Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Slightly late December post

Still trying to get into the habit of a monthly posting. This month is a bit late because I keep getting distracted by other things, as usual...

No response regarding my MA thesis yet, which means that without a minor miracle I definitely won't be starting in January! Unless I get it back with 0 corrections (unlikely IMO!) there is no way for me to receive comments, act on them, AND get them checked by one of the assessors. Accepting that as a fact, I need to keep working forwards...

So, I need a plan for the next six months. Obviously things can change, and hopefully will, but I find it is easier to deal with uncertainty with a plan in hand. Yes, even a plan which may never happen!

Six Month Plan (Not enough of a Russianist now to do 5 Year ones!)

  • Fun Craft
    • Duct-tape Dressmaker's Dummy
    • Current patterns: 
      • Skirt (Simplicity 3847)
      • Dress (Simplicity 3673)
      • Top (New Look 6808)
    • Bake a monthly cake

  • Victorian Ball - I'd love to attend the 2016 Victorian Ball in Bath. The theme this year is "Crinolines". I own almost nothing that would be of use! I do adore costume history and living history though, so it's a great "off duty" plan to construct/sew/buy...
  • Health
    • Do more/some exercise
Work is stable, so time to work on personal life. TGO and I have been living apart due to work for 18 months now and it sucks. Time to use the breathing space to work on that.

I made Damson vodka on the weekend. Unfortunately I now have to wait until at least the summer before it's ready to drink... I still want to try my hand at sloe gin, but I'm struggling to get hold of sloes as they don't grow within walking distance of home and I don't drive.

I need a new corset for the Victorian Ball, so if I'm not paying fees in January, I plan to put them towards a 3 day corsetry course. It's pricy, but at the end of it you have a customised Victorian-style corset to take home. The one I'm looking at includes materials. My main concern is where I'd stay while it's on, as I can't expect a lift there and back every day

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


So, I gave myself October off from study, apart from going up to a lecture at the John Rylands in Manchester one weekend. I've read lots of fiction for the first time in ages, and made my Goodreads target for 2015.

But now it's November and I've had my birthday so time to look to the next step. Which is what?
I can't assume I've passed through my MA with no revisions, so I plan to spend November re-reading it and looking for mistakes the examiners will want fixing. So far I've fixed some glaring grammatical errors in my abstract. Hope that's the worst of it!

I'm also working on some personal stuff while the pressure is relatively light, or at least when I can do nothing about it... We shall see what comes of that soon, hopefully!

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Rabbits and hares and white rabbits.

It's October, and a lovely autumn day here. I'm sitting in my office at work looking out of the window and there's a lovely sunshine out there right now. The leaves on the walk home are also a fabulous colour which really cheers me up.

Academically I'm in limbo stage, but still a student. As I understand it, here is how things go from here. Bear in mind this is for the MA by Research NOT the PhD.

  • Submit hard copy (with all the forms) - DONE
  • Hard copies are sent to my internal and external reviewers - probably going to be sent next week, I was told.
  • Both reviewers have about 8 weeks to turn around their feedback.
  • I receive the feedback and have one of about 5 results
    • Pass with no amendments
    • Minor amendments (e.g. typos, small changes to specific areas)
    • Major amendments (e.g. rewrite sections, add in X element)
    • Revise and resubmit (End to end revision and resubmission as a semi-new thesis)
    • Fail
  • I respond to the result, and act accordingly.
    • Pass (unlikely)
    • Minor - edit, resubmit within 3 months, sent back to internal examiner to accept
    • Major - edit, resubmit within 6 months, sent back to external examiner to accept
    • Revise and resubmit - edit, resubmit within 1 year, restart review process
    • Fail - no PhD place
  • Viva is unlikely but a slim possibility, mostly if an examiner wishes clarification on an area covered OR you are borderline failing (do you know your stuff just can't write for toffee?!).
  • I start the PhD (unless FAIL), 1st of the month after the thesis is accepted (HOPEFULLY January 2016).
So until at least November I can do nothing except wait, which is completely nerve-wracking.

Right now I've got student status for the year, but no fees to pay until accepted or not. Financially this is nice as it means we can save the money for other important stuff (#1, finish fixing the house!).

Despite this, I cannot just stop dead. Here's my plans for the next few months:

  • Make Christmas presents - sloe gin and maybe a flavoured vodka again.
  • Rewrite my paper for Borderlines into an article. The paper didn't feel like it 'worked' well, to me, so I really want to go back to it, pull it apart and fix it.
  • Create the database I'll need for the PhD research - I can't assume I'll fail miserably, so I'm just going to get on with it.
  • Start databasing some of the data for my PhD - it will need doing some time
  • Read for fun - novels and non-research nonfiction
  • Do some sewing - I have patterns for a dress, top and a skirt I want to make, and now I have the time. (Simplicity 3847, New Look 6808, Simplicity 3673)
  • Join an exercise class, or a dance class. Maybe belly dancing! Something to get me fit, but without boring me senseless, like I find I get in a gym.
  • Level all my Warcraft characters to 100. What, I never said I wasn't a geek!
If I fail? To be honest, I'm going to do the research anyway, but I'll have less support etc. I am doing this for the pleasure, not as a career move, so why on earth would I stop doing something I already enjoy?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Today I submitted the electronic version of my MA thesis.

This afternoon I will being going to the nearby university to get two hard copies printed and soft bound (no library copy yet thankfully).

Tomorrow I go up to hand in the physical version, and hopefully sort out registration for next year.

To Do

SCONUL application for next year. All my library books are due back either today or tomorrow and I cannot renew them until...

  • University registration status confirmed
  • SCONUL application can be confirmed once I have a current registration status
  • Once I have my fabulous SCONUL email, I can renew my membership for those accounts.
  • THEN I can renew my books (and probably have to pay overdue fines).

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The International Medieval Congress in 2016 (Leeds)

Last Updated: 27 August 2015

For my own interest I'm gathering together here a list of any Calls for Papers (CfP) for the IMC 2016 in Leeds. The individual paper closing date is 31 August 2015.

31 Aug 2015The Dominican Order in the Middle AgesOrdernsgeschichte
31 Aug 2015Academic Englishes and Academia in the Making: Who Will Write the Middle Ages and How?Zsuzsanna Reed, CEU
1 Sept 2015Artisans of the book and collaborative working methodsManuscript Collaboration Hub
1 Sept 2015The Long Lives of Medieval Art and ArchitectureAmanda Dotseth, Courtauld Institute of Art / AVISTA
8 Sept 2015Food, Feast and Famine, 3 sessions proposedRoyal Studies Network
10 Sept 2015Topic: Names & OnomasticsDictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources
10 Sept 2015Session proposals for ICMA (ICMA members only) – scroll downJanis Elliott / ICMA
11 Sept 2015The Animal Turn in Medieval Health StudiesSunny Harrison, Leeds
14 Sept 2015Eating the Book: Manuscripts and Reading Habits in Anglo-Saxon England (Image)Rachel Burns (UCL) & Francis Leneghan (Oxford)
15 Sept 2015Interactions among towns and leagues of towns in the long thirteenth centuryDr Gianluca Raccagni
15 Sept 2015Rethinking the Medieval FrontierJonathan Jarrett
15 Sept 2015The Monastic Refectory and Spiritual FoodCESM
15 Sept 20152 sessions:
  1. Food and Feast in Medieval Outlaw Texts
  2. Ecocritical Outlaws
Kristin Bovaird-Abbo & Lesley A. Coote / IAHRS
15 Sept 2015
The Medieval Landscape/Seascape (blog)Kimm Curran (Glasgow)
15 Sept 2015
New Directions in the Study of Women Religious (4 sessions)Kimm Curran (Glasgow) & Kirsty Day (Leeds) & Steven Vanderputten (Ghent)
20 Sept 2015Medieval Equestrianism: Theory and PracticeAnastasija Ropa & Timothy Dawson
[Unspecified]Topic: Letters to Women (panel), esp. Letters to Jewish or Muslim women@KRMaude
[Unspecified]Medieval EcocriticismHeide Estes / Medieval Ecocriticisms
[Unspecified]"If anyone is interested in putting up sessions for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds [...] under the auspices of the IPPS, please contact us."Piers Plowman Society
[Unspecified]Food + Death / Food in Death / Food + Wills@Emy_Pica
30 Sept 2015IMC Committee Deadline for Organisers of Sessions / Panels
[Closed]Murder and Mayhem: Disorder and Violence in Italy 568-1154---
[Closed]Feast or Famine? What Presence did the Bible Really Have in Medieval Spiritual Writings?
The Society for the Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages
[Closed]Mastering Knowledge and Power: Bishops, Schools and Political Engagement in Early Medieval Europe (650-1050)Giorgia Vocino & Giacomo Vignodelli
[Closed]Slavery in the Medieval World (PDF)"Medieval Slavery" project
[Closed]The Separation of Church and Church Bishops and their Communities in the Carolingian Era (8th-10th c.) (Thematic session)SFB Visions of Community & the Network for the Study of Late Antique and Early Medieval Monasticism
[Closed]Debating Relics: Reflections on Relics in the Middle Ages and Problems of Methodology"Mind over Matter" project
[Closed]Setting the Table: Medieval Tablescapes, Dining, and the Visual Culture of Food (scroll down) (Facebook)Meg Bernstein / ICMA Student Committee

Any more I've missed? Leave a comment, or tweet @MEM_PG_Confs with the details.