5 Mar

Guest post: Introducing the Oxford Archaeology Correspondent. The Oxford Archaeology Correspondent can best be described as Sophie 1.0, the beta version of Sophie that Rachel used to live with. She likes the Palaeolithic and the colour orange. She does not understand new fangled things like the Bronze Age and modern music.


I am a stranger to lycra. I am no fan of mustard. My hair is almost all one length. My taste in music can best be described as obscure, but not in a cool way. The last time I wore a rucksack out in the evening, it was 3 am and I was hiking up a mountain in Lesotho to catch a bus. On Saturday I went to a Hipsters vs Goth party[1]. Hipsters? Whosters? Helpsters.

Luckily help was to hand, because I knew I could call on SuperMustard. Not only is her entire wardrobe composed of synthetic stretchy fibres, she doesn’t own any matching socks, and she’s so Other, she’s still using a lime-green Creative Zen mp3 player she got at some point back in the middle Bronze Age. This is probably not the time to go into the fact that I remember when she was still wearing flared jeans and a llama-jumper (actually those are probably back in again. Shows how much I know). As a long-term avid reader of PhFreedom, this blog was my first port of call for advice (see, Rachel? I even threw in a sea metaphor). In SuperMustard’s last blog I commented with a plea for help. I quote highlights of the response here.

“You need geek shoes on your feet, if you have some kind of shoe to deal with a walking complaint I recommend those, if not then brogues… There is also an interesting trend for survival gear at present, you could add a rucksack, a compass and a small knife for killing animals” (Crellin 2012)

For more enlightenment, I direct you to . I seriously think you should consider an advice column.

I had some material to work with: I live with a physicist, who owns, at a conservative estimate, 15 checked shirts. Mostly in shades of grey (I’m really not joking – I was worried that if I borrowed a shirt for this party he might be lacking in clothing. No no. Four people turned up wearing his shirts and he still had 11 left). I own an electric blue denim mini-skirt with an exposed zip. I have purple tights (not that I would EVER wear them with that skirt). I own geek-ish glasses (Specsavers, mens, £25. My face is “too wide” for women’s glasses. Hello body dismorphia.). It’s ok though, a little trip to Primark sorted me right out. For the bargainous price of £20 (which included a deviant purchase of a few pairs of black tights and some Kirby grips as well) I filled in the gaps in my hipster outfit. WHIPSTER, BITCHES, WHIPSTER. Throw into the mix a pair of plastic brogues (I actually love these. I’m wearing them now.), a really hideous red/leopard print scarf, a fluorescent pink camera necklace (suitable for holding up to the eye and saying ‘CLICK’ with in a most ironic fashion at awkward conversational pauses), and the two pièces de résistance: a calculator watch (which broke as soon as I put it on, but the sellotape I used to fix it made it even more hipster) and…wait for it… a boy’s age 11-12 space invaders tshirt which cost £1.50 and which I may never take off. I love it.

Accessories wise, my idea was to use an orange plastic sainsburys bag as a handbag, since I decided a canvas shopping bag was too obvious (you can see I was really starting to get into this…) then decided no, that was just stupid. So, I made use of my AARD 2011 conference bag. AARD does not stand for ‘African Archaeology Research Day’. No no, it’s the name of the band I’m in. Or rather, it’s the name of the band the guy I’m sleeping with is in. Yeah, you probably won’t have heard of them, they’re sort of techno-electro-funk with a hint of Gregorian chant. Their first album, Compline Crunk, is available for download on MySpace, because that’s, like, retro now, yeah?

Et voilà:


Helpster to Hipster

The best bit came later though. In a most ironic fashion, they had blacklights decorating the dancefloor. And what did I happen to have in my handbag, but the UV pen I had used to mark my anti-theft serial number on my bike with. Much merriment ensued. Very few people remained unscarred. At least five people were walking around with “LUÍSEACH’S BITCH’ tattooed on their foreheads. One physicist got “Dondé esta la biblioteca?” on his left arm. Someone else got “Dove il duomo?” on her chest. Apparently when I’m drunk I like to ask for directions in foreign languages I can’t speak. Hipster? Who cares.


Fluorescent Hipster Chic

Time wasted from PhD: 30 mins to write this blog post, several hours spent day-dreaming about how I actually kind of want to dress like this all the time…

[1] At this point, you may ask, why didn’t I just go as a Goth? I spend a considerable portion of my time wearing black anyway, but black as in ‘Who died?’ or ‘Yes, I will have another canapé. Now, where are the toilets?’. Just didn’t feel like a challenge.


2 Responses to “Helpster”

  1. Sophie March 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    ❤ to the max. I think that the Friday I'm in Oxford we should have a hipster day. We can go to that lovely cafe and sit there all afternoon working/ talking on skype while sitting next to eachother. You can wear your not quite brogues and the space invaders, I can wear my Dad's suit trousers and a crop top. IT WILL BE BEAUTIFUL.

  2. Nouveau Hipster March 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm #


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