OOTD: Indicators Of My Descent Into Madness OR Why I Want to Be Baldric

Those of you that follow me on social media are forgiven for reading the title of this post as a deconstruction of a Gore-Tex and Polarfleece ensemble with handwarmers and Bean boots.  My Instagram has been a venue for my winter griping and twitter and pinterest have served the same purpose. But today I am going in a different direction, though still somewhat (indirectly) blizzard related.

In order to survive captivity one must occupy the mind with a pleasantness. An occasional distraction from the gelid monotony. One of the ways I accomplish this is by joining Mr Bebe on the couch in front of the fire for a nightly episode of our new show:

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Time Team

I know that most of you have heard of Time Team, but it is a recent discovery for us. It suits our end of day routine quite nicely as it is interesting enough to capture our complete attention yet not so cerebral that it reminds us how tired we are.  It’s like a personable Nova.  Archaeology has always been one of The Four-along with opera singing, acting in British costume dramas, and and international woman of mystery-it is a calling I would have pursued, if fortune and talent were at my beck and call. The very idea of digging in the dirt and pulling out an object last touched by human hands more than 2000 years before is fascinating, and were it not for my debilitating camping allergy then I may have have been an archaeologist and adventurer myself.

But it is not only the fascinating archaeology that keeps us engaged, it is the sudden and seemingly incongruous bursts of sartorial folly that provide a humorus foil to the descriptions of Roman architecture and Iron Age pottery. Whether by accident or design these gaffes are integral part of the show, and we find that we begin every episode with curiosity not only for what will be unearthed but what will be uncovered.

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Ugh-this is a particular annoyance. No matter the body type, ill-fitting pants make your lower back look like the broad side of a barn
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Of course, in a still shot like this you don’t get the full effect but you can imagine the effect that rigorous digging has on untethered body parts. I simply cannot understand how a lady dons a spaghetti-strap tank top to head out for a day of digging in the dirt
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Dr. Purkiss explaining documents from the English Civil War. Perhaps free from her Oxford robes, she had an urge to show off her tan? Or did the producers say: “Excuse me Professor, could you pull that shirt down and give us some flesh?”
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We used to tie our shirts like this when we were teenagers.
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I had long hair as a young girl and I was often admonished about keeping it tidy: “Put your hair back or you’ll drag it in your soup”     
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Long tresses can be lovely, but not usually in the workplace. Certainly not in the mud.
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Ah, Phil, you flint-knapping, pirate speaking, ebullient delight. You are my favorite. I am going to name my next dog ‘Summat’ in honor of Phil “I found summat ‘ere”
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I do have an almost overwhelming urge to take him to a good barber

I blame the producers. If they feel the need to inject a bit of flesh into the show why not hire some sexy young cheerleaders to jump around off to the side and leave the archaeologists to their work? They are taking advantage of these dedicated and scholarly men and women who may be very learned in their field but naive when it comes to the tacky, grubby world of commercial tv. So I find myself compelled to solve this problem for all of archaeology. I will clear my calendar and focus on this important issue. The show may be over but I am offering my services as visiting professor to all the graduate and DPhil programs to teach a course in Archaeology Outfitry.

ARC801: Fieldwork Practicalities: Unearthing the Past Without Revealing Secrets (Required) -Prof.Bebe

OOTD or Outfit Of The Dig:

Dressing for a dig, one must keep certain realities in mind: hour upon hour is spent kneeling in the dirt bent over at the waist.  Space can be confining, and the work can be rather rigorous and there may be no laundry services available. Therefore, the best way to go about an outfit for a dig, whatever the season, is to dress as you would for an outdoor workout. High performance clothing is a must:

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LL Bean, Title Nine, REI, etc. Cover it and flatter it

Water resistance is the key to fabrics for the summer dig. Whether a day of glistening in the hot sun, or working in rain and mud, these shirts and shorts will dry quickly, wash easily, and last the season. The bottoms should be of a darker color to hide the dirt and the tops should be light and bright so one avoids getting run over by a front-end loader. Sun protection is of paramount importance-a lightweight hat that is also water resistant and a tube of non-toxic sunblock should always accompany an archaeologist to the digsite. and her little daypack should include barettes to keep her hair out of the soup. Back at the tent, there should be a nailbrush and a manicure kit, and they  should be used daily. Lastly a cushion for the knees-an eager young grad student may easily overlook this accessory but the knees age vigorously so unless she wants a couple of ripe advocados by the time she is into her tenure, care must be taken to pamper them.

Winter Digpvoreoutfits

Again, stick to fabrics that perform when wet. A good wool blend is best for the tops. The pants are can be lined, and outer shell should be water resistant. You really should consider silk long underwear ( I am wearing mine as we speak). It provides an exceptionally thin layer of warmth. I also recommend a polarfleece scarf for any outdoor labors. The fabric is soft, warm lightweight and very easy to clean; if it should get in the dirt it can easily be rinsed out and left to dry overnight.  Along with a wool headwrap and wool glove liners this is an arrangement that should provide plenty of comfort in temps above zero Fahrenheit.

When the new generation of well groomed and attractive archaeologists hit the digs, tv producers will be inspired to renew Time Team, they will approach Bebe to replace Tony Robinson and I will spend my days exploring  the archaeology of Western Europe.

Gads-there is so much snow outside…..

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14 thoughts on “OOTD: Indicators Of My Descent Into Madness OR Why I Want to Be Baldric

  1. But what of shoes? You may think it obvious but I am not sure if I should wear sockless loafers or gladiator sandals in summer. Should I wear sockless loafers or over the knee boots in winter. When can I wear my sockless loafers?

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    1. footwear will be determined by the specific conditions of the dig but as a general rule, any article of clothing that ends in -“-less” will not be appropriate. Any students using JCrew as a resource will be required to submit a 500p essay on the danger of cold ankles

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  2. Professor Bebe,
    I can endure a Flashdance off the shoulder sweatshirt but dig a line in the sand over a guy in Daisy Dukes…have him do an essay and give GSL 50 push-ups.

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    1. I agree-those shorts are summat else! But I would have to say that the off-the-shoulder must be played carefully in the over 40’s like me. And I cannot think of a time when it would be right for the workplace, at any age.
      Are you surviving the cold? I am worried about your glove situation..

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  3. Darling Bebe,

    We are overjoyed to see that, not only are you weathering the worst winter weather the world has ever seen, but you are a positive inspiration to us all how to survive ‘in extremis’! Yes, Bebe Bulletins should be broadcast to the nation, just as Churchill in the Great War, in order to lift the spirits of all those who fear that Spring will only arrive in July.

    Clearly, Time Team should be essential viewing to brighten the dark hours between dusk and dawn, although what the solution might be for those unfortunates, such as ourselves, without a television we know not. Radio is not going to cut the mustard when it comes to fashion analysis, we fear. And, how this team of British scruffy needs your sartorial advice, darling Bebe. Where have standards gone, we ask?

    Once upon a time the news was read on the wireless by men ( no women, of course) in dinner jackets and bow ties. It mattered not that they were not visible to the listening public, for this was a serious business calling for a formal look. How the Time Team could learn from this………how far the BBC has fallen……..oh dear!

    Whatever, do keep warm and amuse yourselves however you can. Darling Bebe, you are an international woman of mystery and once you are released from winter’s icy grip we look forward to your travels abroad…….such tales you have yet to tell!

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    1. Darlings Jane and Lance,
      I shall do my best to keep spirits high in these blizzard conditions. Your faith in me will help to pull me through this arctic existence. And vodka. Mostly you.
      I have been dreaming up garden conservatories since reading your post. Beatrix Potter imaginings with tea and flowers and hats in a garden house, green branches tickling the roof and a little bunny hopping around the back. It is all I can do to keep from flying over to Norwich, work gloves in hand ready to build..

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      1. Darling Bebe,

        How kind of you to be thinking of our garden project……..or green nightmare as it will surely become.

        We must remind you that we have yet to see said house, garden or indeed Norwich so things may change!!! In the meantime, our flights of fancy know no bounds…….we are thinking on the lines of any of the garden buildings at the Menagerie in Northamptonshire at present……fun, fun and more fun!

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  4. Believe it or not, this is a very off duty Oxbridge / academia british look. Some profs looked like this in class as well. Oddly enough msny profs are not preppies and preppies don’t really thrive here even if you are posh they don’t go for the Ralph Lauren look here. I had a prof who wore tank tops with no bra. I think it’s still quite funny and oddly refreshing though bc any other country would not allow them on tv!!

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    1. Finally wordpress let your comment through! Did you have to do anything differently? I hope not. I have had to speak to wordpress on several occasions so hopefully it is behaving.

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    2. Hilarious commentary. Very tongue in cheek.
      Vive la difference! So interesting to see a review of an English program from an American perspective. Straggly long hair, real skin (sometimes a bit too much), no Botox, no yoga or personal trainer honed bodies, no Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein, not even chicly professional tops and pants and gloves! The horror!
      But what fun to see real people – these wonderful British eccentrics, more engaged in the excitement of discovery than in what they look like! As Naomi says, it’s refreshing! Possibly barmy too – but you’ve got to love them! Best wishes, Pamela

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      1. Dear Naomi and Pamela
        Hmm..I think Ive given the wrong impression, no doubt due to the inadequacies of my writing. I am sorry if I have caused even the slightest offense. I can assure you that eccentricities (of any nationality) are a delight, and perfection is not my master. Which is just as well, I might add….

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  5. Hello Bebe,

    Thanks for the chuckle on your astute observations of what constitutes inappropriate attire for digging about in the dirt, at least when on national television.

    My earliest memory is of my visit to an archaeological dig on the island of Cyprus when I was around five years old. I shall never forget my fascination with what the team from Columbia University were doing in the dirt – carefully brushing and scraping debris from their finds. I was totally captivated and thought that was truly the best game or past-time imaginable, at least from a five year old’s point of view. I am still fascinated by archaeology and would gladly join a team if the opportunity came my way, appropriately attired, of course.

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    1. What an amazing family trip. I would have loved it as a child-even more so as an adult. I’ve had the archaeology bug since girlhood when I took a summer school class on dinosaurs. As an adult my interest has shifted to early civilizations however, and I would jump at the chance to go on a dig now, provided there is no camping involved.

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