Catching Up (2017-2021)

16 Feb

It has been almost four years since I’ve updated this blog, but I’ve been carrying it forward (and paying hosting fees!) year to year in expectation of returning to it. Well, the time has come.

In 2017 when I last posted, I was living in London and teaching at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey. Since then I have moved back to the States, first living in Charlottesville, VA, then upstate New York, Oceanside, CA, and latterly in Charleston, SC.

Along the way, to make ends meet (and learn a few things), I worked as an Uber driver, a yeshiva instructor, and a private investigator in NY. I also worked briefly as a field archaeologist for Hudson Valley Cultural Resource Consultants — a job looking at various interesting pre-contact sites, which would have been amazing to continue were it not for an injury.

After my partner, Maria, gave birth to our son, Grimoire, we moved to California to pursue the opportunities of the solar boom. I finished my PhD in early modern literature and defended it right into the teeth of COVID — in fact I was in Oxford to defend in March 2020 when Trump announced the closing of the border.

With the PhD done, we moved across the country once again last summer so that I could be closer to my daughters and take up a position as Visiting Assistant Professor at The Citadel.

There were opportunities to look for treasure here and there. In March, while in the UK, I visited my old permissions with my mate Gabriel. We spent a lovely afternoon hunting, but we only turned up a single George V penny. We followed it with a hearty pub supper.

While in SoCal I searched the beaches near Oceanside, finding only a bunch of modern clad, fishing weights, and base-metal jewellery. I also joined the Treasure Seekers of San Diego and the Southwest Prospectors. Both clubs soon cancelled meetings due to COVID, but my dad and I were able to spend a fun day nugget shooting on club land in the High Desert.

And once I’d made it back East, I took my daughters gold panning in the Piedmont of North Carolina with a salty old prospector, who taught us how to sluice and pan.

Finally, I have just joined the SC Dirt Diggers, who organise club events on land in SC and GA. I aim to detect Folly Beach and elsewhere, and perhaps to locate a permission of my own once I take the lay of the land. I’ve been conducting maintenance on my equipment to prepare. I’ve also just purchased a new Lesche digger (my other is in the UK), and a Lesche Sampson shovel, along with a relic pouch and water finds pouch — I also bought two yards of D600 polyester from which to fashion covers for the business ends of my shovel and sand spade.

I’ll be posting overdue pics of most of the outings above, and I hope to update the site more regularly from now on. I’m still swinging the XP Deus, along with an Equinox 800 I bought while in CA. I also briefly had a CTX3030 after moving back to the States, but my beach detecting opportunities were then limited (and inland I am a Deus devotee), so I soon sold it on.

(Oh, and the Forest Fenn Treasure was found in June 2020)!

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