August 2012


Today’s the day I move house, so this will be my last post for a while, until I get the new house sorted and the children settled in and a new broadband connexion, and indeed, until I have some more work to report on!

This week I went up to Cumbria for a few days camping in Arnside, which was very nice.  Definitely not glamping, but nice, not least because we didn’t have the torrential rain that we had in Oban.  In fact, yesterday I got sunburned.

Anyway, with my progression panel approaching rapidly, I decided that I would have to take my work with me, and after a couple of evenings and one afternoon working on it in the tent, I finally have a draft of my chapter ‘Female Monarchy in Ballads’ that I’m happy to send to my supervisory team in the morning.  I also have an overall plan in place for the shape of the thesis as a whole and my work for the next few months.  Hence the sigh of relief.  I finally feel like I know vaguely where I’m going.  Also, notwithstanding the 38 books that are sitting on my bookshelf expecting me to read them, I feel as if I have a bit of leeway to engage in some packing for the house move, which we expect to happen the week after next.

Lots of people that I know have been complaining about the Olympics, and how London 2012 is getting in the way of their thesis.  Not in this house.  I have no problem with the Olympics distracting me, partly because I have no interest in them, but mainly because there are too many other distractions in the school holidays.  Three children for a start.  And then there’s the house move, which is now likely to be in a couple of weeks (that is, the week after my panel meeting).

A couple of days ago I decided that I would have to put my work on hold so that I could spend some time with the children and pack some boxes.  I have been working late in the evenings; for the first time ever I’ve worked until gone 11pm, and it’s happened several nights on the run, finishing with a night where I worked until 11.45pm.  At that point, I decided it was getting ridiculous, because I was still waking up at 6am with the children, and I was exhausting myself.  My husband told me it was time I told them to get stuffed.  Or words to that effect.  I told a friend, and they told me to tell them to get stuffed.

I’m not that brave.  But I have to draw the line somewhere, and without working all day, everyday between now and my panel, I would never get all the changes made.  My biggest cause for being perplexed is the insistence on detail in the chapter plan for the last two chapters of the thesis, which I haven’t researched yet.  Obviously I haven’t researched them yet, I’m only at the end of my first year (and not even that if you consider that I only really started this topic in January).  So how are you supposed to give more than a vague idea of what’s likely to be in it?