Erm... yeah.... been a while, hasn't it? I never was any good at this blogging thing - I'll try get a bit more regular with it, but don't get your hopes up.
So what have you been up to, I hear you ask? Well...
Firstly, the PhD thing didn't work out. Apparently scholarship funds aren't as easy to come by as I was lead to believe. As a result I was forced to leave Hull once I'd done my MSc thesis (well, that was the plan...) and so I'm now in Southampton, working for the ECS at the University of Southampton. It's probably the best possible outcome, as they're really focused on the kind of things I'm interested in here, although after a somewhat tortuous interview I'm still treading on eggshells in fear of being found out for a fraud (I'm not, but compared to some of the people here I feel like one).
Southampton itself is much like Hull (port town, full of chavs), although I'm sure that if I was to suggest that to anyone here they'd argue otherwise. It's definitely true what they say though: people are friendlier up north, and I've so far found it really hard to break into any kind of social scene, which just makes me miss the good old days of my time in Hull all the more.
In my last post (over a year ago!) I mentioned that home would be soon moving to the French/Spanish border. Well, I was partly right. Turns out it's northern Spain instead, and very nice it is too. I intend to get some nice canvas prints of the view from the house printed up - the mountains are lush with forests and fields, and looking out across the valley is far preferable to staring at the magnolia wall in my flat. Anyway, I can highly recommend a visit to the Galicia region of Spain - and that's not just because I'm duty-bound to do so.
Being in the south again has had the slightly unexpected benefit of being close to my dad again. I was partly dreading being within range of my parents again, after having spent so long in Hull safely out of their reach, but now that he and his family are less than an hour away we've grown closer. It's almost as if my life so far were about me and my mum, and from now on my dad will be able to play a bigger role.
It's great having someone you can go visit whenever you want, and reassuring to know that there's someone not too far away when you are feeling too ill to go to the chemists or have failed in an attempt to put together some flat-pack furniture twice the size of you with inadequate tools. These are perils you don't even consider when you decide to live alone, and are really rather scary when you first realise that, actually, there really is no one around who will care or even know when you do yourself a mischief or are feeling unwell. Having lived in a shared house all my life (either at home or in student houses) this came as a huge shock to the system.
Anyway, that's enough for now. I'm sure I'll post again soon - not sure exactly what about, but I'm sure I'll find something.