Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Summer research

Summer research is like summer itself.  You think there is all the time in the world. The long light summer days seem to last forever. The air is warm and mellow and filled with the scent of blossom mixed with car fumes.  In the distance, the rumble of a bus and squawking of seagulls. Unhurried days drift past.

This summer has been slightly unusual and strange for me. Usually I attend conferences, give papers.  This year, because of my illness and sick leave, I have stayed away from conferences and concentrated on recovery.  Now that I am feeling stronger, I have been working on the books I am editing, and writing a piece on crime fiction for an edited volume.  I have cherished the space and time for creativity that summer brings.  Inevitably, there have also been frustrating times when I felt stuck and struggled to construct the conceptual framework for the piece I was writing.  The finishing line an elusive blur in the distance. 
Summer seems neverending, until suddenly  - it is over.  Summer slipped away while you were busy looking elsewhere. A chill has set in at night, the dew falls more heavily. The clock is ticking as September approaches. A new academic year beckons.  Time for a reality check.  What have I created, achieved?

Now is the time to finish that piece of writing, to complete the research for forthcoming projects. Several deadlines are coming up this month and next.  Every last bit of summer and research time must be stretched to maximum.  But somehow there is never quite enough time.  Come back, summer.

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