Reflections at 40,000 Feet

The last few weeks have been totally bonkers.

Dissertation-writer by day, decorator by night…


Since I last posted, I’ve completed on a house purchase, moved in, and got stuck into redecorating. I’ve been to a wedding in Mississippi and sampled some of the many delights that New Orleans has to offer (beignets, anyone? <3). Throughout all of this I was frantically working on my MA dissertation, which I finally submitted a few days ago. Finishing my year-long course seemed like a good reason to celebrate; I’m writing this post on a flight back from Verona, where I spent a wonderful weekend consuming more pizza, pasta, Prosecco, and gelato than my stomach had previously encountered in such a short space of time.

The coffee and croissants were pretty great, too!


I don’t have a whole lot of time to relax and gather my thoughts before moving on to my next big thing. Next week I’ll be heading back to the Shakespeare Institute to start my PhD, and I’m sure that life’s going to carry on being pretty busy from that point on.

For this reason, I wanted to take some time to think through some things. Being 40,000 feet in the air seems like a good time to pop my reflection hat on and get writing, so here are a few of the thoughts that’ve been cycling around my mind:

1. This year’s been a big learning experience on the academic front for me. I’ve learnt a lot about Shakespeare (though not nearly enough to feel qualified enough to be a master of the topic…), and I’m starting to think more deeply about how I go about getting work done. I had hoped to have figured out some watertight strategies by this point for getting written research finished to a good standard with time to spare before a deadline. I absolutely haven’t. One day, perhaps…?

2. I’m really growing to love our little house. It needs a lot of work (it’s not been redecorated in… some decades), but it’s ours. Redecorating every square inch of the place is going to keep our weekends busy! I can’t wait to see how it turns out, though. Watch this space for updates!

3. Visiting the US was a very special experience. The six flights it took us to get there and back were 100% worth it for the wonderful people we met/visited and the places we got to explore. (And for the wonderful square French donuts we ate. Naturally.)

Beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde


4. I’m too excited to start organising my life again. Routine and planning have been things of the past this summer, but I have a beautiful new Filofax and many rolls of washi tape to get me back on track. Next week, I’m going to be ALL OVER that planning shabang. A photo preview, you say? If you insist ;).

5. The thought of starting a PhD is somewhere between scary and exciting right now. This trip to Italy has been great for putting some space between me and my last research project (though my brain still switches to ‘deconstruct, self-criticise, and panic’ mode more often than I’d like), and I’m starting to really look forward to next week’s welcome events. Once Shakespeare and I have had a few more days apart, I should be all good to start reading up on the topic I thought up and fell for all those months ago.

So this post turned out to be something of a stream of consciousness. All in all, life is good. Whatever happens with that pesky dissertation, I’m very lucky to be where I am right now (in both the short- and long-term sense; holidays are awesome, and funded PhD positions are even better).

Here’s to an exciting/scary time ahead!