Thursday, 30 September 2010

Climbing the walls!

Hello and happy first week of lectures to everyone !

This week my blog consists of an eclectic mix of Twilight, The Wall
phenomenon and David Ruffin (starring in my record of the week)...

Twilight :
'Oh no !' I hear you say 'Not those vampire films again!'
Actually, no vampires here! But there has been a new addition to our household this week, a kitten whose name is 'Twilight.' She is eight weeks old and we collected her last Thursday. I suppose she was really scared after being taken away from her family -  we hardly got a wink of sleep that night because she was meowing and pacing up and down until dawn ! I think I managed one hour of unbroken sleep from 5 - 6am, and awoke to find that THE KITTEN HAD GONE ! I had to leave at 7.30 for work at the enquiry unit still not having found her... I was worried all day, to the point that my work colleagues had given up trying to comfort me with rational explanations for her absence. We got home to find that she was still missing, but could hear a faint meow coming from somewhere in the house. After extensive searches, my daughter finally found her in a chest of drawers, cuddled up amongst the socks ! She had managed to crawl into the drawer through a three inch gap at the top, but had not been able to get out. Cats are funny, you buy them the nicest cat baskets and they'll sleep anywhere but... She has now taken to sleeping in a teddy bear’s deckchair (cute kitten photo alert!).

The Wall: Solved !
Yes, it is as I predicted on my very first blog, I have managed to climb over ‘The Wall.’  I think I explained (more than a few times) that I was having trouble getting started on my literature review.
I had a BIG motivation problem during the summer break, and have been looking forward to the start lectures and my normal studying routine (yes, I do have one !). If I did have just the tiniest, microscopic doubt that I would start work on my literature any time soon, it has now been put to rest... and the main reason for this ? A phenomenon completely new to me, a course designed for postgraduate researchers called 'Research Methods.' 
I was a little concerned when I entered the lecture room on Wednesday afternoon. There were approximately forty other students from a variety of disciplines and at least two different schools, my thoughts ranged from 'How will they cater for such a diverse group.' to ' What does Hermeneutical mean?' By the end of the afternoon, both these questions had been answered, and my literature review problem had been sorted to boot ! Apparently they ease us into our 'BIG literature review' by supporting us in writing a 'Mini literature review' on our own research topic - Fabulous, I thought - you can always trust the University to give added value ! 
Just in case you were wondering... Hermeneutical is a word derived from the
name of Hermes, the messenger to the gods of Greek mythology and refers to
interpretation in research.

J's record of the week :
‘Walk away from love’ by David Ruffin.
I bought my (vinyl) single of this song in a junk shop when I was eight
years old. I was out shopping on a Saturday with my Uncle Paul
(Cornish farmer, and singular most important influence on my musical taste), who
suggested it would be the very best thing I could spend my 50p pocket money on that week.
He was right and I am still listening to it regularly 28 years later !
David Ruffin was a founder member of 'The Temptations' but released this solo
single under the Motown label in 1975. It was produced by Van McCoy (famous
for among other songs such classics as: 'The Hustle' and 'Turn this Mother Out').
Jerushah x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Last Days Of Cricket 2010

Hi there and welcome to the second instalment of my blog ! What a week, it feels as if my feet have barely touched the ground since the last time I sat down to write my blog. 
In just seven days I have started back on my research, set a date for moving house and more importantly J attended my last cricket match at Lord’s for this season! Today I’ll be including a new slot on my blog called ‘J’s Record of the Week’ just look to the end of the page...
Last time I blogged I was having a bit of turmoil over deciding who support in the T40 county final. Actually it was my lovely mum who came up with the solution and I quote: ‘... of course it’s easy Jerushah, I am surprised you were in any doubt at all. You should support Somerset as their captain is Marcus Trescothick, he must be Cornish with a name like that.’
So the die were cast, the scene was set . On the afternoon of Saturday 18th September, my daughter and I headed off to meet our friends and family on the top deck of the Warner stand. Just to make sure that we really got into the spirit of things, I stopped off at the bet365 stand (disclaimer: I do not advocate gambling in any way shape or form!) to place £1 on Somerset to win.

In spite of the best efforts of ‘our man’ Trescothick, and Compton who was the top scorer for Somerset with 60 runs. Somerset had only made 199 by the end of their innings. What we hadn’t bargained for came in the form of Imran (hitherto known as ) ‘The Tornado’ Tahir who despatched the majority of the Somerset team in quick succession – the mighty, how they fell ! All except one roguish member of our group were supporting Somerset, and as the evening wore on we became progressively more demoralised. That was until we noticed one very significant fact... WARWICKSHIRE HAD FORGOTTEN TO FLY THEIR TEAM FLAG FROM THE PAVILION ! 
We imagined Ian Bell doing the head count on the team coach and checking off his to do list as they pulled into the Lord’s car park:
Ian Bell : Now let me see, have we remembered everything ? Kit bags? Stumps? Bails? Secret Weapon Imran Tahir ? Break time drinks ? Warwickshire flag ?
Keith Barker : Doh !
Team : Oh Keith !!!
Now I was assured by an anonymous source at the MCC that there is unwritten rule which states: Any team found not to be displaying a team flag above the appropriate dressing room will thereafter be disqualified. See photograph below for evidence:

So now I know, you are all smart people and of course you’ve worked it out already. We can now reveal that Somerset were not actually the victims of a crashing defeat, but are indeed the true winners retaining the moral high ground! Now I’ll just have to see if I can still get my £1.66 winnings from bet365 on that basis.
Alas though as I think I may have already mentioned, all will be quiet on the cricket front for a while.

That is until the first Ashes test begins in Australia on November 25th.

J’s Record of the Week
I am sure it has been said somewhere before that two of the most important things in life are cricket and reggae, so as this will be the last cricket report for a while I thought it only right that I should feature a reggae track this time.

‘We need love’ by Johnny Osbourne was released in 1979 on the Truths and
Rights’ album. It boasts Johnny’s fine and soulful vocals and an absolute wow!
Hammond organ solo. A very nostalgic song, the style of which is reminiscent
of an earlier time.  Jerushah x

Thursday, 16 September 2010

My First Blog!

Hello, and a very warm welcome to my first blog post .
The Wall
It has seemed like a long wait, but I am really looking forward to the start of lectures next week for a multitude of reasons.  Of course there is the opportunity to gain new skills and learn in depth, but the main reason on my mind at the moment is a phenomenon I call ‘The Wall.’
All summer I have had this little voice in the back of my head whispering ‘Get on with your literature review !’
I have tried (yes, honestly). I photocopied, downloaded, begged, borrowed - not stole, I promise – as many papers as I could. I dutifully made notes , I cross referenced, I made lists (a favourite displacement activity of mine when I’m avoiding a task), but have I actually started writing it ? No ! I seems as if I’ve hit some sort of invisible wall (similar to those experienced by marathon runners etc. See the film ‘Run! Fat Boy Run!’ for an example). I have been trying to think of a reason for this and today I’ve finally cracked it.
I think it is that absence of structure that most of us experience over the summer. This, coupled with a lack of anyone to talk to and bounce ideas off has only increased the feelings of academic loneliness! Sometimes studying can be very isolating, so even a quick chat with friends or project supervisors can be really motivating. I have realised just how much I am looking forward to seeing my Uni friends (I include my research supervisor in this category) next week, and one day I’ll definitely get around to telling them what an inspiration they are !
I bet (oops ! touchy subject  in cricket at the mo best avoided) that it has escaped most people’s attention, but it is the T40 county final at Lord’s on Saturday. Although I don’t like to admit it, it is with a little bit of regret that I will take my usual spot at the top of the Tavern Stand this week...
We tend to get excited about three teams in my house (in no particular order): Middlesex because I like Stephen Finn (no, it’s not a girlie crush, it’s all about bowling); Essex because my daughter wants to marry Ravi Bopara when she grows up and Kent because we live there.
I was hoping for at least one of our three favourite teams to be featured, but alas that is not the case. Warwickshire beat Yorkshire at Edgbaston the other week, followed by Essex (my last hope
L) receiving a whipping from Somerset to give us a Warwickshire v. Somerset final.
I’ll have to try and drum up some enthusiasm from somewhere – I’ll keep you posted ! Jerushah x