Monday, 27 August 2012

Sunday, 26 August 2012


sunday morning - a self portrait

this morning i cried and cried. as a release, i think, from such a tough past few months.

yes, life has been wonderful in many, many ways but the process of writing up this thesis has almost broken me and now, as soon as i have had a chance to just stop and relax a bit this weekend, my body has given up.  i thought i was sick but it's just a physical and emotional crash.

but, as a friend erica said,  i did it. an emotional let-down is normal and now i need to re-find normal.

raffaele suggested company and fresh air would be good so sunshine, a ride on my new bike (post on this to follow!) and brunch with friends made me feel much better emotionally at least.

thank you for all the lovely messages of support on instagram. what a wonderful community.

nancy x

Saturday, 25 August 2012

a birth announcement

i forgot to post this announcement that i shared along with the photo of my finished thesis:

after a long & difficult labour, i am delighted to announce the birth of my doctoral thesis, weighing 267 pages & over 75,000 words long. mum & baby doing well!

i posted the news as soon as i had e-mailed it to bristol to have it printed and bound  and it was such a  busy day in the office that there was no chance to celebrate. so messages of congratulations coming in from all over the world via the wonderful web (and text messages too) were a real treat. of course i celebrated properly when i got home that evening (as seen in the photos in my last post) and then i flew back to submit two of these (one per examiner).

 i should point out the champagne was for me not as a bribe!

unfortunately all the (well-meaning) advice about my viva has painfully reminded that i have submitted but it is not finished. i am hoping for the viva to take place in november at the latest and then, once i have made the final round of corrections as requested by the examiners (argh!!), i will be truly done and dusted!

BUT i have time to switch off a little (a lot) in between now and then with a trip to italy in a few weeks and then to corsica in october. oh my goodness, those holidays will feel so well deserved!!

this week has been insanely busy (and stressful) in the office but raffaele and i have also had full and fun evenings all week so today i have finally crashed! cue achey body, tight chest and a headache. i have no other plans today other than sitting on the sofa and catching up with photo and video editing and a bit of blogging. i bought an iPad as a treat for submitting (plus my parents contriubted to it for my birthday) and today is the first chance i've had to properly use it! the summer and the internet really don't mix but today is much, much cooler and cloudy so the sofa, rather than the lake, is definitely the place for me to be.

Saturday, 11 August 2012



i just watched mo farah get his second gold medal. WHAT a race and how inspiring to watch someone give it their ALL to get something they really, really want.

today has been really tough as i am REALLY NEARLY there, i am just so tired of it all at this point! i am planning to finish my thesis tomorrow evening, which will coincide with the closing ceremony of the olympics. feels fitting somehow. i have worked SO hard for this. i have had a lot of the olympics on in the background while making final, final, final changes which has been really nice.

i've never felt patriotic before but the success and determination of british athletes and the whole london atmosphere has been surprising and enjoyable and it is so wonderful that it has inspired so many people, especially a younger generation.

my grandfather, peter west, was a commentator (mainly cricket and rugby) and he commentated at the tokyo olympics in 1964. unfortunately i can't find any BBC images of that on-line but here are some others because my grandpa was also an inspiring man and i know he would be SO proud of me on the eve of my finishing this PhD.

 grandpa is the one on the right

he got me a signed photo of steve cram because i used to compete in long distance running, although i was a better sprinter - see below!! steve cram was commentating for the BBC for the 5,000m race just now so that made me smile. and grandpa encouraged me to write a letter to seb co as well (another nice link to london 2012) and i told him i had asthma, which i knew he had too. he replied with a signed photo as well. ace.

right, on with the final push. GO, GO, GO!!

note: i am only 10 years old in this photo and i can't get over how incredibly muscly my thighs are.

ps - i had a feeling i had already written about grandpa on here. you can read that post here.