Day -36  I hate Facebook 

I have the flu so I’m looking up countries on the democracy index.  Why? Because I need to get off FB. It’s such an unhealthy space yet I am always drawn back in when I am incapacitated. I mean why do I need to challenge someone’s 19th century view on race and point out that their ideas on race and intelligence are similar to Nazi views which were based on the “science” of Gobineau and the “science” of phrenology. 

I’ve been so good with staying off social media and just plodding along with the thesis like a good little tortoise, but this flu has definitely sidelined me. My ears hurt. I’ve always had a weakness in my right ear. It’s partly why I’m partially deaf, but I don’t want to think about it. Instead, I will in my fevered state present the summary of this morning’s activities. 

So this is my flu period resolution, I will stay off FB.

The US (7.98)is a “flawed democracy” at the moment. Singapore (6.38) has moved up (or down depending on your politics) from hybrid regime to flawed democracy. China (3.14)is still an authoritarian state but less so than it was and Russia (3.24)moved from hybrid regime to authoritarian state. Australia (9.01) is still a full democracy for now. Ireland (9.14) is more of a full democracy than the UK(not stats for the uk), France (7.92 – flawed) and Germany (8.63). But lower than NZ (9.26) which is higher than Denmark (9.20). North Korea (1.08) hasn’t changed its position. 
 The aliens say, “oh humans, what diversity there is amongst your species ! How strange it is that you can obliterate each other but not the flu virus. Come sacrifice your least favourite neighbours and we will offer you a panacea for all the ills of the world. Ok maybe not that but if you allow us to randomly choose one of your fB friends to fuel our bio (human scraps) engine space ship back home we will eradicate the flu virus!” To which I said…
(To be continued ;p) 


Day -38

Oh no! Flu season. It is a bad one this year. If you are reading this in the northern hemisphere, get flu vaxed! 

Hubby hasn’t been bed ridden but he’s been at home and I have been playing nurse. Before you start giggling, it’s been from a distance as I cannot afford to get sick. 

It has meant I’ve lost a couple of days of writing.

I spent today flaked out as I needed a break after three manic days of trying to do it all. Getting feedback for my last chapter made me relax more. I am indeed on the right track.

Checking in here I can see that if I work through the weekend and first week of school hols, I am still on track! I won’t have much of an opportunity in the second week as hubby is at work.

I feel quite privileged to have a teacher hubby. I used to think darn it, if hubby were more high power and high earning maybe I don’t have to feel that constant anxiety about whatever it is that our overly competitive and materialistic society makes us feel anxious about. 

We live quite simply and he job is low stress. Although it’s more stressful since his workplace sacked all the admin and reduced everyone’s hours. Nonetheless, I am not homeless, and despite all the doom and gloom I feel confident of finding some work after I finish this thesis. 

I’ve been reading about inattentive ADHD. I am now convinced I had it as a kid and still have it. I believe it is why I haven’t been very successful at sticking to one line of work /discipline and have always been a bit of an underachiever. 

Eg even now as I type I am thinking about other things and my mind has raced ahead. I’ve never had the executive skills that one requires at school. Never really kept notes nor had filing systems etc. Held it all in my head which is fine at lower levels of whatever it is. 

At the same time, if I wasn’t ADHD maybe I wouldn’t have seen so much of the world and had so many different experiences. Nor would I have friends from diverse backgrounds. Apparently impulsivity is how it often manifests in girls. 

I think in middle age, it’s not a bad thing to have. I’ve developed coping strategies and am less scattered. Having a tidy house is important or else I can’t think. 

I probably should do a tidy up of my files today so I can write first thing tomorrow.

At the moment I have papers strewn over the floor.

Being a mother has forced me to be more organised. I have picked up many CEO skills in my decade as a mother. 

See I’m going off track again!

I must finish messaging a friend some papers and then figure out dinner before tidying my desk/floor. I have papers all over the floor too. Best get to it.

I really can’t be bothered cooking! We have leftovers!

Day -42


Don’t have ADHD. I’m making progress. Yay.

I actually really enjoy the process. 

Two random thoughts:

1) hey that odd looking precocious Hollywood kid I looked after one day in the late 90s is now one of those catwalk  looking young model married to a semi well known actor. I had the random thought to look up her dad as I remembered his name, and it turns out it was her grand dad. I’m sure she called him dad and that it was her dad. 

2)I am feeling self conscious about driving someone who grew up in Hollywood and really spent his life in elite and glam circles in my banged up Toyota. I haven’t had time to fix the bumper. Maybe I should just rent a car. 

Day -47

I’m now wondering if I have undiagnosed ADHD. This is suppose to be the easiest chapter after the intro. Why is it taking me so long to write this? And why am I trying to tie in so many threads in a project of this size?

I will need many footnotes. 

Day -72

Didn’t get much writing done today. I threw out unnecessary bits of paper. Tomorrow I’m going to sort out what I need for the next chapter. I must remember that

1) At this level I don’t need to come up with new theory

2) good writing is good editing

I found this YouTube video useful. I spent today watching quite a few of the videos on this channel.

Day -73

These posts are more for me to keep up to date with what needs to be done, with a few sideline musings – but not too many as I need to stay focused.

Intro – Few edits

Chapter 1 – Needs restructuring and more work

Chapter 2 – Haven’t rewritten

Chapter 3- Haven’t yet received feedback

Chapter 4 – Just submitted but I’m thinking I’ve written way too much for a project of this scale.

Chapter 5 – Findings and Discussions – my task from now until the 28th August. Hopefully I will get this done before then and move onto

Chapter 6 – Conclusions.

Then I put it all together and rewrite it again.

And then I put it together with the other section and edit it again.

Then I submit the damn thesis.

Then hopefully I will have someone to mark it and graduate by Christmas!

Then I can move on with my life.



Day -75

Ok so I have my ”paper edits” but spent today spring cleaning.  Here are two things I need:

1) a secretary – imagine how quickly I could get this typed out if I could just dictate my edits to someone.

2) not to get sidetracked by conversations that are just hot air. 

I am going to now do these edits on the computer and submit this darn chapter.
6pm submitted chapter.

Now trying to decide whether to stick to schedule or just rewrite chapter 4 before 2 as chapter 4 will require less time to rewrite.  If I submit chapter 4 before 2, I will have more time to work on 2. 

Wow I might make the deadline! 

I’m anticipating 1 rewrite for chapter 4 and at least 2 drafts before submitting. 

Day -76 

2.85/7 chapters rewritten.
I haven’t had as much time to write this week. Although I am prioritising writing the fact is I have other responsibilities. I got a bit grumpy today because of the interruptions. I don’t live in an ivory tower. I live in a world of insurance, storm damage, elderly parents and play dates. I have been thinking about how great it will feel to complete this. It does feel good to have drafts that get better with each rewrite. The trick is to just write and get something down on paper. Writing is rewriting. I’m anticipating a month of editing of the entire thesis after I finish this final draft. 

And where would I be without Zotero? The scale of my project is small enough that I can write things out the old fashion way. I don’t like using fields in Word, but Zotero is a useful way to keep track of my references and reading notes.

People ask me what I’m doing with this degree. They are thinking geeze she’s older, it’s not as if she can start in whatever. I hate that about the society I live in, always have even as a young person.

I wonder if the YouTube stars of today will be allowed to grow old? I’ve been watching shows where my teen idols are unrecognisable because of time. People age if they are lucky. 

I need to reset my body clock next week. Life returns to “normal” as hubby’s leave finishes. I have to keep writing. 

That is my goal. I must be as goal orientated as  John Wick. Gosh that was a terrible movie!

Day -82

Submitted 2/7 chapter drafts.

Yay.So I’m refining the process. I realise that I need to rewrite at least 3 times. I have 4 drafts before submitting it to my supervisor. There’s no point in holding onto it for any longer because by this 4th rewrite I have nothing new to offer.

I’m taking a couple of days off and then will rewrite the review of literature. This is apparently the most straight forward chapter because I don’t need to offer anything new, but I find it the hardest because it involves combing through all my notes. I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of articles and chapters around the topic over the 3 years, and I only developed a system of collecting all of these in one place (Zotero! Zotero!) I hold  a lot of information in my head which isn’t always the best thing as I automatically dump what’s not useful when life gets in the way. You know that whole life thing.

I know it’s going to feel so good when I finish.

I might have to acknowledge someone other than my kid in this thesis. Wouldn’t be able to write any of this if I didn’t have hubby looking after him.

Another post writing reflection:

I can now understand everything written in this book! I purchased it at the beginning of my degree and thought, “OMFG WTF?” Now I understand the concepts in the book I am going to read it for fun.  Now if I can only figure out how to find my 10 year old’s digital wish list.


-83 days to submission

I made it.

I completed another chapter to a level where I only have to do some minor edits. I’ll do that tomorrow.

I’ve been quite crabby today wondering why I feel that I still have to cook etc…when I’m not the only one home. Or rather why I feel guilty I’m not doing any housework.

Seriously, anyone who has a family and managed to complete any brain work from home has my respect.

Next up is one of my more difficult chapters even though everyone says it’s the easiest.

I’m going to email this to my supervisor tomorrow morning and take the weekend off.



Violin progress: nilch

Conversations with a human being: nilch

Conversations with castrated cat: 3