Let’s Get Physical…or why I haven’t been blogging.

Apologies if you have been expecting regular blog posts recently. I’m afraid I’ve been unwell since early October with the re-occurrence of a long-standing kidney problem. The hospital like to give it the official title of ‘Renal Colic’, but to you and me, it’s kidney stones. Big ones.

As I’ve been feeling so run down from already having had two stays in hospital (end of October and middle of November), which includes an operation to fit a stent in my left urethra (a stent is a plastic tube which is used to hold the urethra – the tube between a kidney and the bladder – open and prevent, or at least lessen the chance of kidney infections) my main priority has been to concentrate on ensuring that all my University paperwork is up to date. Things have changed since I started my PhD for the first time at UEA ten years ago, so the level of administration has increased dramatically

As for progress on the PhD – let me provide you with an update of where I’ve reached as I begin year two.

Firstly, the finances – without which I would not be able to undertake this PhD. I’ve reached the halfway mark on my gofundme page http://www.gofundme.com/medievalgardensandparks
of £1000. Thanks to 48 donations all of which, whatever their monetary value, show that you as supporters believe that the topic I am researching is worthwhile. I’ve paid the instalment for this term, and now I will be able to go back to writing blog entries and using them to highlight the fact that I don’t receive and outside funding (if you aren’t aware of why I have a crowd-funding page – the blog entry https://medievalparksgardensanddesignedlandscapes.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/please-fund-my-cutting-edge-phd-research/
will provide you with some of the context.

Secondly, the writing process. My supervisor is pleased that the third draft of my introduction chapter is now forming itself into something coherent and enjoyable to read. What my supervisor wants to see is the passion, enjoyment and depth of knowledge I display when I provide lectures on the topic (I am available for bookings in 2015 if your club or society would like to book me) wrapped up in a framework of well thought out references. It’s been particularly rewarding from my point of view watching the way that my supervisor has made suggestions on a draft, and how I’ve interpreted them to make them a far more subtle piece of work then I ever thought I could write.

And now to the content. Although I haven’t been working on specific sites whilst I’ve been unwell / writing my introduction chapter, I have had time to think about how all the sites, particularly those in north-east Wales and north-west Shropshire relate to each other geographically. Some of the sites I am studying have been in existence for nearly a thousand years, and still occupy their place in the landscape confidently and recognisably. Other sites were very transient and lasted less than a hundred years, with documentary sources providing the evidence to identify their location.

If you know someone who would like to fund my research, please pass the links to my gofundme and blog pages on to them. Thank you.