search the thicket!

hello from … somewhere? lost in the weeds, I think. Not entirely sure if I’m where I should be, thesis timeline-wise, having never done this before, but also am certainly not where I started, so perhaps there is hope yet!

I know I definitely wished at the start of the year for a bit more stability after the horrorshow of the last two, but whatever is leading us on this journey clearly intends to take us right through all seven circles. I’m not laughing just yet.

I mean, it was never going to be a cakewalk tackling a project like this while also working and parenting, but give a girl a regular routine and she can write a damn thesis! Unfortunately for me, its May and approximately zero things have gone to plan. Work required a great deal of change and therefore flexibility, I spent many, many hours reading Ulysses in preparation for an intensive that the changes with work meant I couldn’t actually even do, and every day I have felt like I’m putting out fires instead of reading happily by them. I have worked almost every single day on my thesis, in cracks of time both large and small, and still I feel like I cannot possibly be where I should be right now? To be fair, I think it’s because I still haven’t finished reading all the primary texts (they’re huge, for a start, and I have collected my thoughts and quotes in a spreadsheet in batches as I go, and I had to pivot for a time to engaging with secondary sources for an essay I had due last month), so while I’ve done a staggering amount of work, to not have finished reading my primary texts by *May* when I started in *February* sounds like the rookiest of rookie errors.

I certainly haven’t been keeping up here as I’d like, but most posts would honestly just have been: ”can’t talk. reading”, so there’s that. I totally even missed the part where in my first thesis meeting my supervisor strongly encouraged me to change my theme from domesticity in the novels of 19th century Australian women writers to domestic service. Which has actually been pretty cool, and happened early enough and with such clear guidance that it was no trouble to sidestep. I actually really love the idea: I am investigating the representation of women in domestic service from the 1840s when they were mostly convicts and emigrants, through the worker shortage that plagued the toffs throughout the 1850s – 1870s, requiring them to make their own tea and starch their own nightcaps (bless their hearts), and the experience of Aboriginal women conscripted into service, before finishing up just after Federation when the descriptions of housekeepers and female servants in the fiction of the time was less “genteel orphan down on her luck” and more “mysterious, occasionally murderous, woman sowing the seeds of discord from the most intimate rooms of your house”. It’s a VIBE.

Anyway, I’m 100 pages off the last of the behemoths, so I dare say I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Ever yours,

a tiger? in africa?
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Begin at the beginning … and go on till you come to the end: then stop 

no time like the present to start a blog to keep track of my honours thesis adventures. Honestly thought i was done blogging, like done done, like as dead, buried and cremated as tony abbott’s workchoices, but here we are! I can’t be stopped! apologies, &c., &c.

I have spent the morning collating all my primary sources to have a look at before semester starts – FROM MY COUCH, mind you, I can access Catherine Helen Spence’s 1854 Clara Morison *from my couch* to a mobile device in my hand in the year of our lord 2022, i am old enough for this to blow my mind – and writing a list (in pencil, on paper, thank you) of books to collect from the uni library. To which I may go today. who knows. i’m on holidays, the world is my oyster.

in other news, as an elective this year I have chosen a four-week intensive on James Joyce’s Ulysses in late march. Laugh at your leisure. I’m almost halfway through and i adore it so that might help. i hope. right? actually, don’t answer that.

ever yours,

the girl who should be reading, not faffing about on wordpress for chrissake