Friday, 27 May 2011


It was my last MA lesson on Wednesday and I have been too grumpy about this to write a blog before now.  Don't get me wrong, the grumpiness hasn't magically disappeared, but it has reduced in size sufficiently for me to think that I might be able to write a post which isn't entirely full of whinging.

As you can see, I'm off to a cracking start.

This last lesson was quite interesting.  We had a guest speaker: the biographer and art historian Bevis Hillier.  He had plenty to say - some of it useful, some of it amusing - and certainly knew what he was talking about in terms of biography, not only from the technical point of view but also due to the fact that he has an (I think on-going) feud with rival biographer A.N. Wilson.

This seems to be some sort of rule in academic-writing-land - that there has to be an all-out word-war between biographers or historians on the same subject.  Some even came up when I indexed the TLS last year - Orlando Figes anyone?  (I can't hear his name without giggling like the big nerdy moron that I am: alas that no-one else I know finds it funny.)

We spent the second half of Wednesday's lesson going through rationales, leaving me with a moderately better idea of what I'm suppose to be doing.  This optimism is likely to disappear once I actually start writing the bugger but it's nice while it lasts.

But that can wait for a few days.  The focus of my little brain is now switched to the Publishing Project assignment, which is due first.  I seem to have written a couple of thousand words and yet have not really described anything.  I'm rather bemused at how I've managed to do this but I plan to rectify this issue forthwith.

Again, with the optimism.  Note the use of the word 'plan'.  I really wish I could have used the past tense for that sentence ('I have rectified...') but unfortunately the motivation part of my brain has gone to sleep and throws a pillow at me every time I try to wake it up.

So I figured writing a blog was half-way between doing something constructive and wasting time.  Wake the motivation part up slowly, like wafting a warm cup of coffee under its nose until it crawls out from under the duvet.

I'm going to stop waffling now.  Well, on here at least.

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