surfacing… briefly.

Back in the land of the living, for a little while. The post-wisdom teeth extraction hasn’t quite gone according to plan, and I’ve subsequently ended up battling the side effects of some very strong drugs. Things still aren’t quite right, but I think I can wait to see the surgeon on Friday, just to be sure.

It is appalling, however, how the body can react to some medications. I’m pretty sure mine thinks its being poisoned in some manner or another. It’s meant that it hasn’t been the best of week at all. There has been some knitting – I did another 20 rows of Tinúviel during stage 7, and my Liesl’s body is about halfway done.

I’m a little tentative with Liesl – I know just how much Malabrigo can grow, and I’ve been worried about whether I’ve knitted the yoke too small and separated the sleeves too soon – but after trying it on, it’s not as bad as I think it is – the lace does open up, and Malabrigo does grow.

The stitch count of my Tinúviel is starting to look significantly less than it did, say 10 rows before I picked it up again, and I have just had to start ball 2 of the Malabrigo lace. It goes on forever though. I’m only going to use about a quarter of the ball, and I have an extra one floating around too. Another swallowtail shawl perhaps? Or maybe I should get hold of a forest canopy shawl and try my hand at that… who knows. One thing is certain – I can’t wait to get this baby off my needles. 7 and a half months is a disgustingly long time to be a WIP.

RTA is now patiently awaiting further work on the hood… I should be up to a little more this week. I don’t, however, think it’s guilt that makes me reach for it now. I’m finding the novelty of 7mm needles for the Liesl wearing a little thin and am itching to get back to my 3.75mms and 4mms (and 2.5mms, but that’s another story).

I saw the Head of School today for a catch up (she’s had 6 months in Berlin doing research – lucky!), and left questioning my worth again. She brought up a few points “of concern” – but said she hadn’t been in the loop since December – so, apart from confusing me, left me feeling like I’d been punched in the solar plexus. There’s only so much smiling, nodding, and saying the right thing that one can do. The Magpie says I need to be more assertive in those sorts of situations, but his school has a completely different mentality and dynamic to mine. I do what I can, and hopefully my research will talk for me. Pity none of my panel know Toller’s work from a bar of soap. I guess it means that if I manage to get a nod of approval from them whenever they let me submit, I’ve got a thesis that non-Tolkien/Fairy Tale/Utopianist/Fantasy scholars may be able to read with some understanding of what is going on. One can only hope that’s the case. This PhD has been a struggle, but it’s my baby. I need to deal with the reactions. Luckily I have another 2 days to hide from this chaos.

And then there’s the moving. I’m going to be even more sporadic over the next few weeks because the countdown to Melbourne has just hit the critical stage for packing/cancelling things/redirecting mail/getting rid of things/open homes/cleaning things/writing chapters and I’m not quite sure how we’re going to survive the next two weeks. I really don’t. But I can’t wait for it all to be over. The Matheson is calling me ever closer, and I can’t wait. The proper silence and feel of a university library, ah. It does make me miss the Otago libraries even more, but at least the Matheson has that magic. I will be able to write!

Time to poach some chicken! (Chicken mayo sandwiches for dinner… yum!)



  1. God, you’re going to need a month off to recover from all you’ve got going on. Can you breathe? Even a little?

    Please call if there is ANYTHING at all I can help with. Just do it.

    1. Thanks bells. I will. At the moment I need a cloning machine or a time machine… know of anybody who currently has one in their possession?

  2. Please take care of yourself. And the Magpie is right – a fair amount of subtle bullying goes on in relation to PhD students. But I know it’s easier said than done. I love the way you keep claiming your thesis as your own – hang on to that sense!

  3. Big breaths! Trust me, some of us manage to worm our way through the system. You just have to be stubborn!

  4. So sorry it’s such a hectic mad insane crazy time – and the tooth / jaw problems are JUST the icing on the cake, aren’t they :/ Hope you can get through it all in one piece, and remembering to breathe.

  5. i hope you will feel better soon
    and i agree wth m-h, keep going you will succeed in the end- looking back you will smile about it- since you did show them 🙂
    cant wait to see the finished knitting

  6. Sorry to hear about the nasty teeth keeping on being a problem, little buggers should just give up! But don’t you give up, that thesis will be worth it, having been there and gone almost completely insane in the to and fro of getting research to work and the frustration of an unsupportive supervisor, the handing in and getting it all published is just the most amazing thing. I always smile when I pass the bookshelf and see my book (bound thesis) sitting there, can’t wait until that’s how it is for you too!

  7. Sometimes too much just gets landed on our plates in one go – sounds like that’s where you are at the moment. I do hope things calm down for you soon.

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