Bernie Divall | This post was originally written April 16, 2012

I can’t believe it’s almost three weeks since I wrote!  The last time I blogged, I had just arrived in Northumberland and was preparing to immerse myself in a lot of words for a few days.  My apologies, but I now have to post a photo so I can cry on the inside about how much I loved it and how much I’m missing it…

I have to say, it was technically the best idea my husband had about helping me to find the space to work.  I was a bit ill when I got there (having just had a sickness bug.  Deep joy), but a few days of sea air and the most beautiful weather (yes, it was that week), and I came home with a brain absolutely teeming with ideas and a sense of excitement about the remainder of my PhD journey.  Of course, there was a fair amount of guilt about not being at home for five days, but this was tempered by the realisation that if I could get some good work done, I would be a much happier and smilier person when I re-entered the asylum that is my home life.

Of course, that was a couple of weeks ago, and I’m quite surprised at how the impact of that time away is still with me now.  It was as if a fog cleared, and I’m now able to identify quite clearly the two most important elements of the study.  Anyone who knows the agonies I’ve been going through lately, based on the fact that the study has morphed quite spectacularly over the past couple of months, will understand what a relief this is.

The time away also seemed to give me something else – space in which to build compartments for the various elements of the work I’m doing.  So marking has become less of a terror because I make myself face it regularly, and I spend a set amount of time each day reading particular articles and then stop, so that I don’t lose myself down a new rabbit warren, and I make myself write something every single day just so the contents of my brain have somewhere to go.  I feel a bit hyperactive, actually!

Of course, I’m homesick for Northumberland already, and I’m looking in my diary to see whether I can get another dose of soul food any time soon… But for now, I’m content with feeling re-vitalised and raring to go.  And maybe that deadline is helping, too *gulp*.  23 weeks and 4 days.  Better get writing, then.