Monday, 31 March 2014


I have started work on re-writing the analysis of the three lyrics which was much criticised by S a while ago. I haven't been able to face a re-write until now. I made a start and then realised I had done some of it before. I found another version lurking on the laptop I work on when away from home. Normally I am so organised about all that but I must have missed backing it up. So I've spent the afternoon reconciling the two versions, which is a waste of time, but at least I've tuned back into it.

I've been keeping different sections in different files for ease but I think it is about time I created a master copy and put everything into it. And then I'll need to get the numbering system of the document right. I think I'll take out all existing numbering and then start again with a clean slate.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

I read everything

I've always read everything. When I was a child it was sauce bottles and cornflake boxes at the table (we were not allowed books at the table). I've never been able to bear not having anything to do with my brain. It's less now because of the constant sound track of 'Do I need to put some washing on? What are we eating tonight? What do I have to organise for tomorrow night? Have I got the clean sheets and towels out?' But I read all the road signs when TSH is driving us along - I'm too much of  a wimp to do much driving because I'm scared of speed and other drivers. Even when we are abroad I read everything, so I learn a few new words in languages I don't speak.

Today I read the best sign ever. An estate agent called Doolittle Dalley. Brilliant. Just in case you think I made that up:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A dragon slayed

I have written a large part of the literature review, which was the most dreaded part of the dissertation. I read several other reviews and copied the style, so I hope S will think its OK. I'm still waiting for copies of some of the papers I requested the library to get for me, so its not complete. But I feel so much better about it.
The weather is warmer so I can't wear my warmest clothes any more. All last year's lighter things look old and dated. I can feel a spree coming on!!

Friday, 14 March 2014

It seems more real

Two days on campus this week, surrounded by students much younger than me. One of them asked politely 'Do you work here?' She wanted advice about taking over a University  PC which had been abandoned by another student in the middle of a task. I said that as the other one had been missing for around half an hour and the PC was meant for everyone, she had forfeited any rights and the young woman should just take it. 'What if she loses work?' 'That', I said firmly with the wisdom and callousness of 62 and 1/2 years, 'is her problem'.
I found out how to get a pre-paid card for the photocopiers and started copying. When you are a distance learner, you have to use precious time in the library in a concentrated way. The copier announced that it needed service and I should call someone. There was no phone and no number and no indication of what to do. I moved to another copier. Which was two floors away from my subject books. Lots of exercise. And then a queue formed. And then my card ran out of money and I needed to recharge it. But everyone is so polite.

Everything is difficult when you are not familiar with the routines. And by the time of the next visit you have to learn it all again. I have now drawn a map of the library, as the stylistics section is hidden. No idea why.

Session with S went better as I am 'improving' and my work is now 'nearing draft stage'. But he agrees that my results are really exciting.

Wore long(ish) purple top one day and navy jacket the other. Interesting jewellery.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Two Operas, 'and' and 'the'

We don't get out much, so the opera twice in a week was a  treat. Both were at the Lowry in Salford and both were performed by Opera North. The first was Puccini's 'Girl from the Golden West', a bit unusual in that there were no grand arias and it was more like a sung play. The second was Verdi's 'Macbeth', which has the benefit of being based on a gripping story. Quite a bit of the Shakespearean dialogue was in there and its amazing how much I remember from studying it at school about 50 years ago. We really enjoyed both but wonder if the Opera North chorus always wear muted colours with lots of caps and headscarves.  Excellent voices in both performances.

I was very tired at lunchtime after two late (for us) nights but I had a productive afternoon, improving my keyword analysis chapter. And and the again. Its amazing what you can deduce from such basic words.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Change of tack

My timetable said that I would carry out the analysis in Jan/Feb and then go on to the literature review in March. Well, its March and I haven't finished the analysis. But I've already arranged to visit the campus to spend time in the library and have a session with S soon.

So.. I've started preparation for the literature review, which I have been dreading all along. Somehow I have to find all the 'relevant' (not sure what that means exactly) academic books and papers out there, summarise them and link them into my own work. I have bought a book about how to do it. I have had kindly guidance from S and from my little sister the librarian. I have found a good on-line lecture on dissertations with a good section on the purpose of the review. And I'm still terrified.

Also .... Does this mean I'm really behind with my work? Will I finish on time? I also have several holidays before submission date. I have a retirement to live.