Another year older and still not dead!

Today I’m twenty-nine years old. Another year older and still not dead!

It has been my habit on my birthday, the last couple of years, to send messages to people telling them how much I appreciate their presence in my life. This year, I think, there are too many people to make that entirely practical – and I don’t know all their emails. So I’m just going to write here what I want to say.

Dear friends,

It’s been a tricky year, since this time in 2014. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. Without you, I wouldn’t have a PhD all but in hand. Without you, my life would be so much poorer and smaller, and contain so much less joy. I am honoured by your acquaintance, and your friendship, your hospitalities and your support: your presence in my life is a gift and a blessing, and it humbles me.

Thank you. Never stop being awesome.

So. It has come to this. Part II: gratitude.

After posting “So. It has come to this,” last night, I went to sleep.

I logged on today, twelve hours later. Guys. I am gobsmacked and speechless at your generosity. You’ve given me more than I asked for – twice as much as I dared hope for.

(In consequence of said twiceness, only let me know and I will refund half of the donation.)

You are all amazing, and I am humbled and grateful.


I promised rewards. Let me talk about the timeframe for fulfilling my promises.

I will write the 500-word review of a book chosen by the person who donated most (I will be in touch to confirm who you are) before the end of July.

I’ll write the 500-word review of Lucian’s True History also before the end of July.

I’ll write the 500-word review of G.W. Bowerstock’s The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars On The Eve Of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2013) before the end of August.

I’ll write the 750-word review of Mary Renault’s The King Must Die also before the end of August.

I’ll write up every session I attend at the conference within two weeks of coming home from said conference.

I’ll review with as much detail as possible Paul Roberts’ Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (Oxford University Press, 2013) before the middle of September.


Any funds remaining after I have covered conference costs, I will donate to a good cause. There being so many worthy causes, I will investigate and report back which one(s) after the conference is done.