26 Mar


Chapter 5 is done. Well.. the first draft for my supervisor. I also did a new project plan and GANTT chart and I am on course for a first full draft by end May, for both my supervisors to read over the summer. I feel a Viva in October is viable if what I have drafted passes muster. Tomorrow I shall skip back to Chapter 4 and the related dataset, that needs revisiting. I have a meeting with a stats colleague on the 7th that will help review that.

As a mind reset I am watching some Grimm, always good fun. Then off to the Northumberland Hussar!

25 Mar

Chapter 5 holds out, Tom deploys coffee

I worked today on chapter 5 which revealed a degree of complexity in the design and monitoring framework that I had not previously appreciated. In short I’ve had to think a lot more today and it’s been slower going although I have produced plenty of very useful output.

In other news this has been the truly gorgeous day with lots of sunshine most of which I’ve had to ignore.

23 Mar

Chapter 5

The day of chapter 5 is done. Sadly Chapter 5 is not, which makes tomorrow “Son of the Day of Chapter 5”, but that’s ok, it’s a very important chapter and deserving of lots of attention and work.

build the problem tree IMG_1028.jpg

It’s all about building the problem tree, baby!


Is there a problem? is this question the problem?

05 Mar

Sunday jottings

Today I am working on reviewing and finalising Chapter 3. A quick run thru sub-edit and then I need to gird my loins and encapsulate and summarise this monster of a chapter. Once done I can let it go for proof reading and comments from my supervisor. Must say I am very grateful for the support from Ann and Mark, having good people critiquing and checking the grammar is such a useful and supportive process.

I think keeping a daily journal of this process on this blog has value for me, and I shall keep doing so, private or not, since the value is to me in this task. Having said that, messages of support and comments are very welcome, I just may not reply anytime soon. I have disconnected from social media since it seemed to confuse some people.

Then, focus on finishing off the railfreight paper, hand it back to Dewan who has been a great co-author in converting the SPECTRUM deliverables into journal appropriate and ready stuff.

Looking forward to corned beef hash for tea tonight, another reason to be thankful to Ann…


04 Mar

Saturday at the coalface

Got up at 7am, worked on my full 10 page academic CV and then on a paper on railfreight, sorted out an issue on ECTRI SQL database and stopped work at 1500 hours.

Ann made me a great brunch. 

03 Mar

Chapter 3 almost wrestled to the ground

Chapter 3 is Research Framework, Methods and Techniques, and boy it’s a beastie. It’s almost done, 55 pages and almost 16,000 words long. I had already cut away the Research Philosophy and made it Chapter 2, so now I am a little troubled if this beast is overlong, or I have explained too much, or I need to simply cut some stuff out of this thesis. Too early to say, and not a problem I regret having. One last run through tomorrow and then proof reading and onto my supervisor.

a graphical onion

A probablE research design

01 Mar

Much better day

As usual, a good productive day following a day getting my head into the PhD-space. Lots of final stuff on Action Research, and some preliminary work on empirical surveys, Logical Framework Approaches and CANVAS.

A diagram of the probable PhD thesis

Probably the final thesis shape

In other news the two new Virgin V6 boxes arrived and they’re fast and zippy. They don’t do anything that hasn’t been around for a few months, but they do it straight away rather than waiting a week to respond! Playback between boxes also seems smooth which is very cool.


28 Feb

Slow Day

Had to re-read my work, some sub editing, and drew a good Framework graphic, but not many actual words scribed before intellect fled me.

Watched the Team on More 4, ambitious Belgian-Danish-German cop team up show. Seen 2 episodes.

Need to draw a more milestone based project plan for PhD tomorrow and crunch some page count.

26 Feb

February and it’s PhD time

Bloody heck! February is almost over, 1/6th of a way thru 2017 and what have we done? Well.. I have been utterly buried in getting the process of wriiting up my PhD thesis planned and started. Since I am now deep up to my neck in research philosophies, methodologies and techniques, you can be pretty sure I am 1: started and 2: not at the nitty gritty bit. Fortunately the nitty gritty really happened and is well documented by myself and others, so I think by beginning of March I’ll be past the philosophy and into cataloguing actions and outcome which will be good. My self imposed deadline is end May.

I am rising, going straight to my desk, and working until 3-5pm dependent on when my brain or dry eyes give out. Then I am able to read emails, do any minor ICT fiddling, and then retire to the TV to watch zombie slasher SF fantasy action zero thinking TV, or idly daydream about just how great roleplaying will be when this is over. I am not reading novels, but since I can really only do this as a 9-5 job, since it’s a 4 month stretch, other distractions are okay, as long as they are shallow and superficial. Oh, and I don’t go to the University unless absolutely forced to do so, too many monkeys there..

So, the fact that Amy and Mike are expecting their first child and our third grandchild, might derail me a bit. Ann is knitting like a knitting fanatic and turning out lovely jumpers, hats, blankets and the like. I am rather delight she has also knitted me a truly great winter jumper for last Xmas, and is now knitting me a rather lovely spring/autumn blueberry one.

We have had a very mild winter and it continues to be so. I try to ignore the politics, it’d kill brain cells I need for the PhD.