12th Oct, 2008

Where have I been?

Right now it probably seems, to those inclined to notice, that I’ve dropped off the map. I haven’t added to my blog for months now, and my e-mail and other contacts with the rest of the world have dwindled. Some people have publicly wondered where I disappeared to.

It's been a beautiful autumn so far in Härnösand

It’s been a beautiful autumn
in Härnösand so far.

The fact is that I’ve disappeared into my thesis project. As regular readers of this column (Bob and Jody, that is) will know, I’ve been making a push to get my doctoral thesis written and defended before summer 2009. This push has become enormous during the past few months. I’ve put myself on a very rigorous schedule—which I’ll describe in a post soon, I promise—that doesn’t leave much time for other activities that take more effort than brushing my teeth. So if I owe you a letter, I apologize, but rest assured that it’s nothing personal. Unless you’re Frank.

Annelie and I made a brief and very busy trip to the US over the summer, and were able to see some, but sadly not all, of our friends and family. If you are one of the people we didn’t see, I’m sorry. If you are one of the people we did see, it was great to see you. Except for Frank.

Since mid-August, we’ve been back in Sweden, where I am hunkered down with my thesis, working like a beaver during a flood. I’m here at home in Härnösand, a town whose mascot is, in fact, a beaver. The official seal of Härnösands kommun shows not a seal, but a beaver, gripping a pike (I do not believe any sexual innuendo was intended). Härnösand is a nice place to become absorbed by one’s work, since not much else happens, so you can work in peace. For the most part.

The official seal of Härnösand.

The official seal of Härnösand

In fact, I’ve been doing as much of my work as possible outdoors, in the unbelievably beautiful natural areas of Härnön, the island where we live. Some people can’t seem to work outdoors, but I generally have no trouble, provided that I remember to bring everything I need. Including a book for when the laptop battery runs out.

Annelie is away in Stockholm, working at her new job, for part of every week. So that means I have even more time to dedicate to my thesis, even if I would rather have her here.

So I’m making the best of this very intense and daunting situation, which I expect to last for several more months. I have to say, I’m actually enjoying the work. I hope I’ll still be able to say that come next spring. We’ll see. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be working outdoors for much longer. We’re already past the midway point of autumn; winter will be here within a month or so. That will be harder.

The coast of Härnön, where I do a lot of my work

The coast of Härnön, where I do a lot of my work

I have also come to realize that being cut off from my friends and family is not necessarily the best thing for my overall well-being. So I’m making an effort to get back to my blog and resume e-mail contact with people. Please feel free to write and test my level of success!

More soon, I promise.

P.S. There is, in fact, no Frank.

Science and nature living in harmony

Science and nature living in harmony

Responses

Glad to read that you’re still around!

Thank goodness for RSS feeds!

Glad to hear things are coming along with the thesis. You can do it! I also haven’t blogged in months and I need to.

Writing a thesis seems a long and difficult task especially to students taking up a masters degree and Phd.

Why should you get to choose how someone else spends their money? Even if you think it is a waste of money, who are you to say that the enjoyment others get is not worth their own hard-earned money? Maybe I think cable TV is a complete rip-off that rots your brain, but I wouldn’t begrudge someone else their entertainment if they feel differently.

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