Yesterday I did something spontaneous. Or, well, as spontaneous as I've ever been, I think. I took a trip out to Leigh-on-Sea, a small fishing village out in Essex. What a wonderful day it was. My first stop was at this little restaurant called The Peterboat where I had the most amazing (and FRESH) fish & chips. Beer battered haddock, in-house tartar sauce, crunchy chips, and a half-pint of Heineken: what better way to start the day!? I walked around a bit, did some window-shopping in the Lynn Tait Gallery at the Old Foundery, and enjoyed some white coffee and chocolate cake at Sara's Tea Garden. I walked all the way from Leigh-on-Sea along the mudflats towards Southend-on-Sea and Chalkwell Beach. It was rather windy, but for the most part the sun was shining and the view was sensational. Best part? The smell of sea air. It was literally the most refreshing thing I've done in a long time.
Saturday I get to go to a pub in London for a big rugby match with Claire. Wales is playing and we're going to be hanging out with a ton of Welsh people. I'm pretty excited! Things are going really well overall, even if my camera charger is a piece of crap and is constantly hindering my ability to do research. Today I was trying to work through HCA 1/48 and it's pretty tough since it's rather damaged. I ended up giving up today, working mostly on grading and catching up on other work. I'll be back at it tomorrow with a (hopefully) freshly charged camera. I've also found a few things that I KNOW are going to be beneficial to my dissertation, such as a few mentions of islanders receiving pirated goods. Also, a family friend has been doing genealogy of her family and knows that they have evidence that this family consisted of Charleston, SC merchants who dabbled in piracy as a means of supplementing income. These sorts of bits are what make it all worth it. Now if I can just get over this roller coaster of existential crises I find myself in, all will be well. And hopefully I can get a journal publication out of this trip. It's crucial so that I can continue to build my CV, network, and make a name for myself. Not only for future career opportunities, but also because I'd really like to apply next year for the OSU Presidential Fellowship to have a whole year to solidify my dissertation and prepare it for manuscript submission. Here's hoping...What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been! And I have 4 more to go here...1 in the Netherlands! <3