Roundup: Mid March Mutterings

Mid march. How did that happen? Easter, the clocks changing, my birthday – all happen in the next two weeks. It may have been quiet around these here blog parts but I have been rather active – if not away from my keyboard.

So, what have I been up to? Well I met the lovely Sarah from  the Northern Geordie Goth blog at the Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle. She has written a lovely post about our meeting here, so I won’t duplicate – I will just say she is an absolute poppet, looked utterly amazing and I hope to meet her again soon. Oh, and here is a gratuitous pic of me in the Lit & Phil.

2016-01-08 10.15.25

One of the reasons I visit the Lit & Phil quite a bit (other than it being my dream library) is that I’ve been a volunteer on a project there since August. Reflections of Newcastle 1914-1918 is a history project mapping the impact of the Great War on Newcastle city centre. An ebook city trail is being created from the work of volunteer researchers including myself.  We finished our research in December, and I enjoyed it so much I volunteered to be on the ebook copywriting team – which is ongoing.

As a result I’ve undertaken some secondary research. I recently visited Newcastle’s Anglican Cathedral, St Nicholas, to look at their war memorials. Husband Underfoot had an actual whole day off work so asked if he could spend ‘a day in my life’. Bless him! So, er, I took him to a Cathedral and then naturally to the Lit & Phil! I did buy him dinner in Wagamamas as recompense!


I’ve completed four section of the ebook copy, and pick up my 5th brief next week. It may sound weird (and you may shout at me!) but it has been lovely working to actual deadlines. I’m loving it, but am nearly done. The book will be launched in June hopefully; I will update at the time.

This then led onto something quite unexpected – and which has been dominating my time for the past month or so. The project also works with Northumbria University, one of my alma maters. I’ve been working with 2 super lecturers there, and over a cup of tea one of them suggested I apply for a PhD studentship. Yesterday I handed in my form the old fashioned way – by hand – after mass technology failure! I’m not saying anymore about it because it is a hugely long shot, but I have basically got research material and literature reviews coming out of my ears. My study is an explosion of books. I’ll be honest, I sweated blood and tears over that proposal. If it doesn’t happen then it is not meant to be, but I reserve the right to resort to cream cakes and wine in the event of rejection.


Heading out for much gin with Heather (I’m on the right)

So we reach today. After such an intense spell of academic concentration I think my brain has folded. I’m in a right snit, I can tell you! I had one of those days yesterday when every item of clothing I put on made me look horrific. Like, all of a sudden my age has caught up with me. I have a 44 year old matronly bosom. I bough a pair of cord trousers, ffs! ?How did that happen (well, er, they were black, comfy, the right leg length and in M&S’s sale. That’s still not an excuse)?  Being on the university campus so much is not doing my fragile self esteem any favours. I first studied there in 1990….

Right now it’s almost 2pm and I am still in my jimjams. I hid from the Ringtons Man when he knocked (Ringtons is a tea company that does door to door sales of rather lovely tea, coffee and sweet treats. I’ve just been scoffing their ginger biscuits).  I had a dreadful night’s sleep so had crawled back to the pit for a catch up after breakfast with HU. I’m about to kick of a Netflix Vampire Diaries session. Up to season 2 now, but boy does it take it’s time. Bring on Elijah and Klaus already (I’m hankering for the new season of The Originals). Ditto Orange is the New Black (bored now). Sense8 is pretty awesome, and I am awaiting the pleasure of The Mortal Instruments and all it’s beautiful people over curry tonight.

Sorry, this is a very rambling post. What else? As an antidote to all the research tomes I’ve read the Divergent series (loved book 1, 2 was ok and 3 was dire) and Half Bad by Sally Green which was rather entertaining. I’m now half way through the sequel, Half Wild, which isn’t so diverting. I’m finding that a lot with YA fiction at the moment, it starts with a humdinger then fizzles out. Next week I need to get my head back into both reading and writing historical literary fiction. Next week. Before that I intend to eat curry and drink red wine while binning any offending items of clothing that scream ‘MIDDLE AGE!’.

Have a good weekend folks.


8 thoughts on “Roundup: Mid March Mutterings

  1. Very enjoyable mutterings, ramblings and pics. Lovely to have a glimpse of the Lit and Phil – and you too, of course. Good luck with the application.

  2. I could never call your blog mutterings and ramblings.
    I would consider that a life update I hope you go forward and attempt to apply for your Ph.D. because many people have gone back to uni in later life. When I was at uni two of the student were 47 and 50 years old.

    I’ll try to pop in some time to the Lit and Phil and purchase a cup of tea hopefully a Tunick Tea cake. I’ve been intending to pop in at some point.

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