FAQ & The Rules of the Blog

Now that the Holidays are over, and before I go back to 'real' life - via that Circle of Hell know as an airport - which will involve a temporary cessation in blogging ... I thought that it might be worth revising The Rules, and dealing with the majority of emails roughly in order of magnitude.

The email support service for fellow Republicans who want to come out of the closet and vote for Obama is now suspended. He won. Yippee.

I don't do it. Except sometimes news. Or if you're my cousin. Au c'est la la télévision en France. I don't own a TV. I don't want to be on TV. If I wanted to be on TV, I'd buy one and sit on it. I'm tired of producers assuming I'd willing do things like re-create Livingstone's expedition in a bikini for the sake of being on television. And that's not even the dumbest thing they've come up with. One producer, noting my interest in crucifixion, thought that I would want to be crucified - for research purposes, you understand. I get a dozen requests a month, and will no longer be answering them, unless they mention paying me money. Or it's a cooking show. Points will be deducted for mentioning the History Channel. I also don't do research unless, ya know, you do that thing where you pay me money to do your work for you, ideally through my agent. I might however forward your email to a suitable colleague.

I'm happy to give them, so just drop me a line. I prefer PowerPoint, and my voice is quiet so a microphone is non-negotiable. Not so keen on debates, as it gets tiresome when people pull out. A few places I will not lecture are: the British Museum, Christie's, Concordia, Intelligence Squared, Sotheby's Institute (Sotheby's auction house is fine).

I love movies. I also love drawing scale elevations of walls on excavations. But a few years ago I was thrilled to discover that people will actually pay me to re-write scripts. Oh joy, oh bliss, oh Nirvana. If you want to make my day, send me one. Please. Writing scripts does not seem to be meeting with the same success.

Yes, spell check exists, but creative spelling is so much more fun.

I have rescinded the 'no flirting' rule. Facebook works better for me, as it has photos, and I ascertain whether have horns or a forked tail. I should however be clear that I have not yet mastered the fine art of flirting. My technique generally involves wearing a low cut top and saying "Take me now".

Getting an email response from me at 3 am does not indicate that I have a deep, dark forbidden crush on the recipient. Nor does it indicate a desire to marry the recipient, as one emailer has wrongly deduced. I sometimes keep odd hours writing.

Guest Posts
Guest posts are welcome – either in your own name, or anonymously (as long as I know who you are) - but, umm, ideally should have some relevance to the material I cover.

The Elgin Marbles
I still think that the Parthenon Sculptures - known sometimes as the Elgin Marbles – are fine where they are, British Museum. I am not, however, a fan of the BM. Though they did try to bribe me with two tickets to the Hadrian exhibition ..

Archaeology News
David Meadows has been running a great blog and newsletter for years. If you want regularly updated archaeological news, visit Rogue Classicism.

Items of interest from other blogs I add to my Shared Items – here.

I only link to sites I use or like. I do not do reciprocal linking.

I have a good one, thank you. Long work hiatus is my fault - illness - not agent's. But if you think you can make me write like Aaron Sorkin, I'm willing to listen.

Photos used tend to be my own, or credited to others. If I have forgotten to credit a photo, drop me a line, and I will correct this. A lot of people use my own photos for teaching and / or illustrating blogs; I have no problem with this. When I do have a problem is when they publish them without asking me first.

I tend to remove these when links expire, story is over, etc., with the aim of only keeping the better posts long term. If you want something, save it.

Libel / defamation
I prefer to avoid this, so if you have issues with anything I’ve written, drop me a note first. I generally take things down, if you ask. I reserve the right to make exceptions – eg for Gillian McKeith – and do not respond well to bullying letters from lawyers, particularly when they abuse the law.

I reserve the right to add new rules as I go along ...

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