Sunday 13 May 2012

Things that made me happy in the last 3 days:

1. The computer issues I had were caused by a faulty charger; the computer itself is fine. Luckily I had a spare charger!

2. The feedback on the 8,000 words I submitted to be read by my advisor (who has ignored me all year and didn't replied to my emails) was actually good. It ended with the phase 'could easily achieve doctoral standard'!

3. The panel agreed with him! I'm now unoffically a PhD student! =] =] =] =]

4. After the panel I went to see some friends who had just finished their exams. We've arranged to celebrate next week. I'll finally get to see the Avenger's movie!

5. My journey to York for the conference went really smoothly. I even got some work done on the train.

6. When I arrived in York there was a rainbow in the sky. Seemed like a very good omen!

7. I got to see York Minster with the last rays of sun reflecting off its windows and no tourists anywhere in sight.

8. I met the other people attending the conference in a pub just behind where I stood to take that picture. They were all really nice and interesting to talk to.

9. We went for dinner at Ask Italian and it was really good food. Also the building is beautiful.

10.The conference itself was great and I learned a lot. I made a tonne of notes and got a lot of ideas for my thesis.

11. My mum met me in York. It was nice to see her and she gave me this incredible Victorian mourning brooch:

The panel in the middle is difficult to photograph but it contains woven hair. This was a lock of hair from the person who had died, worn in order to remember them. The surround is made out of Jet, which was used for mourning jewellery because it's black.
Victorian rules for mourning were very strict (at least among the upper classes). A widow had to wear mourning for 2 years,'full mourning' included a veil and dresses made of crepe (because it was black and lustreless- shiny fabric was not appropriate for mourning). Towards the end of the 2nd year it was acceptable to wear 'light mourning', which could include grey and lilac as well as black. During the period of mourning it was seen as disrespectful to attend public events.
The amount of time for mourning was set; 2 years for husband/wife, 1 year for parent/child, 3 months for other relative (e.g. uncle, aunt, cousin).
Anyone wishing for more information about mourning jewellery should check out this book here. This one has useful information about mourning customs.

12. I saw Dark shadows yesterday with a friend. I actually quite enjoyed it, because its funny and silly and the blood is so fake (I'm petrified of real blood). Not the best film ever but entertaining enough. I haven't seen the TV series, which probably helped me enjoy the film!


  1. Congrats on your PhD student status!
    Lovely brooch!

  2. Congratulations, you must be unbelievably proud of your achievement!
    The mourning brooch is amazing and thank you for writing about the rules of victorian mourning! I love the victorian era and even though I already knew some of the things you mentioned it was still great to read!

  3. Thanks, I am pretty proud of myself. I just have to work really hard now!

    I'm glad you didn't mind me repeating things you already know! I thought a lot of my readers might know something about Victorian mourning but still thought it might be worth explaining, just in case!