Writer's Block

Still got the writer's block. Hoping that will change soon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's been quite some time... but here's some good news

I know, I'm a rubbish blogger.

Here's some good news:

I got my first.

I won two prizes - a departmental award and a faculty memorial prize.

I am going to be having a phone call tomorrow with a professor whose work I greatly admire, and who has expressed an interest in my Phd proposal.

Everything at home is marvellous. We're starting to sort the house out (finally, I'm worse at getting round to that than blogging). We're making plans to go travelling next year before I go back to studying. It's all very exciting and fun.

I LOVE my job! It's better than I expected. I'm working with some incredible people and learning a lot.

I will, I promise, write a proper post soon.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Finish Line

Well, it's been a long, hard slog.

Is taking ten years to complete a three year degree some kind of record?

And here it is. Tomorrow I will finish my dissertation. Then it's a few essays and one little exam. In 29 days time I will finally be done with it.

It's hard to describe my emotions right now. That's partly because I'm so tired that it's hard for me to feel them in the first place.

Relief. Pride. Anxiety. Exhaustion.

I have come such a long way. Will I feel more whole in a month's time? Will I stop this desparate drive to prove I am worthy that has fuelled all my actions over the past decade? It is hard to imagine that I will feel so very different. I already feel different.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I've been offered a job.

At first it was a bit of freelance work doing some interviews for an evaluation of residential homes in another part of the country. The firm who have the contract had contacted my mum (a freelance social worker) and asked her to do it. She has too much work on at the moment so she suggested I send them my cv. They liked it, interviewed me, and offered me the work.

So far so fine. The money was good enough that about 10 days work would pay off most of my debts.

And then...

They've now decided they need a research assistant for the length of the project and offered me full time work for a month and a half. Also fine. If they're happy with me, and they have work available, this may lead to a permanent post. This is exactly the sort of job I want. I was going to look for a University research post, but this is actually better because the work is likely to be far more varied. It's also a smaller organisation, and probably a much nicer place to work.

Yes, I agree, it all sounds wonderful. And it is wonderful.

I just keep thinking, where's the catch?

They're happy to pay me to work full time at the same rate we agreed for freelance. That works out at a salary of... well, a lot.

About 5 grand more than I could earn in a University.


I don't understand. Am I really worth that much? I keep expecting them to ring and say sorry, we made a mistake, we don't have work for you after all, especially not at that price.

I'm just not this lucky. Am I?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Relaxed... Almost

Well, dear readers, after 5 days in France I'm somewhat relaxed.

Or maybe just smoking again.

Now I'm deep into dissertation territory, and the knot in my stomach is threatening to make its return.

At least I'm not angry any more.

I've spent many hours sitting at my desk surrounded by the detritus of academia, and rather fewer hours actually reading, writing, or engaging in any activity approaching the term useful.

I feel it will come if I just sit here long enough.

And tomorrow term begins again, and I have to haul my misbegotten behind from under its quilt at an ungodly hour of the morning (somewhere in the dim and distant past I seem to remember having a job, and getting up at 5am, to begin work at 6, but it's a hazy memory) to attend what promises to be a less than thrilling lecture on data analysis. Ho-hum.

And spring is here, and I want to be outside, skipping perhaps.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I found something today that upset me, though in the end in quite a different manner from how I'd assumed it would.

When your boyfriend receives letters from a woman he had an affair with before you met him, and then chooses not to tell you about these letters, but leaves them lying around in a place where you can easily come across them whilst searching for your missing water bill, what does that mean?

Was leaving them there an oversight?

Did he want me to find them?

Did he simply not consider the letter important, and it slipped his mind to tell me about it, or preferred not to upset me whilst I'm already under stress?

Knowing Andy, and knowing our relationship, which has always been characterised by openness and honesty, I landed on the final option (once I had calmed down, anyway) as the most likely. However, because I'm human, or just an insecure mess, I took another look just to be sure. I'm not proud of that.

Anyway, probably I was right in settling on option three. It's clear from the letter that the relationship is well and truly over, and that he hasn't made contact with this woman since before we got together. That's fine, and does indeed set my mind at rest.

Unfortunately the letter raises another issue, one which has been on my mind lately for other reasons. It appears that certain friends of Andy's would rather we weren't together. I'm being judged by these people as not worthy because I don't share their religious beliefs. And I'm going to hell. And taking him with me.

I suppose it concerns me because these are people he has chosen as friends. He - at least at one point in his life - shared their beliefs. It doesn't seem the same as my few distant relatives who may be unhappy that he's not Jewish. These are people he might well pay attention to.

So I'm scared, and threatened, not by a past relationship with a particular woman, but by the influence his past may have over our future. That the most important relationship in my life may well be built on shifting sand.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


There's something not quite right about a grown woman, on her hands and knees on the pavement, arse in the air, as she scrabbles madly for a broken cigarette she has spotted under the passenger seat of her car. A tad unseemly, perhaps.

Well, dear readers, this was the very sight my neighbours were treated to this morning.

Sadly, the humiliation doesn't end there.

The cigarette was damaged almost beyond repair. I say almost, as the judicious use of several acres of sellotape rendered at least two thirds of it smokable.

And smoke it I did.

I'd like to say I'll do better tomorrow. It's possible, anyway.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Hello. And hello. My halo, as pictured, is in danger of slipping.

I've given up smoking. I did that today. I've gone 24 hours without a cigarette.

My anger is without bounds. Hence my return to the blogosphere.

Here begins the Month of the Rant. It's my month-long Rant-a-Thon. Feel free to join in. I think it will help.

Rant #1 People who can't make themselves happy, and yet somehow believe they have a god-given right to tell other people how to live.


Enough. Tomorrow: instructions for the proper use of box junctions.