Sunday 27 March 2011

F**king Foucault!

Here is a collection of some of the books I have on Michel Foucault. A man who used to be my nemesis but is beginning to turn into my secret lover as I flirt with his work. I don't think I will ever be able to claim I am an expert on him as I find just as I think I 'get him' the concept slips out of my grasp. Let's hope he doesn't turn back into my nemesis at the final viva! This new 'understanding' has come about due to a very patient friend and an equally patient DoS! I admit I can be very thick at times...

The song below is by Labi Siffre,someone I hadn't thought of for ages until I saw a post by Alan Gibbons on facebook this morning - thank you Alan. The title of the song is 'Something inside so strong' and that is what you need to have when you are doing a PhD. Many may call it madness but you have to have something that drives you towards the end and keeps you going. At times it would have been too easy to give up but there was always that voice from inside that said 'I know I can make it'.

It is a song that I would also like to dedicate to all those who marched against the cuts yesterday and all those throughout the world who are currently fighting to get their voices heard. Stay strong

Saturday 19 March 2011

Perigee Moon

It has been an unusual day. Firstly I have finished the final edits on the PhD novel. It just needs to go to the DoS and the rest of the team to have a final look and then it should be submission ready. It is going to be very hard to let go as you already know. Having said that, reading it again today, it is still a story I love and am so pleased I have written regardless of what the future holds for it.
The other unusual event was seeing a perigee moon which I have just seen as I drove back home. I have never seen anything quite so beautiful or big.There were some people I would have loved to have shared it with but even so it was still the perfect ending to the day. A sign of all these new beginnings maybe? It certainly was in charge of the sky.

Thursday 17 March 2011


I have spent four years buried in this PhD, I suppose it became my 'raison d’être' and within the month I am likely to hand it over. And this is where the confession comes in - I am absolutely terrified. There will be this big hole in my life and it will be very much a case of 'what next?' To which I can only answer, I have no idea and that is frightening in itself. It is very easy to feel alone at the moment.

The worst (and best) thing is, and I know all you authors out there will understand this, is that I have potential interest in the novel that is part of the PhD. It is such a wonderful phrase 'potential interest' - it is full of hope. Once the PhD is submitted they want to see it, but suddenly that potential interest is something that could be whipped away in a brief email of 'not interested.' It is so hard to let go of the novel and in particular let go of that security blanket phrase 'potential interest.' I need to 'Man-up' as my children say and face the world and the reality of it all by sending it out and thinking of the next novel which is bubbling away in the background.

Virginia Woolf says 'The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.' My balance seems to be biased towards the anguished at the moment. I need to find more laughter as my heart is definitely asunder.

So to quote Jackson Browne 'I will try anything' (maybe this is the start, my laptop has allowed me to add music!)

Tuesday 8 March 2011


It is 4am and I can't sleep. All the minor niggles of life have suddenly become massive as is the joy of any 4am musing. Yesterday was a long day for many reasons some too personal to share here for the moment. But I finally saw a very dim light at the end of the PhD tunnel. It is happening despite my thoughts over the past few months that I would never get there. Am awake because of the mixed emotions that are now surrounding that. When I started my PhD there was a sense of security within the academic community. So much hope. Unfortunately that is no longer the case. Very few places are in a position to employ new lecturers and that was not something I had anticipated. I feel there are so many endings coming up but what about the beginnings are they really there too?

I really hope so