Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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I have some wonderful news! My supervisor has signed off on the current draft version of my PhD thesis, which means that very soon I will be able to set a date for the defence. My life can start moving forward again! Hooray! And huzzah!

Also, I am more than a week into the Project 333 challenge and have fixed the first 20 items. Here they are. Stand back and admire their glory.
Collage2

Actually, most of these are not the exact items, but I feel they represent them well enough. For example, my lighter coloured jeans have ripped knees and my black hand bag has added studs and spikes. But you get the idea.

  • Two wool sweaters
  • 3 t-shirts
  • One pair wool leggings
  • Two pairs of jeans
  • Two skirts
  • One wool and silk dress
  • One wool blazer
  • One denim waistcoat
  • One wool hat
  • One wool buff (another multi-way, multi-purpose item of clothing)
  • One pair of sunglasses
  • One pair of boots
  • Two bags
  • One ring

I considered the rules about jewelry and have put this ring on the list as a provisional item. I already have several pieces of jewelry that I wear every day (actually, I can’t remove them without special equipment… body piercings being what they are) but none of the rest of my jewelry is the type that I can leave on to sleep in or shower in. I have several pieces that I wear frequently, all of which are sentimental and special as well as amazing, but I decided to pick just one (so far) and wear it every day during this entire challenge. If I do another round after I will pick a different piece to wear every day. If I do manage to wear it every day, then it won’t count as a list item, but it occupies a place on the list for now until I see how good I am at remembering to put it on every day.

Some important things that stand out for me on this list. First, my favourite neutral is grey. I would never wear black at all, except so many very useful things only seem to be available in black. Second, my favourite fabric appears to be wool. Well, natural fibers anyway, because the non-wool items so far are either cotton or linen, but there are at least 4 more wool items that will get added to the list in the near future. I just can’t get on with synthetics, except for specialist sport clothing which I only wear while doing sports or sleeping (ever worn a technical sports t shirt to sleep in? Heaven.). Third, how the heck have so many people managed to create Project 333 lists with no hats?!? I assume they use umbrellas instead and have decided that umbrellas don’t count as accessories, which seems unfair to me. So far I have only used the wool fedora, but I have two other hats that I will probably be adding to the list when weather conditions make them necessary. Plus the buff can become a hat and you better believe I will be wearing it, possibly underneath a second hat, when the weather gets cold. Double hat. I will also be gloving and double gloving, with the gloves to be added to the list very soon.

The running is carrying on fairly well. I ran 7 kilometres on Sunday, and then 4 on Tuesday but will be taking a break for a few days since we have guests in town. My pace is still too slow to meet my sub-1 hour target, and I still need a short break to catch my breath at the turning around point, but I shall keep you posted.

Setforwards and setbacks.

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Well! You will be interested to know that quite a lot has happened. Today, being October 1st, is the first day of my project 333 challenge. I haven’t finalised the whole of my selection, and I plan to allow myself a liberties, but it has definitely started. The first 6 of my 33 are what I am wearing today, as represented (pretty well) in the collage below.

Collage

This includes

  • a reversible, transformable skirt from Zand Amsterdam,
  • a cobalt blue wool jumper from Monsoon,
  • a purple and pink backpack from FUBU,
  • burgundy 14 eyelet boots from Doc Martin,
  • black wool tights from Icebreaker, and
  • sunglasses that I used to have in high school (they are SO 1990’s).

I am particularly happy with the skirt because it is reversible (one side a retro brown and cream pattern, one side a mish-mash of brightly coloured floral vertical panels) so I get two skirts in one. Actually, the waistband is detachable and also reversible (both sides have black and white floral-ish prints) so that I can make four different skirts, as well as wearing both sides of the waistband separately as a belt with other outfits. It also has a detachable pocket that can be clipped onto the waistband (which may or not be attached to the skirt at the time) or can be worn separately as a handbag. Is it cheating to call this one item? Not my problem. I LOVE multi-way, multi-purpose clothes like this. I have several of them and I use them, in their many different guises, regularly. I am calling it one item and anyone who disagrees can shove it.

I have also been keeping up with the running schedule. The persistent cough, which I think was bronchitis, is starting to clear up and I am getting better at managing the timing on when to use the various inhalers to get the best out of them. I am already feeling better after a run than I was expecting at this early stage, and so far no puking. True, my speed is still not up to scratch, and I have to take breaks to stop and catch my breath or to walk for a bit, but this is a process, not a destination.

So those were the setforwards. Now for the setbacks. My PhD supervisors were not confident that they could properly critique the philosophical elements of my thesis, so they called in a philosophy professor from upstairs to read it and give his opinion. That professor said he thought it was all wrong, that I was not using concepts the way philosophers use those concepts, that he didn’t think I was interpreting some of my sources properly, that he didn’t understand what I was doing or why, and that he didn’t like my thesis. Look away now if you are not prepared to read some swearing.

Cockwomble! This cunting ass-hat is worse than a massive sack of dicks! Someone hold my handbag while I prepare to smash his shitstained, fuckmented toss-featured face in!

Fortunately, he is talking utter and complete bollocks. I am definitely not interpreting my sources in an uncommon or bizarre way. I am using the contested philosophical concepts in a way that many other philosophers have used them. What’s more, it seems that he only read 4 of the chapters (the intro, two content chapters and the conclusions) and obviously didn’t read those very well because he told me that I ought to consider doing something that I clearly and obviously did do. He said that he fundamentally disagrees with some of the ideas that I lay out, which has apparently impaired his ability to read, think or engage with my argument. You know, all those things SCIENCE PROFESSORS are normally expected to do. I suspect he just took a dislike to my thesis from the introduction and couldn’t be professional enough to read it at all or to read it without letting his preconceived negative attitude prevent him from understanding it.

The arsebadger.

One of my supervisors said that this is not the disaster that it seems because it would be much worse if he agreed with my fundamental ideas but found lots of inconsistencies and errors that needed correcting. As it stands, we could just ignore most of his criticisms and look for another philosopher that is not so closed to the ideas I suggest. Not insurmountable, but I have not yet had a chance to talk to the other supervisors. We’ll see what they say.

Unless they agree with him, which seems unlikely given the things that he actually said, the biggest problem this will cause is more delay. That means I need to find a way to extend my residency and visa before my current one expires and I have to leave the country.
Le sigh.

Flawed but forgiven

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Hello all! I am sure you will be delighted to hear that I have been working on the double knit scarf as shown in the featured image.

I think it is looking pretty good. There are, however, a couple of flaws, including at least one time that I failed to move both yarns forward (or backward) when I switched from a purl to a knit, and at least four stitches where I apparently had a massive brain fart and just broke the pattern. Ah, well.
I have learnt a few useful things. First, bigger needles is easier, possibly because of the fuzziness of these yarns. I started with smaller needles and just had a devil of a time trying to see which stitches were knit and which were purl. Second, it is important to twist the yarns together immediately after the first stitch of each row. This keeps the two sides from separating. It isn’t so important during the rows that start with both colours in quick succession, but it is important for the rows that start with big patches of solid colour. And third, relax. It is hard to maintain an even tension of you are not relaxed. Remember, this is a hobby, so should be fun, not work or anxiety producing.

One the wardrobe challenge front, I have identified at least 3 more items to pass on the the charity shops. I have also identified at least 3 more items that can go into the off season clothing storage to make more space in my limited wardrobe (and also to make the project 333 challenge easier by virtue of not having to look at loads of items that are not in my 33).

The thesis is making less progress, although there is really nothing I can do about that at the mo’. I have implemented all the feedback and comments that have been given to me and am waiting on the supervisors to make the next move. I do plan on printing out the first two chapters to give to me partner to read. Mostly, I need him to tell me if there are any typos, Americanisms, confusing parts, or illegible graphics. I suspect there will be more than a few. In the meantime, I am searching for and applying to job offers, prepping one chapter from the thesis as a journal article, and continuing to work on the scarf during my RSI breaks.

Onward and upward! Or perhaps, diagonally and widdershins!

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Inspired by comments from a new reader, I have decided to partake in the next Project 333 challenge starting in October. Feel free to join me! I am as nosy as the next person, so I would love to see your photos and hear your experiences.

I expect that this will be challenging in new and different ways than my previous wardrobe challenges, mostly because I had unlimited outerwear and accessories for those. It is also going to be a challenge because it spans 3 months instead of 1, which means that my wardrobe needs to account for the heat and humidity of late summer/early autumn and the biting wind and cold of a north European winter. I also expect to do some fairly unusual things during the next three months, like attend job interviews, defend my thesis, and go for lunch at a three Michelin star restaurant. And finally, this will be a challenge because I don’t really have anywhere to box up and store the clothes that don’t make it into my 33 items. Some can go in the off-season suitcase, but I suppose that more of them will simply get taken to the charity collection box. Which is good, I guess. It will make my next international move easier.

I have some ideas on what will be included so far, but I will be using the rest of September to wear some clothes that I haven’t worn in a while and decide whether they make the cut or not. So far, the signs are not looking good for them.

On an unrelated note, I have applied to some more jobs. Let’s hope I can get an interview out of one of them, because so far the responses have been disappointing, to say the least.