On Tuesday, feeling pretty shattered, I pushed the boat out and blew my day’s budget on a Christmassy Hazelnut Mocha in Costa on Tottenham Court Road. It was to give me the energy to face the articles that had been piling up. I tackled the first one with some trepidation ‘My paradigm or yours? Alternative Development, Post-Development, Reflexive Development’. Frankly it feels like the closest I’ve got to a chat up line in the past few months, so beggars can’t be choosers. (In fact, it’s better than the next paper on my ‘to read’ list: ‘Forced Migration Studies: Could We Agree Just to ‘Date’?’ Bless them for trying.)
The following day, as the nation took to the streets and SOAS got its yurt out in protest at public sector cuts, I woke up with a fever. The next 36 hours were a blur of sweating it out in my bed, alternating between deep sleep and fitful dreams that filled my head with all the things that were stressing me out … my two essay deadlines … the fact that I was missing valuable working time … the imminence of Christmas and my lack of preparation … … the realisation that I haven’t seen my friends for ages and that I’ve become incredibly boring and lost in my own little world.
Today, the sun is shining and I’m up and about again. I feel a bit weak and pathetic and coughy but I’ve made a coffee, cleaned my room, and am setting myself back on course, trying to not be distracted by the beautiful way that the light is weaving its way through my sentimentally-valuable glass paperweight.
I’ve ditched the development essay for now and decided to be gentle on myself. I am easing myself back in gently with some more philosophical contemplations about home, place, mobility and nomads. After a while, I take a little break from ‘On the move’, the book I’m reading, and google its author. I come across his blog, read a few posts, sign up to his newsfeed, and decide that I too would like to be an academic and a poet with time once again to blog and ponder things.
My mind meanders off again and I am inclined to blame it on the lingering fever. I have a feeling, however, that it is merely procrastination. A wandering mind may be a form of mobility to contemplate further when time allows. But it’s not getting my essay written. Back to it…