This is a very brief post after an intense few weeks, just to keep myself in check more than anything else, and committed to blogging!
Week one, I headed home to revisit my thesis (and family and friends!), and for once I was grateful for some truly awful weather. One week, with all the associated antics that a trip to the south coast entails, got me 90-95% of the way through my corrections, before I had to head back north to speed-write an application for a Fellowship, for which I had to plan my research for the next five years. Whilst I have no expectation of success, I was surprised by how emotional I felt at the end, and not purely from exhaustion. I underestimated how lucky I am to be working with the people I am and in a place that not just welcomes but actively encourages interdisciplinary research and collaboration. When you have weird and whacky research interests like mine, a sense of academic belonging can be difficult to find, and writing the application made me appreciate how lucky and at home I currently am.
Busy times lie ahead. I’m only a month away from demonstrating Mars in Motion at the European Planetary Science Congress and I still have plenty to do to get it ready and up to date. I also have experiments to design, conference deadlines and discussions around Citizen Science continue from the highest level and I’m looking forward to mentoring to a new cohort of PhD students starting next month, not to mention an exciting opportunity to guest blog for the European geoscience community (you can guess their name!).
Regardless of what happens with the Fellowship, I’m pleased to have had a valid excuse to take the time, whilst I could, to consider where I want my research to lead, to acquaint myself with some new literature, and to simply take stock (and appreciate) my current academic home. I also have ideas now for far more interesting blog posts on Fitt’s List, the ironies of automation and MABA-MABA. Anyone expecting posts on exercise regimes, robots with a sense of humour or tribute bands to a certain Swedish pop band might be disappointed, but I remain committed to my promise of pretty pictures at least. After three weeks spent tugging my mind between 2009 and 2021, it feels good to be back in 2015.