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April Adventures

April is going to be a busy month for me! I’m off on a number of travels which includes heading off to France: Poitiers and Carcassonne, as well as Iceland.Wow it’s been an insane amount time since I’ve blogged. I cannot believe the last thing I posted was in December 2016! That was a seriously long time ago. Since then A LOT has changed in my life, and I don’t even know where to begin.

So, after gaining my Masters at Oxford, I decided to take a break in order to prepare my application to complete a PhD. Whilst doing all that (it was like a job in itself), I spent a long time looking for a job. Now, you’d think that having a first class degree and a Masters from Oxford might be helpful when trying to get a job in the arts and heritage. Well, it turns out it didn’t. Despite having tons of work experience and internships under my belt, I found it really difficult to get a position anywhere. Despite applying for nearly 100 positions, and having a handful of interviews, nothing came about. This was actually a really hard time, as there’s something about spending hours and putting lots of effort into applications and not even hearing anything back. Not even an acknowledgement of receiving my applications. It was quite a soul-destroying process, and you cannot help think: ‘is there something wrong with me?’ Filled full with self-doubt, I decided to change sector and immediately found a job as a marketing manager for a food startup. So in February 2017 I packed my bags and moved down to London.

In April 2017, I accepted a CHASE (AHRC) funded position at the University of Kent for a PhD in Medieval and Early Modern Studies with my previous supervisor, Dr Emily Guerry. Whilst it was nice to have a break from academic (something which I would recommend everyone doing), I was rearing to go and get back into the research. My PhD officially began at the beginning of October. I was working part-time with the same startup for a couple of months, but this January decided that the position was too demanding and it was time that I focused completely on my PhD, and that’s exactly what I am doing, and I love it!

One of the main reasons why I haven’t blogged was because I haven’t really had the time, but it’s been something I’ve been wanting to get back into recently, and so here I am with my apology post and attempt to catch you all up!

The months have flown so quickly, and I cannot believe that as I type it is April 1st. But don’t worry, there are no April’s Fools here (mainly because I am rubbish at pranks). But April does bring a lot to be excited and thankful for.

This week I venture off to Poitiers in France for five days of Romanesque delight! I was very lucky to be awarded a student scholarship to the British Archaeological Association’s annual Romanesque Conference and I cannot wait! I haven’t been to Poitiers since I was around eight years old, so it will be great to go with an appreciation for the churches and architecture that I will be seeing. I’ll be blogging, tweeting and Instagramming (is that a word?) all about it, so be sure to keep a watch.

The day after I return from France I then pack my bags again – I’m going to Iceland!! I cannot wait! My amazing boyfriend has surprised me with a 6-day self-driving tour of Iceland, and I know that it is going to be incredible. Again, I will be blogging, tweeting and Instagramming about our adventure.

Then, after a weeks rest, I am off for the weekend with my parents and boyfriend to the beautiful medieval town of Carcassonne. I’ve never been there, but am really looking forward to it.

And that’s April all wrapped up! I’m off to find an Easter Egg to eat now, so I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday. Below are a few images from the last couple of months.

Houses of the Parliament across the river Thames, London

Westminster Abbey at night
Canterbury Cathedral
Senate House Library, London
Kings College Cambridge
Cumbria, where we spent some time after Christmas
My new work set-up
Snow in West London

This entry was posted in: Life


Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.


  1. Deirdre says

    Lovely to hear your news again, Roisin. Hope it won’t be too long till I see you guys again.
    Happy travels!


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