so i went back to work today after three days off with the flu. i dont like being sick but i do like the way everything slows down when you are, the way nothing seems to matter anymore, even the way people at work who normally want something done now suddenly realise they can, in fact, wait. i have a very supportive work environment, very generous leave provisions, but even so it was weird to go back today. everything felt a little surreal, and the computer screen hurt my eyes.
i have been thinking about work a lot lately. i dont have a normal fulltime academic appointment, and i am starting to wonder if i made the right decision not to pursue that path. i do have a research job, but it is partly administrative and partly research. i still get some of the benefits of an academic appt, like funds for travel and workload considerations for publications etc. i have some very interesting projects come across my desk, and i get to work with people i wouldnt normally. but a lot of the time i am not doing my own work, the work i spent all that time and energy on with my phd. i made that choice partly on purpose – i am most immediately qualified to teach history and i just dont love it anymore. its a very difficult subject to teach at university level, there is very little appreciation for its significance, there is almost no tolerance for theory, and the debate about what constitutes correct australian historiography continues to influence what and how we teach to a disproportionate degree. so i took a job that had the chance of taking my own theoretical work in a different direction. if we get the grant we just submitted, that will happen, and i get little chances to do my own thing every so often, but sometimes i wonder was it worth it? was the phd really worth all that blood, sweat and tears, all the angst, all the pressure and stress it bought to mine, and other peoples lives. just so i can call myself dr? really? is that all? dont get me wrong, im so lucky i have a job, and you never know where these things take you, but today its just left me feeling a little blue.
so i left early to come home and work on something that is actually blue, the featherweight cardigan. but first i thought, i will take some photos and show you how much ive done, because knitting is actually a contest and i need to beat bells. well, not really, but i have done a lot. i tried it on last night and its almost at my waist. so i go outside with the fancy camera and play around with light and exposure, and take some arty shots of it in its william morris bag from the v&a,
and then lay it on the porch and try and keep the puppy off it and then bring the camera to the computer and discover the joys of knitting with malabrigo:
this amount of knitting has taken two skeins of malabrigo lace in ‘paris night’. can you tell where the second skein starts? oh yes you can. i have not noticed this until now, in fact i would have sworn that there was no difference in the skeins (which i bought 4 of altogether, at the same time and from the same place). but now of course its all i see. im going to tell myself it doesnt matter, because its malabrigo and you get that, and no one will notice, and it really is beautiful yarn:
but i felt like maybe i might cry anyway. i put it all away and because its warm i filled up the paddle pool and played with the puppy, who, despite needing a face wash, make its almost impossible to be down for too long:
almost, but not quite. i was about to wind up the third skein and add some more length but im not sure i want to now. maybe i should just go back to bed instead.