Friday, March 27, 2009

Funding Time Again!

Just got to the end of a pretty hassly couple of weeks. Once again I find myself applying for grants and scholarships to fund my ongoing doctoral studies, but, as ever, nothing is straight forward: the funding body has amended - for the second year running - the application process so that the rather complicated format that was applicable last year has become even more byzantine. There is now in place a two tier system, with candidates applying initially through the university's internal vetting system and then - and only if given the university's backing - a second almost identical application almost to a central handling system that redistributes the incoming forms to the appropriate funding bodies. Whew! At least last year once the application form was submitted to the university I could just sit back with my fingers firmly crossed and hope for the best. This year, even if I get the thumbs up from the internal panel, I'll have to get into gear again with a repeat performance in May. The most difficult thing is contacting my referees - it gets increasingly embarrassing to keep approaching people, cap in hand, for references time after fruitless time. As I continue to fail to find funding, they must wonder what sort of loser they're putting their names to! But they are SO good and kind and uncomplaining - bless them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gender Analysis

Interesting....the Gender Analyzer considers that there is a 56% chance that this blog was written by a woman. Apparently it's not too obvious. The good news is that they deem it to be quite 'gender neutral'. Hooray. I think

Friday, March 6, 2009


My new grandson has arrived! After a pretty tricky second-stage that required considerable assistance (all done with only gas and air -what a brave effort) he plopped out into the world yesterday evening weighing in at 9lb 5oz. No wonder his Mum struggled. I am immensely proud of all three of them (the partner was a rock throughout, bless him) and can't wait to see the new arrival tonight. Apparently he looks a bit like a prop-forward at the moment, sort of squish-nosed and monobrowed. Only temporary I hope!

It's bringing out all those deeply-buried maternal feelings: I haven't been able to think of anything else all day. I do hope I don't turn into one of those soppy old ladies that whip out photos at the slightest provocation. I think I'll have to cultivate an air of eccentricity - smoke a pipe, as a friend recommended - maybe wear some sort of headgear, or feathers, or become a spy as a bit of a smokescreen to disguise my doting.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glorious Day

It's a beautiful day today. Yesterday was strange and unsettled and snow and hail fell from a purply sky near dusk. But today the sun is shining from a clear blue sky, warming the earth and picking up the glorious yellow and mauve crocuses. Better still, my pregnant daughter has phoned to let me know that her contractions started during the night and are continuing to build gradually. Today could be the day.....and if so, only a day overdue!

I do hope and pray that everything goes smooothly for mother and baby. I'm waiting for the call which means, as designated driver, I have to take them to the maternity unit. I'm hoping that this is it and that it's not a false alarm, which would be a real anticlimax for her. Although if it is, so be it.