Archive for September, 2017

Birthday reflections…

Posted: September 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

The only pleasure in life is cheating death one more time in the knowledge that this time you have escaped death’s dark clutches, but in the knowledge that one day it will find you and catch you and take you away from everything you know and love…

Realising how lucky you are

Posted: September 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Today started off as one of those days when it seems hard work just to do the basics but you still do them because you have to. You feel like you’re going through the motions and you wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing and if it’s worth it. I felt like that today with my Masters. More interviews to transcribe and then analyse and make sense of. Yeah sometimes research can get on top of you and you wonder if it’s worth it. And then you go to the monthly autism meeting you help out at and see people who have got problems far worse than you have and they’re just coping the best they can. Life hasn’t dealt them the best hand but they’re playing it the best they can. Someone comes up to you and talks about the hopes and dreams they had and how they were crushed despite their best efforts and whilst time has passed you can see it still really hurts them. It hurts them because they know and you do too that they are better than what has become of them and they can achieve so much more with the right care and support. Yet the institutions that should have provided the care and support have failed them and dumped them at the road side, left to crawl back onto the kerb, find their pavement and do their best to get back on the path of life. Your research impacts directly on their personal experience, your research is about people like them and institutions like the ones they have come into contact with and given them a bad experience. This makes you wake up and realise that the research you are doing can have a real impact on peoples lives and institutions and change them for the better. This is research that is important to society, to have people are perceived and how people are given a chance in society to prove themselves and show society just what they are capable of. You realise that your research could change peoples lives and make people happy. You realise that despite how you feel you have to carry on and do your best if not for yourself for others less fortunate than you.

Alive with running

Posted: September 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’m tired writing this but it’s a good tired. It’s tired that comes from having made progress with my Masters and having had a very good run. Felt fast, powerful and strong especially on the hills. Got some nice fastest times on some sections too. I felt good today. I felt alive again.

The wrong transcript

Posted: September 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

I won’t bore you anymore with the details of my sleeping patterns. Needless to say I woke up around 5am but dropped off again quite soon so had a good nights sleep. Today I knew I had to get back into my Masters. I’d been putting it off for too long now through fear of it I think. Can you get scared and fearful of doing something like a Masters? It doesn’t really make any sense to be scared of it but I was and I’m sure others do too. So after putting it off for a bit longer I finally set up my headset and audio files ready to start transcribing them. And then away I went happily talking away into my microphone and watching my spoken words appear on screen as if by magic. I did this for an hour and a half, transcribing over half an hour of my interview. And then something happened. The word daughter was said in my interview. Strange I thought because that shouldn’t be said but I carried on. And then it was said again and it was then that I realised I was transcribing the wrong interview! Bugger I thought and smiled wryly to myself. No point in getting angry. It was my fault and just one of those things but it did make me smile. My head was beginning to ache now though so I went for a walk to clear it and on my return I made sure I had the right files ready to transcribe the next day!

Rachel writes about running a trail race on tarmac. This wouldn’t happen in Yorkshire!

Traffic jams on Monday

Posted: September 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

A tiring but good day. Started off with my usual habit of waking up early but then it was a bit different. I was wide awake from around 3am till 4:30am. At 4:30am I decided to have the dreaded extra 5 minutes in bed and unsurprisingly woke up an hour later at 5:30am and quite a bit later than I wanted to. The reason for my wanting an early start was to avoid the traffic jams on the way to university at Huddersfield, there are road works for a year on my way to Huddersfield and knowing how bad it can be without them I decided to set off as early as I could. As it turned out I needn’t have worried. Apart from the usual morons pulling into my lane of traffic at the last minute it was uneventful and stress free. Consequently, I arrived at university in plenty of time for my meeting at 9:30am but this meant I could relax and catch up on emails and stuff. I’m doing a Masters by Research in Education. The good thing about this is I have a free, creative rein on what I can do. The bad thing is I have no structure to follow so I got some books from the library on how to write a Masters dissertation to give me some much needed ideas! I also looked up ontology. Although I’ve a degree in sociology and the terms ontology and epistemology are familiar to me I have always had a problem understanding ontology and just exactly what it is. Well today I finally came to an understanding of ontology. Epistemology is the understanding of knowledge and how we come to know things. Ontology questions what things are for instance what is a car and what does it mean to people. The epistemological stance would be what do we know about cars and how have we come to accumulate that knowledge. As with most things philosophical this is my interpretation and it may differ to someone else’s interpretation, but I’m happy with what I’ve got now and can make progress with my dissertation. My meeting went well and soon I was back on the road home. Out of Huddersfield to Ainley top everything was fine and my journey went without a problem. Then I hit traffic, traffic tailed back because of the road works that will take forever. For the next hour and a half I crawled along a mile of road with other equally frustrated road users all consigned to having to bide their time until they get through the road works. Maybe it was my sense of resignation and the knowledge that I couldn’t do anything about my situation but the hour and a half passed reasonably quickly. I have been stuck in traffic jams for shorter periods and it felt a lot longer. I thought about the traffic in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo where traffic jams can reach over 100km in length. Wouldn’t it be easier to just drive to work on a Monday and stay there till Friday? To Sainsbury’s for petrol and food and then home. And today I re-potted some plants for the first time ever! Whether they will survive or not remains to be seen but I am so pleased with myself and hoping that they will. End the day watching TV, University Challenge and Have I Lied to You. All in all a good day.

Shibden Wall Sunday

Posted: September 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

The usual sleep and then waking up at a stupid hour and lying there thinking about anything and nothing. Still managed to get up early for a run except I sort of sat at the laptop just staring at the screen and doing nothing. Eventually managed to get changed and went for a run and it was a good run. The pace was nothing exciting but I ran from home down to Halifax and back home via the infamous Shibden Wall with just one stop for water and a gel. Starting to feel good again with my running and the strength is starting to come back. Next Sunday is the Torkshireman Half a tough local half marathon of 14.7 miles (a Yorkshire half) up and across the moors above Haworth and Oxenhope. Looking forward to it although I’ll be happy just to get round. Home and something to eat followed by a bath and some housework. Then a bit of a relax and now sitting down to watch Dragons Den. Early start for me tomorrow as I’m in university for a meeting with my supervisor followed by home and more transcribing of interviews.

Parcel Saturday

Posted: September 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

So the morning after the night before. Sleep was got eventually a welcome relief from the light coming through the curtains. Halifax parkrun for another day of volunteering and watching people achieve their dreams and do more than they thought they could. Home and the wait begins for a parcel to arrive. Waiting can be so tiring. Back to doing my Masters. Need to get back into it or I risk losing more time, time I haven’t got to lose. It goes well. Finish analysing my first interview only two more to transcribe and analyse now but I can do it. No more thinking about it just do it. Parcel comes and it’s a miracle, everything fits and is good. Down to Tesco’s and put the lottery on, buy some stuff and forget to take a carrier bag down with me yet again. TV is crap tonight, that bad I watched F1 qualifying while wondering what to do tonight. Watch X-Factor or read some poetry or a short story. I know what most people would say!


Posted: September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

The night wins the battle yet again. The battle of whether I sleep or not. It is a battle it almost always wins unless I blot out life and reality or until I breath my last and close my eyes for one last time. I admit defeat and move my weary body yet again on this long, long day. Twenty four hours has become forty eight and there is still more to go. I read some Ted Hughes, if I am awake I may as well make the most of it and I feel something reawakened deep inside, something that has been dormant for too long and needs to be brought to life once again. The heating hums its single tune, no wonder I cannot close my eyes and dream. The air is warm and dry devoid of cold moisture that could help me go to other places. I get up and go downstairs to eat the goodness of another, I shouldn’t eat it but I need it, my mind and body conditioned to eat it by years of socialisation from others. Of all the hopes I have tonight the one of closing my eyes and sleeping is the one that keeps me going.