Monday, 27 November 2017

PhD-ness Part 4 - Reading, Doing, Writing, Pushing Off From Shore....and Hacker T Dog

By chance after the Count Arthur Strong xmas special radio recordings at the Lowry last week - meeting my absolute favourite furry hero (and his handler who seemed v surprised that anyone had recognised him)  - the incomparable Hacker T Dog who told me I smelled like his hero Susan Barker - but alas this wasn't the compliment it seemed as he then told me she stinks cockers......this has got to be one of the years highlights and only meeting Sweep (another of my favourite furry fellows) could hope to be anywhere near as exciting.
lots in this weeks picture - some of the notes I've made, some of the things I've been experimenting with and some of the things I've been looking at.

It's been a really busy few days - so this is hopefully just going to be a quick brain dump of what I've been up to and where I've been so I can crack on with what I really need to be doing which is:
editing and submitting an abstract for a conference
finish drafting my research plan
put the flesh on the at the moment very bare bones of my literature review.

I met with my primary tutor this week and a very productive and useful meeting it was too. As a result I have a much better idea of what it is I need to be doing and I have been given two very definite targets of research plan and literature review and so this blog post is partly a thought collation exercise and partly procrastination as both those tasks whilst manageable also seem a teeny bit big and scarey at the moment.

Which is why things like looking at Hacker T Dog who never fails to make me if not laugh out loud then at the very least wryly smile is also a vital part of my day to day routine - we all need something/someone to make us smile in life, and especially so when your research mostly has you looking at or reading about death and decay...even if it is mostly the very beautiful aspects of  Victorian death culture - it can still get a bit much at times, even for a dedicated coimetromanic like myself. I have particularly struggled at times over the last couple of years with bereavement and anxiety/panic attacks and watching Hacker T Dog and his sublimely daft antics really helped me get through the day at times - I'll always be very grateful to him and his handler Phil Fletcher for that.

So eating properly, watching clips of Hacker and getting fresh air and going out and doing nice things are just as important as reading for example another chapter from Photographs Objects Histories by Elizabeth Edwards and Janice Hart...I've also been doing a couple of crafty things - covering a cheap pair of slip on shoes from Primarni with ripped up bits of Jenny Uglow's very fine biography of one of my literary heroes Elizabeth Gaskell ( my lovely husband bought me a secondhand hardback copy and I found a tatty paperback copy in the charity shop for a quid) which I have ripped up into bits and pasted onto the shoes using a solution of PVA glue and water - they still need to be tidied up a bit round the edges and then covering with a gloss medium coating.

It felt very naughty indeed to be ripping up a book but also quite exciting and quite therapeutic to be painting bits of paper and glue onto my shoes. I'd rubbed them beforehand with sandpaper bought from a fantastic tools stall from the indoor market in Huddersfield to ensure the paper had a surface it could stick to. I also bought a mallet from the same stall so I could do some more hapa zome prints/dye transfers of leaves. Pictures is a maple leaf on watercolour paper after being dipped in my home made mordant of rusty nails and white vinegar.

Also pictured is the guide from the very wonderful exhibition at Huddersfield of paintings and prints by Maxwell Doig - evocative and poignant - this is well worth a visit and I'll be going again before it ends next March.

So lots of doing - some therapeutic, some directly related to my PhD research and lots of reading too. I feel less at sea than I did the last few times I've written, I feel like SS PhD-Ness has well and truly set sail now and it's time to start coalescing all the reading I've doing into definite ports of call aka jumping specific academic hoops.

So before this sailing metaphor gets ever more tortuous and sinks under its own weight I'd best get cracking on with my tasks....

No comments:

Post a Comment