Thursday, 22 September 2011

Au Revoir

Hi folks I have moved to Wordpress as I was getting frustrated with the themes on Blogger.

Also I felt it was time to start afresh given the long absence from here. And a change is as good as a rest!

I hope those of you that have followed me on here will continue to follow me over there. I am hoping that my blog will take on a much more coherent flavour from here on in as I progress through the new academic year.

Thank you for all the support, sorry to blogger for deserting the format, and I hope to see you all on the other side!

Au revoir! x

Friday, 9 September 2011

Return from the Dead

A year has past since my last post.

I feel as though I am resurrecting the dead in returning to this blog. It slipped from my consciousness when life began to run a little out of my control.

The reason for my absence was a restructuring of my academic life. I needed to break from routines and patterns of behaviour that were becoming non conducive to a healthy mental state. I came within a breath of giving it up altogether!

I broke my leg in January and this forced me to take a literal break from everything else. It was oddly enough a restorative time in my life.

And now I find myself facing a huge career building moment and I am lost for words and once again facing my own little wall of tiny writer's blocks! So I thought I would just pop in here and say - I AM SHITTING MYSELF!

That could be a self portrait of me just now as I keep opening books trying to find the inspiration to start the writing process. (Well it could be except I am blond and blue eyed and slightly less gormless looking!)

I better get on with it - I fly next week!

in other news ... well let's face it if I sat here and waffled on for pages and pages about all the things that have happened in the last 12 months since my last entry, that would just be me procrastinating wouldn't it? ... and I can't possibly allow myself to spend any more time doing that!

But - before I get right down to it,  let me just have a browse through some other academic blogs and see if I am the only one who finds the actual getting in with it this difficult!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Taking Stock

So a new semester is about to launch itself onto the unsuspecting freshers and I have been laid low with the usual bout of freshers flu.
I have touched base with my Supervisor this week and we have decided on a course of action that if it is approved should prevent me imploding on myself and leaving a nasty body fluid stain on the library books that currently surround me help alleviate some of the desire to run rampage naked throughthe town centre yelling I AM NOT JUST A PHD STUDENT I AM ALSO A HUMAN BEING pressure that has been building over the previous months.

I think it is time for a bit of a shake up and a new approach - so plans are in development.
But for the time being all the balls are up in the air as I do all the necessary paperwork and gubbins that accompany a new year as a researcher.

Because of the flu I haven't really done much the last few days so this is more of a case of saying 'I am still alive' and ' normal service should be resumes soon'!

Thanks for recent comments - I love signing in and seeing some feedback!

I got the tickets in the post for the holiday in TWO WEEKS TODAY! I can't wait - this knackered old body of mine is in dire need of some sunshine!

Off for another dose of paracetamol and a hot toddy! No licking the screen - I just sneezed on it!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Paying it Forward

I like this because the image is from around 1910! 
... I was going to talk about marriage today, as a modern institution that is outdated and perhaps unnecessary. The reason being I may have been banging my gums repeatedly mentioned in the passing, several hundred times once or twice that I am pulling my hair out with  all the crap having a few problems with 'the ex' ... but it's just too depressing  complicated and needs a lot more brain power than I can muster. Also I have several reason why I do not think , at this time, it is a good idea to air my opinion about something that is clearly affecting my life just now:
A. I think it is unseemly to air one's personal dirty laundry publicly,
B. He is on my Facebook and may see it! and
C. I do get his point of view,BUT HE IS WRONG!!!!  I just disagree with it.

I am also not a fan of the one sided argument which blogs, forums and other internet outlets tend to support. Let's face it we all know there are three sides to every argument - his, hers and the truth!

So about marriage let's just say - I am not its biggest fan! I am not an entirely paid up member of the 'let's get divorced club' either ... I am more on the side of let's get rid of these archaic and unworkable institutions all together and stop shitting ourselves that they actually function! Now I have a LOT of thoughts on the pros and cons of marriage and maybe one day I will pluck up the courage to form them into a coherent few paragraphs, but right now I have a feeling it would degenerate into a rant ... which would be sooooo satisfying is never pretty!

Instead I thought would waffle on about the idea of 'pay it forward' because after a very odd and shitty week, a woman and a friend, who I know only virtually, has done something rather sweet and unexpected to cheer me up. When I asked what I could do in return her reply was, 'just pay it forward'. I am not even entirely sure she even knows the week I have had, which makes it even more spontaneous and unexpected.

If you've seen the film starring that boy who sees dead people you will be fully aware of what pay it forward means; basically if someone does you a good turn you do something good for someone else ... and so on and so forth. I like the theory but never experienced it in practice and I have to tell you it fair perked me up! I can't even tell you what it is she is offering because, well, it's a little shady and involves copy dvds! Shhhhhhhh

The lovely thing is I already know a man who I can pay this particular good deed forward to! I have a feeling there may be a few other folk who want to get their mitts on it as well - so form a queue!

So I think I shall declare today send the Pimpernel loads of pressies as pressies cheer her up exponentially day   
Pay It Forward Friday !
A positive note on which to end the week! As Fresher's looms I shall need all the positivity I can get.

As a consequence of this friends thoughtfulness, I have been musing about how many folk I have 'met' through the internet and how rarely I am disappointed when I actually meet them. I have many actual good real life friends now, which is largely down to online forums and facebook etc ... how life has changed. Years ago as a divorced single parent staying at home I would have had little or no opportunity to get out and about and meet new folks (especially after I moved here from England). But by the glory of the internet I have a whole virtual family who in times of need never fails to rally! I consider myself blessed. It never fails to amaze me what a virtual friend will do for you when the chips are down! Or how quickly you can get the feeling you really 'know' them!

So for those of you scared to commit and sitting on life's sidelines - get online and put yourself out there! There are some good people to get to know! And I reckon I am one of them! ;) ... Usual disclaimer about online safety applies - sometimes people may not be what they seem. He may look good in his picture but in reality, well ... let's just say it might not be quite what you were expecting! Also if he mentions the word 'swing' and 'fascism' in the same sentence I'd advise caution!

So to conclude and before I start making a dent in the weekend's supply of alcoholic beverages  in the words of Edward Everett Hale :

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.”

If you do anything today make it a kind something, and look for nothing in return.

Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Biting the Bullet

Bite Me!
So after some prevarication and a lot of procrastination I bit the bullet and emailed the supervisor.

I was honest - not a dissembling sentence in sight. I explained it had been a disruptive summer (what with dealing with my son's exam results and complicated 6th form career path) and that even though I had edited the bulk of my chapter the final portion was giving me some grief, to the point where I had hit a brick wall made up of thousands of tiny little writer's blocks! As a way of negotiating this hurdle I had returned to the books to continue researching in the hope that I would stumble across a huge sledge hammer with which to dismantle said wall.

I also explained that having discovered Bourdieu's theory of 'symbolic violence' I was intent on unravelling its complexities and making it workable with my own ideas about rhetorical violence aka vorticity. I think I made myself sound almost intelligent! Almost!

Then taking a huge gulping deep breath I decided to put forward the possibility that I maybe should take this semester off. I will be entering my 9th consecutive year of study since I began this roller coaster. I am more than a little exhausted and my brain feels wrung out. It's no good, getting older is not making it any easier! Sometimes I sit and literally scrabble around my head to remember what a word means, or to find the right word for a sentence. I am sure this never used to happen. Plus my memory is shocking and entirely of the short term gold fish variety which is not an advantage when you have to write up something over 3-4 years! Taking a break is a scary step - there is always the big risk you won't ever go back to it and I am determined to finish it. Not finishing this does not register with my brain! But then again not a lot does register with my brain just now!

I hit send before I could retract it. I did phrase it as a tentative enquiry, as in 'if one were to consider this how would one go about it' sort of thing.

So I sat for a wee while - then ping a reply! With bated breath I opened the email ( I may be making that sound slightly more tense than it actually was!). It had been rather quick so I wasn't expecting too much. Which was just as well as it was an out of office automated reply.

So in a way I have been offered a reprieve for the weekend! Sort of?

Today has been an exhausting day emotionally. I had to go to the bank and sort out paying for the holiday and closing off some savings that were offering practically no interest (damn recession). All was going well as I bought some snazzy new sun specs and was feeling brighter about life - when I got an email from my ex! Well, let's not go into the gory details here but let's just say it reminded me of why he was my ex! ;)

Off now to enjoy watching my daughter horse riding lesson. Hi ho and Awaaaaa-aaaaaaay!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Expanding Knowledge: The Matt Might Method

Forgive me - today I neither have the time nor the energy to write my usual bullshit an 'original' blog entry that reveals for your delectation my incredible impression of a headless chicken or a fart in a space suit wit, sense of style and unique erudition. You see I am very busy affecting a disguise with which to beguile my supervisor when I eventually pluck up the courage to email her!  So here, in place of the usual pearls before swine (I *think* I may just have just called anyone reading a swine?)  is a bit of humour that is circulating round my school of Ph.D peers just now!  You may have seen it, you may not appreciate it, but today's it's all you getting! 

A Ph.D in Pictures 

Enjoy! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

In Hiding!

I am truly living up to my name and avoiding the inevitable - which is a reply to an email from my supervisor asking me what I have been up to and how I am progressing.

The problem is I cannot quite find the appropriate language to convey the sentiment that I have basically done fuck all. I am not sure she will be entirely sympathetic, even though I have Charlie Brooker on the defence team - in fact I am thinking of making him lead council for the case of Supervisor versus the Procrastinating Pimpernel!

Now please don't misunderstand me, like Mr Brooker  I spend hours of the day 'researching' typing reading etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, - the problem is not with input but output! The distractions on offer are innumerable and delicious! Between my addiction to Blip , other bloggers and facebook, there are the delights of browsing the internet for resources. I have thousands of them at my fingertips - but once found they are bookmarked and promptly forgotten!

Tomorrow's resolution - to fucking well get on with it! And then perhaps, maybe, eventually I shall pluck up the courage to reply to my supervisor and .... well tell her the truth tell her that things are once more in motion and just hope that my nose doesn't grow!

Just in case you were wondering - I am not old, male and grey haired - neither am clad in a bikini and a party hat, nor a dinosaur! ;)

VW by Roger Fry
Alert for Woolf Scholars Woolf Seminar, a new website which generously shares the insights of Dr Kay. Well worth a browse when one is otherwise free from internet distractions like Frontierville! I particularly liked the section which listed her favourite Woolf quotes. Plenty there to see and enjoy for any of you who can't resist a Bloomsbury adventure when one presents itself.