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Moving, madness and maudlin

I've not got much news today. I've been busy looking for somewhere new to live. I went to see a little place (tiny! but about an inch bigger than what I have now) a mile from where I am. The area is fantastic. The rent is high. But there is some serious storage going on - as well as lots of shelves for my ever-expanding book collection - that's what did it really. The extra rent is worth it for extra shelving - especially when I consider I may (hope) be doing a PhD this year. Actually I received a letter from Goldsmith's yesterday to say I had been unsuccessful in securing help with the fees/bursary. I was actually quite nonchalant about it. After not having been put forward for AHRC funding with Manchester (still waiting to here from them re bursary) I was incredibly down for a while as I was dealing with the same situation as I had on my MA - and it makes me angry that postgraduate education is so DIFFICULT to undertake, simply because it always, always, boils down to money. In the end, on the MA, I returned to the University where I had done my BA simply because they offered me a half scholarship, which basically meant they waived half the fees. I still had to work full-time whilst also studying full-time which takes a lot of the pleasure - and energy needed - out of it. Anyway, I'm going to wait and see what Manchester say. I've also applied to undertake a PhD studentship with Royal Holloway which would actually see them paying me a maintenance grant to carry out work on one particular project and a related thesis. It's four years, which is a year longer, but what's a year?
I've also been steeped this week in continuing to research - and trying to write a few hundred words each day during my lunch break - my Mum's book. I bought the old classic, Foucault's Madness and Civilisation. We studied it on one of the BA modules, but didn't go into it in great detail. I'm also aware that I need to be careful about being too biased either way in relation to my Mum's story - it's now going to be a novel anyway as I think I posted on here before - but I don't want to get too sentimental or maudlin about anything - about her loss of freedom during that most liberating of decades, the sixties, or about seeing potential in her that may never have been there to begin with. Talking about madness I had a couple of my own episodes last week where I couldn't see the woods for the trees and where I felt so incredibly angry and bleak - depressed, in short, and anxious. It's hard not to think that there is something inherently wrong in one when those episodes descend, yet, as Pascal wisely said: 'Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness'. I take comfort from it. Sometimes, what we take to be 'madness' - a hazy term at the best of times - is actually just a logical response to the madness and sickness of the entire world we live in.

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-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

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