Photo by Shantanu Kulkarni on Unsplash

As per the suggestion from Derek Sivers … this is what is going on in my life right now.


Looking for … academic connections, networks, support, advice etc (it takes more than a village to raise an academic)

Latest Update 13th February 2024

PhD – intercalating while I get acquainted with my new job

Personal – I have a job! Such a relief.

Reading – Emily books by L M Montgomery * Robin Hobb series. Also subscribed to Shortform and listening to some non-fiction

Writing – bits and pieces, but I part of a group doing the Artist’s Way so looking forward to more words and more creativity

Fun – Monster Trucks the other week, Madam Butterfly towards the end of the month

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, no longer job hunting !

2nd January 2024

PhD – I got overwhelmed with work, job hunting, life, and the PhD was one thing too much. Had a BIG wobble and spent time wondering whether I should carry on. But I am still here, still doing (trying to do) a Lit Review. Confirmation panel put off til February probably.

Personal – taken time for myself, to relax, to think, to be in the moment. Feeling better about everything, thankfully. I should know better, I’d let go of my self-care routines and that way leads to the cave of despair.

Reading – finished Deverry series and the Strike novels. Reading ‘White Holes’ by Carlo Rovelli, a random purchase at Waterstones picked up while waiting at the till. Night-time reading is now Anne of Green Gables – something soothingly familiar.

Writing – I randomly started a Substack, wrote about life. I wrote words! I made some inroads into the LitReview too.

Fun – had a lovely xmas with my partner, though rain stopped us from doing all we wanted to. Booked some nice things to look forward to – Monster Trucks this month 🙂

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, job hunting as my contract ends 31st March 2024

24th November 2023

PhD – gave my first presentation in public about my PhD (there’s a blog post if you want to look). Still procrastinating over my lit review for my confirmation panel in January – BUT – it’s because I don’t see the point at the moment, I can do a cursory overview but because my topic is still evolving I know a lot of what I read probably won’t be relevant.

Personal – chest infection, grey gremlins lurking, overwhelm at everything PLUS the ‘C’ season approaching

Reading – almost through the Deverry series, still reading Strike novels for balance.

Writing – reading Exploratory Writing and attempting to write a little each day. Not enough though. Exhausted, tired, overwhelmed, scared …

Fun – managed some days out etc with my partner, Spain seems so long ago. Trying to find the mini-adventures for now and enjoying the moment.

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, job hunting as my contract ends 31st March 2024

20th October 2023

PhD – I can feel my confirmation panel lurking, waiting to spring on me at the last minute. I am the worst of procrastinators.

Personal – autumn/winter is never a good time. I always have a chest infection, I feel even greyer than usual, I’m tired, missing sunshine and warmth. However, I have invested in a SAD lamp to see if that helps on the short, dark days ahead.

Reading – night-time is the Deverry series from Katherine Kerr. Daytime has been the Strike novels from Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). I do like a good detective novel. Long-time fan of Agatha Christie.

Writing – not enough, working on it. Joined the Women’s Writing Group at work to get me moving more.

Fun – had an amazing time in Spain with my friend, even though it was too short a visit. I want to go see my friend in Oxfordshire one weekend but will have to wait til after my confirmation panel. So, next year 🙁

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, job hunting as my contract ends 31st March 2024

1st July 2023

PhD – I think I have finally found direction … will be blogging about it this month. Using Logseq+Readwise and loving it.

Personal – up and down but mostly up, thankfully. I started taking ashwagandha which seems to be helping.

Reading – because I have found a PhD focus I am able to do more useful reading, which feels good. Read the ‘dragon joust’ trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and now onto her ‘obsidian’ trilogy.

Writing – has stalled, not felt creative or anything. Hoping July will be a better month.

Fun – have booked dates (but not flights yet) to see my friend Tracy in Spain in September. I’ve seen Roger Waters and Iron Maiden in Glasgow this last month (separate gigs) which was fun, depressing, and nostalgic. July is my birthday month so hoping for nice weather and my man to cook meat with fire.

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, looking forward to visiting friends in the UK and Europe over the coming year.

30th May 2023

PhD – tomorrow I go away for two nights, a little mini-retreat to write and think about engagement, what it means to me, what I have read about it, what I want to do about it. I cannot wait. Still using Logseq to make notes.

Personal – the last few weeks have been a struggle, I am so tired even after a decent sleep and that affects everything else, especially my mood. Wanting to cry, or actually crying, and not knowing why is frustrating. Everything in my life feels so good, just the usual everyday things, but mostly great. So why do I feel like this?

Reading – all over the place because my brain is out of sorts. Graduated on to Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss and also enjoying Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Writing – finished the narrative non-fiction course. It has relit my desire to write, got me back into some kind of groove. I now need to keep that groove going. Looking for other courses later in the year. (note: while I have enjoyed the course and got a lot from it, I am not doing anything that means being online after 7pm at night. I am NOT at my best)

Fun – I think this could be fun, I am going to see Roger Waters in concert with my partner. I’m not a Pink Floyd fan at all but willing to go with an open mind.

Stationery – I have been flitting about from notebook to notebook for years, trying this system and that. I love using a fountain pen and my daughter introduced me to Midori notebooks, which took me on a path the the Traveller’s Notebook system. I wish I’d done this years ago. Compact enough to fit in my Wall-E Loungefly bag, adaptable to my needs, lovely to write on with a fountain pen. So, that gets carried around and holds my diary, thoughts, and learning Italian. I use the Midori A5 grid for my morning pages and journal. Fountain pens are LAMY Al-Star with EF nib.

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, looking forward to visiting friends in the UK and Europe over the coming year.

5th May 2023

PhD – have words to write, words around words like epistemology and worldviews and methodologies. Changed from Obsidian to LogSeq as I prefer the way it works for connecting thoughts. Decided against Notion – while I do like it and know it could be useful I am aware of it being kept in servers elsewhere, whereas LogSeq is local (although it does get backed up to Microsoft servers). Pros and cons but decided on this way.

Personal – reading Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey. Only a couple of chapters in but finding it is making aware of where my focus is at any moment of the day.

Writing – still with the narrative non-fiction course (two more sessions to go) and wondering what I should do next to keep my writing habit on track and also uplevel my writing skills.

Fun – Re-reading ‘Name of the Wind‘ by Patrick Rothfuss, may be going to see Roger Waters ‘Life is not a Drill’ tour and definitely going to see Iron Maiden in June. I also have a two-night break at the Retreat Studio to look forward to.

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, looking forward to visiting friends in the UK and Europe over the coming year.

21st April 2023

PhD – lots of reading, currently “Understanding Design” by Kees Dorst which is helping me so much as I do not have a background in design research. Using Obsidian to make notes, Evernote to store snippets of stuff I find in various places. Working towards my 18 month appraisal.

Personal – reading “Effortless” by Greg McKeown, listening to Jay Shetty’s Daily Jay on the Calm app, trying out SlimPod to retrain my brain about food choices. Revisiting Better Creating’s Life OS for Notion to attempt to organise my life.

Writing – taking a Narrative Non-fiction writing course with Kathryn Aalto. Getting back into habits of writing.

Fun – re-reading parts of the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey, currently on “Storm Breaking”.

Still splitting my time between home and Glasgow, sporadic attempts at learning Italian, looking forward to visiting friends in the UK and Europe over the coming year.