It doesn’t rain in Scotland. Humidity fills completely the air, and then the wind moves it. Therefore, umbrellas and raincoats find themselves completely useless.
This has nothing to do with PhD process, meetings, proposals or readings. But since I reached the office completely soaking I had the weird feeling of sharing my humid walking morning with whoever finds it interesting.
The cheetah’s face, my face.
Believe it or not, this has been the first moment I had to sit down and write anything not related to the thesis, nor to the Persian Classes. Not academic, basically. Because this past eighteen days in my new location have been hectic, from dawn to dusk, and even though not everything has been nice, the final evaluation is far more positive than negative.
I like my new PhD life. I really enjoy working in an atmosphere that is able to teach me things I still don’t know, to guide me in this path of birds, religion and literature that I embarked when I signed my contract and committed myself to the task of writing a thesis. The first chapter to be submitted in February, 10,000 words. I have this message written in my head and there is no day when I don’t remember it. My goal. Alas, my final goal. The feeling of being fulfilling your ‘destiny’ (so relatable with Colin Morgan’s Merlin speech when he gets angry, I just posted that on Facebook) is overwhelming, but also exhausting and can get you on your knees from time to time. Anyway, these are some of the pictures that describe my routine now.
This is my bike. I finally got it! Her name is Vara, also finally. She is the one responsible for my pains and aches at the thighs, but also my most loyal companion here. She carries me almost everywhere. And since I got my fantastic military green raincoat, we now are able to conquer the elements too.
Well, this was already part of my daily life before coming here. Tea. Tea. More tea.
My plant, Boquitas II (my boyfriend named it), is still alive after almost 20 days! I feel so proud of myself!
This is the building I work close too, and certainly, it makes a good view every morning before entering the office.
And this is my office. The desk is temporary, as I will be sitting in Valentina’s once she leaves for Dubai (which I do not agree with, but health goes always first). I like this spot too, you can see the sea from the windows. The worst thing is that it’s on the fourth floor and this is Scotland. I mean, it is a freaking fridge.
The librarians always leave those marvellous messages at the entrance of the Library.
More tea. This one is from the Library’s café. The cup was so beautiful.
And more tea. This one was from the most beautiful café I have seen since I am here, in our trip to Loch Lomon. Yes, I am working my ass out, but I sure save time for a little fun too! The trip was amazing. Maybe I will post something about it.
I joined calligraphy lessons to learn how to draw Nast’aliq/Persian script. Man, wasn’t this difficult. But in the end, I think I mastered the dots. Alefs and baas are a different matter.
As a new researcher, I had to attend an induction seminar in order to gain knowledge about what a PhD really consists on. And this gentleman, this Maths PhD candidate, was simply perfect in his speech. Everything he accounted was extremely relatable, at least for me. And I took a picture of what, in my opinion, is one of the keys to success inside Academia: mental stability. Believe it or not, the chances of getting a mental breakdown increase any minute you spend researching and wondering why the hell did you leave your country to study something as weird as a supernatural bird.
Then you go to a meeting with your second supervisor and everything goes back on track. I love my supervisors.
And this is it, so far! I am leaving now for training since the fencing team session starts in about fifteen minutes and I am going to be late.
“Do you think I sit around doing nothing? I didn’t have the chance to sit around and do nothing since I arrived in Camelot. I’ve been busy running around after Arthur. ‘Do this, Merlin’; ‘Do that, Merlin’. And when I’m not running around after Arthur, I am doing chores for you, and if I’m not doing that, I’m fulfilling my destiny. Do you know how many times I’ve saved Arthur’s life? I’ve lost count. o I get any thanks? No. I’ve fought griffins, witches… ah, bandits. I have been punched, poisoned, pelted with fruit and all the while I had to hide who I really am, because if anyone finds out, Uther will have me executed. Sometimes I feel like I am being pulled in so many directions I don’t know which way to turn!”
Not entirely, but this is how I feel after two weeks of running around St Andrews like crazy.
It has been a while since I sat and wrote something barely logical in this blog, and the reason is that these past ten days have been hectic. Terrific, but hectic. The first thing that I would certainly remember from my PhD is running around like mad, from place to place, always in the nick of time to get punctual from one activity to another.
But I am doing great! I think.
It’s going to be a month of growth, of a million changes, of many different things. I am blessed to be here, and I am blessed to have the ten thousand good things this experience has already provided. I know that. I repeat that to myself almost every night before sleeping.
So tomorrow I will post something summarising what my life has become this far. I promise that.
But for now, a cup of tea and the howling wind against my window.
Unknown author, but I have a cushion that also says that
My beautiful co-worker and friend Valentina left this amazing present for me at my temporary desk the first week I came into the office, and I thought it would be a positive idea to fill our weeks with inspirational quotes.
Each week, a new one!