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Struggling With Dissertations and Christmas

Struggling With Dissertations and Christmas

My dissertation writing retreat was both everything I hoped, and also not.  Spending five days in Cambridge on my own was what I needed: I managed to write around 9,500 words of my dissertation, which puts me over the minimum wordcount and essentially constitutes most of a first draft. I’d hoped, however, that it would be in a state where I could send it to my supervisor at the end of the week. Instead, it’s a hastily cobbled-together mess of…

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Unproductive and Unprepared

Unproductive and Unprepared

My plan for the first couple of weeks of the holiday wasn’t complicated. I’d work on my dissertation, and hopefully get a good chunk of it written. I’d go to enough dance classes to learn all my steps (well, everything except hornpipe; that would be too much to ask). I’d read for fun and catch up on a few shows I’ve been neglecting and get out my harp for the first time in far too many months. But it turns…

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Christmas, Adulthood, and Festive Transitions

Christmas, Adulthood, and Festive Transitions

Christmas as a young adult is weird. It starts getting weird in your mid teenage years, I think, although maybe this depends slightly on your family traditions, and whether or not you have siblings (plus, whether they’re older or younger). I’m the youngest of three, so my siblings outgrew many of our childhood traditions some time before I did, although given that we were never a family who believed in Father Christmas, this wasn’t as big a deal as it…

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Poem-mas Day 10: Eulogy For Bronwyn

Poem-mas Day 10: Eulogy For Bronwyn

It’s the last day of Poem-mas, and I’m writing this post a little hurriedly — I didn’t quite allow for how busy I’d be on Christmas Eve, what with the last-minute present buying, family arriving, and general disorganisation. Also naps. So it might be a bit shorter than the others, but I guess that’s probably not a bad thing. This poem doesn’t come from any of my published collections. I wrote it in August this year and while its subject…

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Poem-mas Day 9: Crucifixion

Poem-mas Day 9: Crucifixion

We’re almost at the end of the Ten Days of Poem-mas! Which is probably just as well, because my habitual erratic posting means I’m ill-suited to daily blogging and keep forgetting that such a thing exists. Fortunately it provides me with another way to procrastinate on writing my dissertation, but nevertheless I don’t think it’s something I’d ever do long term. Because it’s nearly Christmas, and I come from a Christian background, I thought I’d share one of my more…

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Christmas Angst

Christmas Angst

I am not good at Christmas. I am not good at Christmas because it always catches me off-guard, and before I know it, it’s the 23rd of December and I haven’t yet done any shopping for presents. I am not good at it because surprises make me anxious, and so does not having presents for those who got one for me, and so does unfamiliar food. I am not good at it because every year something seems to go wrong…

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December (Retrospect and Reminiscing #12)

December (Retrospect and Reminiscing #12)

December. This is, the last one! And I’m writing it before December has technically finished, but hey, how much am I likely to do tomorrow? Very little, is the answer. I’m currently fighting my third draft of The Quiet Ones instead of doing the mountain of homework that needs to be done this week, so tomorrow’s going to be fairly busy. I’m not sure if it’s my facial expression or what, but for some reason I really remind myself of…

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Why Lie To Children?

Why Lie To Children?

I have to say, I don’t really get the whole ‘Father Christmas’ thing. I don’t understand why parents will spend years convincing their children that there really is a fat old man who comes down the chimney and leaves them presents – only to tell them later that they were lying, and have the children heartbroken. Why? When I was young, my parents never told me that Father Christmas, or Santa, or whatever, was real. They didn’t say he wasn’t,…

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Deaf For A Day

Deaf For A Day

I was in the shower room drying my hair, but I heard the doorbell ring, so I knew that they were here. What I didn’t hear was the sound of footsteps walking down the hall, and I couldn’t make out the sound of the door opening, or the multiple sets of footsteps that walked right past me down to the living room. When I emerged, hurrying to make myself presentable before coming down, I could see my newly arrived relatives…

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A Moment Of Realisation

A Moment Of Realisation

In the past I have gone Christmas shopping at Greenwich Market. I’ve wandered around the stalls, picked up and fingered pieces of home-made artwork, seen little things that I just knew were perfect for so-and-so, or found exactly the notebook that blah had asked for. It’s probably quite an expensive way of doing things, but if you have no idea what to get people then markets are ideal. You don’t have to choose a specific shop to go to, and…

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