Monday, October 17, 2011

Jolly Ol' England

I had a brilliant post planned out in my head last night. About something or other. If I can ever remember what it was, you will have the chance to read it. Until then, we shall all make do with the overused 'updates' post.

As some of you may have gathered, I moved countries twenty days ago. I am quite certain that is shocking and very adventurous sounding to some, but I will hereby shrug my shoulders and utter the dreaded 'meh'. Twenty days ago I did not move countries. Twenty days ago I moved home.

I have this utterly strange sense in my head that believes the last two years were some horrid dream that is finally, blessedly over. The other part of me knows it wasn't a dream and that it wasn't all bad. I am trying very hard not to give either part much room for further consideration. Thankfully, I have a whole bucketload of work to occupy about 25% of my brain power, which is more brain power than I'm even capable of using.

The last two weeks have been an endless series of meetings, seminars, the occasional lecture, remembering how to read an academic book vs. a fictional book, and remembering what a 9-5 research job actually means. I think I have finally wrapped my brain around returning to studenthood and have now settled into a routine (of sorts).

I had a solid weekend of very useful research and subsequent brainstorming. As such, I have at least worked out my research aims for the next 3 months, a workable APG plan, part of my methodology, and perhaps even a few chapters of my thesis, though that last part sounds particularly hopeful rather than realistic.

Today I have had a stark flashback to my senior years in undergrad and the dreaded marking of essays. I say dreaded, but it is usually something I enjoy. When the essays are interesting, coherent and on topics of particular interest or use. I'm afraid the day has been full of highs and lows. And another day of the same tomorrow. Still, I feel more a proper member of the department now, with honest work to do.

Autumn has arrived in central England, and it is cold and blustery outside. We have, however, had a lovely few weeks of almost summery weather, so I will not complain. The weather is not particularly wonderful in the homeland either, as this time of year is prone to be. This feels, however, properly English. The very warm weather was throwing my brain for a loop. Now I have an excuse to drink copious amounts of tea and laze around in my university hoody. One does not need to be dressed to be productive.

I am looking forward to next week, when my To Do list will narrow down to research and writing and not the other dozen and a few things I have this week. A few quiet weeks would be most welcome.