People have begun calling me an ‘Historian’.  That’s fine, and is in most ways a compliment.  For someone who came to Ancient History late in the day, and has not yet reached the heights of a PhD, I can accept that with a degree of magnanimity and pride.  However there are a couple of down sides to the label.  Possibly the main one is that I don’t fulfil people’s expectations when they meet me.  Apparently I don’t fulfil the stereotype of how an Ancient Historian should behave.

For a start, and being English, I should have an accent somewhere between that of the Queen and Hugh Grant.  Instead, I have been blessed with a broad Lancashire accent, which sometimes takes people unawares.

Also, apparently, I should be wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow pads and possibly smoking a pipe.  Well, no:  I’ve never worn tweed and am allergic to tobacco smoke.

Finally, again as part of being English, I’m supposed to love cricket and listen to either Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, or, because I’m interested in military history, Wagner.  Now I must admit to liking the occasional earful of Bach etc., but most of the time I listen to heavy rock/ heavy metal.  A recent visitor to the house was shocked to find me listening to System Of A Down, rather than The Ring Cycle.

As for cricket, I have to admit that I find it rather boring.  I can understand the subtle tactics and strategy involved, and have enjoyed playing it in the past, but I’d much rather watch a game of football (soccer, to any US citizens reading this) or of Aussie Rules football (Up The Power!).

So if you’re expecting to find me sitting in front of the TV watching the Roses match (Google it!) forget it:  I’ll be watching Burnley FC and listening to Marilyn Manson (Holy Wood:  OK it’s old; but so am I!)