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It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going anywhere. I’ll even be posting in it again. I have an entire trip across Scotland to show you in pictures (the one that started here and here, if you’re keen to get going). In the meantime, here are five things to get you slightly caught up with my life in Scotland.

  1. My first academic article is appearing in a book next year! Grown-up problem: finding polite ways to request changes to your proof. Not subtle changes, those are easy enough. It’s the really, blindingly obvious ones that are hard to phrase. Also, fun fact: some research during this process revealed that some European languages don’t tend to differentiate between paragraphs with either an indentation (like a newspaper) or an extra return (like a blog). Nothing. Just a single carriage return. Mind blown by foreign typography.

2. Baskets. Because sometimes making rugs for a very small bathroom doesn’t use up your entire store of old clothes and sewing remnants. More details in a later post.

Rag basket blue

3. Conferences. Conferences are exciting and full of travel. (Some more than others; Birmingham vs. Brussels.) They are also full of panic as I bring my research into a presentable state. Sure, I started preparing for them a while ago. This has not stopped my panic. It turns out that research, like packing, always takes longer than you’re sure it will. But panic (of a certain kind) does get the job done. I expect that these conferences are the way my dissertation is actually getting written. No wonder my advisor is so keen on them.

4. Can we discuss the number of hours of sunlight in Scotland right now? In practice, it averages out to about one a day, in between rain. But even in theory it’s pretty terrible. See figure below:

Hours of sunlight

You see that yellow bit there? That’s my day. There’s maybe one more hour of twilight around 15:00, where that cloud is. Welcome to Scotland.

5. How does Scotland cope?

Royal mile whiskies postcard_FarOuterHebrides