen and started research the building and as it turns out, the Cottage is probably one of the best documented small buildings in Scottish history! Why? John Hope was appointed by George III to be the King’s Botanist in 1760. Hope’s patron Lord Bute was also named 1st Lord of the Treasury, leaving him in charge of funding a variety of projects and stuff. To keep the funds coming for his garden in Edinburgh, Hope documented just about everything down to pillow cases and paper about the Cottage. Cheers John!
At the moment, I have the historical side and documents concerning the construction. I have information about how the Cottage was saved and rebuilt. Now I just need to move more onto the theory side of the project (eg the stuff on Cultural Heritage, the meaning of place and space) and architectural archaeology. I’m front loading on the research and gathering of stuff now that way I’m not stressed out of my mind come actual term time.
But, I have just over a week left in Edinburgh before it’s off on excavation. The season at Bamburgh has already started but since I needed to work a bit in Edinburgh this June I’ll be joining the team down at the beginning of July for the last two weeks. I went down just for the first day to attend a health and safety course which renews my CPR and first aid certification for another three years and a staff dinner, but I’m excited to see what they’ve been up to since! After Bamburgh finishes it’s back to Edinburgh and then down further south to Chester for some more work at Poulton with medieval human remains.
However, before all that kicks off, my dad is coming to visit next week! I haven’t seen any of my family since Christmas so I’m really glad to catch up with him. I haven’t really planned anything except to go to some new restaurants and I *still* haven’t seen SOLO which is goddamn travesty and I’m sorry Obi Wan. After Dad leaves I get another visit from the people of my past. Betsy, one of my closest friends from Kansas! She’s never been to Europe before so ofc she’s freaking out. But, not to worry! I’m meeting her in London at the beginning of July for a few days and then we we are going to take the train back to Edinburgh and spend a few days here. Then she’s off to Paris for her amazing study abroad which I know she will absolutely slay.
So, um, yeah. I’ve been doing that, making banana bread, getting really distressed about season 6 of Voltron on Netflix (my trash son betrayed and played me just as I was starting to trust his character), and crying over some young adult fantasy novel Caitlin loaned me.
Oh! And before I forget and because my mom won’t answer my calls. I got all my final marks back for the year. I finished third year with a 68.3 average which puts me in a really nice spot to graduate with either a very high 2.1 or if I play my cards right maybe a First! I’m super happy with my final mark in Archaeological Illustration (I got a 78) because I absolutely lovvvvveeed that class and wish I could take it again.
Okay that’s all. byeeeeee.