Sunday, 25 December 2011

25th December, 2011

Christmas day, 2011.
My father upped and said he wanted turkey, and commanded my mother to get dressed. They had a five-star turkey in five star restaurant with five star company (well - my sister is on good form in five star restaurants as a rule).
The Man and I, on the other side of the planet, are having turkey too -
500 grams for a fiver, so we'll have to work on making it five star.

2011 is rolling to an end.
I got so thrown, so quickly, into such a deep end, it's taken a while to be able to say that I'm getting just about coming up for air. I find myself talking about it in the past tense. That's how I know.

Soon, we'll be at New Years Eve.
I'm celebrating with the Man and a dear friend, come visiting from Belgium, a long silk skirt and a bottle of champagne.
Whatever you're doing, I hope it's magical.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sunday, 20 March 2011

32 days post-PhD.
Haven't started looking for full time work yet.
Don't know what is happening with the British post-study work visas.
Don't know if my contract will be extended (such is the life of a contract researcher in Britain).
Don't know if I will be able to do any grant writing or publishing whilst things are so uncertain.
Don't know if I will find a job in India that:
- Allows me to be close to my parents
- Is in a city that I can stomach (Mumbai, for instance, is out out out)
- Allows me to live with the Boy (*insert 100 related questions here...)
Don't know if I can stomach the thought of living in India (politics, pretence, about 1/6th of the current part time paycheck and difficult access to up to date research required in order to conduct more up to date research...) or staying in the UK (politics, pretence, difficulty accessing research sites in India and distance from my Dad).

Thud, thud, thud, THUD.

Sunday, 27 February 2011


... days, not counting whatever adjustments need to be made for Sex and the City, H&M, general lethargy, sheer boredom, my one month extension, my paper on Wild Foods, my book review, whole weeks lost to angst, frustration, confusion or chasing deadends, days spent doing Other Things, days lost or gained through whatever funny thing leap years do to such a calculation and days - sometimes weeks - of lying in bed with colds, flus and in one case, a broken bone...

... is the number of days that it took to hand in just under 80,000 words of Thesis.

I won't miss some of those days. Some others I'm starting to miss now that the Red Bull and coffees have stopped grating away at my nerves and I've stopped feeling like I'm in a fast tailspin, dropping too quickly into the huge question mark that is today, tomorrow, next week, next year...
But the days I missed right from the second they were over, more and more all the time, are the days I spent in Chincholi, and the long hot afternoons when I sat in the shade of the neem trees outside their pink temple, listening to the drone of the crickets and the gurgle of the doves and feeling truly happy, peaceful and blessed.

Monday, 3 January 2011

This year, I have no Big plans.
I usually start each year with a bunch of wishes, usually centered around me 'improving myself'. Learning this or that. Giving up this or that. Acquiring this, accepting that, perfecting something else.
Not this year. This year is about Being, not Becoming. I've been using goalposts and milestones as a crutch: 'If I can do that, I will be better. If I am better, things will be better.' Happy distraction at best. Frustration and despair at other times.
No more.
In 2011, I want to just Be.
Whatever I learn, acquire, give up or perfect will arise from events as they happen, and I hope to let them happen (terrifying thought).
That's all as far as personal wishes for 2011 go.