6 August 2016

My own personal archaeology is more difficult to document, write about and inhabit than the archaeology of others. Fact. This is a house in a low-income, culturally diverse neighbourhood in Bristol, adjacent to the Feeder Canal, but high enough that I think I have a little bit of time before global warming gets me. This is a neighbourhood where, in 2016, a professionally employed first-time buyer can purchase property. It’s the Last Semi-Affordable Neighbourhood that’s within easy walking distance of the centre of town.

Artefacts of note: 2 mummified mice, several socks of past occupants (assuming women’s and girl’s socks to due small size and the thin nature of the fabric), small bracelet to fit young child’s wrist, common wallpaper stratigraphy noted in several Edwardian houses in regional Britain. Architectural features of note: 1 late twentieth-century concrete lintel, inserted to support house following demolition of retaining wall separating living and dining rooms (inserted incorrectly and unsupported). Rather than finding past lives or original features, I feel for all the world that I’m freeing this house to breathe again, to come alive. I am strangely uninterested in its past; instead I hotly anticipate its future. Today I move my things into the upstairs bedrooms while the necessary work downstairs continues.

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