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Denny Abbey

My week at the Farmland Museum started out with the Denny Abbey archaeological collection  :D

The Education Officer, Chris, was in need of a handling collection for school groups of the archaeological material from Denny Abbey. Now there is nothing I like more than poking around in archaeological collections, so I was quite happy to do it.

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England and Scotland—Day 7-14

Originally posted on The Wide and Winding:

Day 7 Greenhead —> Haltwhistle

Today we left our B&B and hiked up (another!) very large hill to the Roman Army Museum. After spending some time there, we took the Hadrian’s Wall bus (it exists after all!) to the Milecastle Inn in Haltwhistle, where we ate pub food and hung out until the people who generously offered to accommodate us, Beth and Alex, arrived with a group of their students. The group had been hiking a section of the wall. Soon after, we walked to their house, got settled in, and had a delicious fajita dinner. It was nice to be among friends!


Day 8 Haltwhistle

Our feet and legs still achy from the first two days of the hike, we were not up for doing much walking. Beth, drove us to the Roman Army Museum, where we had left off the day before, and we hiked from…

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England—Days 5-6

Originally posted on The Wide and Winding:

Day 5 Carlisle —> Walton

After leaving our hostel in Carlisle to grab breakfast on-the-go, we were to begin our journey to hike Hadrian’s wall. Just then, I felt a rain drop on my head. Then another…until it was solidly raining. It took us a bit of time to make sure we were actually headed in the right direction (despite some signage, it was not all that clear on the way out). Katie was quite the trooper and was carrying her backpack for the hike; I, on the other hand, decided to use a luggage transfer service to have mine delivered to each new destination. I found this a worthy investment! We were excited to begin, and in relatively good spirits, despite the rain and cold wind. We saw a few other walkers who were mostly headed in the opposite direction to us. On and on we walked for about…

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Nipper the HMV Dog


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This past week I have been at the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth, just outside of Dublin. It is a museum that celebrates collecting, and Pat Herbert has built an incredible collection going back to the very beginnings of radio. I will write a post soon that goes into more detail about the history of radio (I am working on an online exhibit on the subject for the museum), but today I want to talk about the story behind Nipper the HMV dog.

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To Dublin via Ryanair!

Yesterday afternoon I arrived in Dublin to a bright and sunny day after leaving a rather bleak and dreary morning in Leicester, via the least ever frills, budget airline, Ryanair.  The flights are cheap, but be on your toes, because there may be additional fees everywhere you look. Extra baggage fees for all checked luggage, and they will charge you £70 to check you in (its free if you check-in online), and £15 if they need to print your boarding pass for you. But for short haul flights they get you where you need to go. My dad asked whether the passengers need to pedal to keep the plane in the air – no.

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My Journey along Hadrian`s Wall


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For everyone who hasn`t been following my pre-amble to the Wandering Museum Consultant Project (starting June 2) on the project website, my friend Krista and I have been Hiking Hadrian`s Roman Wall in the north of England. Please enjoy the posts below :)

Rampaging Cows: Day 1 on Hadrian`s Wall

A Possible Time Vortex: Day 2 on the wall

The Day we too the Bus: Day 3 on the Wall

The Day we went back and did half of day 3`s route: Day 4 of the Wall



The Wandering Museum Consultant Project Starts June 2nd, please consider sponsoring me   :)


First Post: The Wandering Museum Consultant


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The Vindolanda Charitable Trust will be my first stop of the summer, June 2-13. Though it would not be correct to say this museum is the cause of the Wandering Museum Consultant project, it is most definitely the catalyst, which brought it to life. Friends at Vindolanda, whom I know through my position as Learning Coordinator at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology(MOA), invited me to come and spend two weeks for a professional exchange. The main reason being  the relative similarity between the two museums; both Vindolanda and MOA are archaeological sites combined with interpretive museums.

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The Wandering Museum Consultant Update


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Things have been slowly coming together for the Wandering Museum Consultant project, and my departure date is fast approaching.

I will be spending most of the summer in the UK, with a two week stop in Dublin, Ireland. I will be posting quick introductions to each of the Museums I will be working with over the next month before I leave.


June 3 – 13: Vindolanda Charitable Trust, UK

June 16 – 27: Dublin, Ireland (Museums:  Hurdy Gurdy Radio Museum and Dublin Museum Marathon, details to come)

July 7 – 11: Farmland Museum, Cambridgeshire , UK

July 14 – 18: Cheshire (?, Silk Museums, Macclesfield),

July 21 – 25: Cumbria (Museums tbc) and , UK


If you are interested in hosting me at your museum, please contact me at katrina@newmuseumkat.ca

The Best and Worst Cups of Coffees Ever…

As I was making coffee this morning at work,  I was exclaiming to a colleague how much I love coffee – It’s a lot. We were discussing how all coffee is good, even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all, and I was reminded of the worst cup of coffee I had ever tasted.

The worst cup of coffee ever:

A few years ago, when I was living up in Northwestern Ontario, I was driving between my then home, Fort Frances, and the small city of Kenora (even further to the north). I stopped at a small roadside community along the highway for a cup of coffee for the road. I won’t say which community, but there are not that many. I went into their only store and came out with some snacks and a cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a sip until I was on the road again – it was awful.

So awful that I put it in my cupholder and didn’t even absentmindedly attempt to drink from it for the remainder of the trip.

It tasted like someone had made coffee a week earlier, then the grinds had gone mouldy and they brewed another pot with them. Then two days later I came along.

Either that or they ran out of coffee and just used dirt.

Now for a very different story.

The best cup of coffee ever:

As an undergraduate student in archaeology, I spent the summer between my 3rd and 4th year in Jordan. On the way there, six friends and I made a side trip to Egypt. Our return flights to Cairo were an add-on to our main flights to Jordan and were with Royal Jordanian airlines.

The flight from Amman, Jordan to Cairo, Egypt is a short flight, but they still fed us lunch; part of that lunch was the most heaven-like, velvetty coffee I have ever tasted.


Only myself and one other in my group, Susie, had the coffee, and we spent the next week and a half reliving that coffee. Telling the others about it, and generally dreaming of the return flight to Amman when we would once again get to taste the most perfect cup of coffee in the world.

Sadly, when the return coffee was finally acquired – seven cups, one for each of us…

It was not the same! 

We were so dissapointed! The best we can figure is that someone important had been on that first flight and they had brought out the good stuff. That or the attendants on this second flight did not have the magic touch of the first.

So, the story of the best coffee ever ends on a sad note; I will likely never taste that coffee again…

But I can still hope that one day we will cross paths.


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