Back to Work with a capital ‘W’

This time it’s different, I’ve been telling myself… This time will be different, I’ve been telling my wife.  I just hope I’m right (and I believe I am).  The job I mentioned I had risked by moving to London has materialised, and with the blessing of God I am now back in full-time employment since May 1st.  The previous two months and immediately following my confirmation, I have been busy putting the ground work for what has become my new role in building a new government entity to support and fund SMEs. Although it will take a huge share of my time, the challenge…

Confirmed!

No detail of my confirmation viva, nor the destruction I’ve caused to my nerves, would come close to describing the relief I feel today. I am pleased to confirm that I’m through! After a meeting of over an hour followed by an agonising twenty-minute deliberation – whilst my supervisors and I waited outside, I was given some recommendations and informed that I am now a confirmed PhD student. This sounds like zero progress, but this is huge considering I faced being kicked off the programme in October. The letter of my unsatisfactory performance was as recent as January 14th. What does this mean…

Confirmation?

The date has been set (25th Feb aka tomorrow) and since I handed in my confirmation report and chapters I haven’t even read my own work since. Although I did nothing to prepare like I had imagined, I did agree to meet my supervisor before the viva.  I landed in London yesterday and met him in the evening.  His advice was to be prepared to answer confidently on the theoretical work within the submitted chapters, and to read up on sampling for the methodology. I’m spending the day alone promising myself I will at least re-read what I have sent. After all they would…

The Wait

I worked non-stop to produce my confirmation report by the deadline and indeed the three chapters attached to it (plus the first draft of my methodology chapter). It’s funny how we wait for validation and this very wait can make us stop doing any work. The day after I sent my document to the printers, I got on with jobs around the house that I had neglected. In fact the day I arrived home I was setting up new internet routers, calling the painter in to fix some patches, and had brought in an electrician to fit wall lights that until that…

The Surge

When I said I would be moving to London and focussing on nothing but the PhD, It meant I would leave my wife and kids behind (and all of what that means!), delay and risk loosing a dream-job offer I had received (for a December start) and spend more money on tickets (yes again) and a temporary move… With all of this, I was genuinely worried I would do all of it and come back with nothing. On many levels, that would be worse than not going at all and quitting. The good news is today I am able to breathe the…

It’s 2015

I just spent five wonderful days catching up with my wife and kids, my family and my friends.  I even found time to think, plan and do nothing.  Cycling, meals out and zero reading and writing for almost a week.  I flew back to London on the first day of the year, and today I make a start on my final two weeks of the big push that I started early November.  It will not feel like I’ve achieved anything until I’ve passed the confirmation (or transfer) which will most likely be sometime in February/March.  However, I will not be where I…

Christmas Break-ing

There is no explanation for what has happened in the last three or four days.  I can only describe it as mission creep.  I haven’t been able to do much on the literature review, nor for that matter on anything else.  Apart from visiting family and friends for Christmas, I have done very little else.  My drive is no longer there, not even for exercise or photography (exactly… something is not right!).  I was laughing at myself when even the TV remained off as I sat reading the evening paper in the living room. I guess I need to see my wife…