Supposedly on Staycation


The spelling hurt more than my feet
The spelling hurt more than my feet

This week my Wife and I were supposed to take a holiday, but all the recent family medical traumas and impending job changes for Mrs Llama resulted in us having to cancel all our plans.  Mrs Llama’s been a bit of a nag on the issue that other than Christmas and Bank Holidays that I’ve only taken 2 days off since I started the whole PhD.

To be honest with the amount of work I need to do, or feel like I need to do, taking time off isn’t something I feel really able to do.  However, we did plan to take a few days this week off.  And then I cocked it up by arranging work interviews Wed-Friday.

We did find SOME paths
We did find SOME paths

Whoops.  I was not popular I can tell you.  However, I have taken the first couple of days off to go walking in the Peak District, which is nice as we are currently experiencing a few days of fine weather.  As the long range forecast seems to suggest that it’ll be departing next week; it’s probably just as well.

Have to say the Pathfinder guides are much better written than the Ordinance Survey ones, which is surprising when you consider the latter ones hold such sway over the maps of the UK!


A gray day weather wise which would have been perfect for walking, but since I had interviews to conduct and arrange today it was back to the keyboard for me.  One of them was my first video interview, and happened to be with two people as well which made for an especially spirited and engaging (and long) discussion.  The rest of the day was pretty much taken up with trying to catch up with my transcription backlog.  I’m getting quicker all the time with that, which is good.  Only one and a half interviews remain untyped, although I do seem to have five of them to conduct on Friday so I might need to crack on a pace in the next week in getting them all done.  Continuing to be delighted by people’s willingness to speak to me, and hope they’re getting something out of the conversations as well.

Note to self, to write a blog post on the interview experience – as I think there are a few things I’ve learned in the process so far that’s worth sharing.


Sometimes home working has its perks
Sometimes home working has its perks

Started off pretty early today at the keyboard doing some more transcription, though I’d actually planned to give over today more to reading and study than research.  As it was in the end I decided it was important to clear all my untranscribed interviews and get up to date, as Friday was going to be a marathon day of interviews.  I did however sit down in the garden after lunch and go through a couple of chunky research papers on copyright and fraud law.  Light entertaining reading they were not, informative they were.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was a letter from the College of Arts and Humanities research degrees board to inform me that my research proposal had been accepted and that I was expected to submit my transfer to PhD within the next 18 months.  It also formally told me that 30th September 2016 is the latest date I can submit my thesis.  It seems…quite a long way off at the moment, but I know given the speed with which the last 8 and a bit months have flown by, that it’ll come around all too soon.  So hence the feeling of a need to really crack on with a lot of work over the coming months.

Oh and for some light entertainment for those Hegel fans out there, here’s something I wished I’d read early on in the philosophy module. How To Fake Your Way Through Hegel.

Also spoke to my father for the first time since his illness manifested which was…about as awkward as it always is.


5 interviews today, starting at 9am.  I was wondering if I’d over done it by scheduling them so close together, but thankfully it all worked out well in the end.  One of my interviewees even tweeted to me that she was going to be late to the office!  The power of social media to communicate from m-devices when you can’t log onto your email remotely!  The interviews were varied, fascinating and eye opening as usual.  There’s yet to be a single one I’ve done where it feels like I’ve heard it all before, and after 34 interviews to date that’s somewhat surprising.  Spent a bit of time researching some other places to get in touch with people to try and persuade them to talk to me, and also had a few useful offers to help facilitate some of my later research activities.

I also finally persuaded myself/was persuaded to book for the Repository Fringe up in Edinburgh in late July.  I’ve been once before, but this time I’ve offered to run workshops, speak and basically do whatever I can.  As I said to one of my interviewees today, I’m a bit worried that I’m immersing myself so much in the research world that I might end up getting out of touch with the practitioner world, which I think would be a bit of disservice.  Luckily the Fringe seems to attract all kinds of people from both research and practitioner worlds, so I’m probably in the right place!

Mrs Llama - armed and dangerous!
Mrs Llama – armed and dangerous!

The day ended shortly after 5pm when Mrs Llama arrived to demand (okay strongly suggest) that we go shooting with her new rifle at the targets I  bought her for our wedding anniversary.  It seemed a good way to wrap up what has been a short, but all the same pretty busy working week!


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