August 2018

(August 1st’s entry is at the end of the July 2018 page)


August 2: As the Czech saying goes, ‘not every day can be a feast day’. This one’s about new dungarees.

August 3: A bleak, fogged, nihilistic sort of day, in the way that days sometimes are.

August 4: Manoeuvring the framework for my research into place – and putting together a plan for this website.


August 5: I didn’t make a note about this one when I made it – I think it was a perpetuation of August 3rd’s bleakness, of wanting to spend the day hiding under the covers.

August 6: Shining a light on my ethnographic framework.

August 7: I’d been reading Ingold’s ‘Textility of Making‘ (2010), in which he talks about Heidegger and the ‘thinginess of things’. Much to think about.


August 8: A lightbulb moment about research methods, involving the use of a body-worn camera to observe my making activity.

August 9: This one’s about the curious paradox whereby preparing for holiday causes a sensation in which anxiety begins to lick like small flames at a person’s ankles.

August 10: Panic-bought goggles at the swimming pool after leaving mine at home. The world’s a better place when seen through a cobalt haze.


Holiday in France:

August 11: Stars piercing the dark sky above Uzès.

August 12: Grids of tiles distorting and rippling on the bottom of the swimming pool.

August 13: The Arena at Nîmes.

August 14: We kayaked down the river Gard, and under the Pont du Gard. So many dragonflies buzzing around.

August 15: Winding roads and hairpin bends on the way to the Cirque de Navacelles.

August 16: The ornamental fig tree by the swimming pool, Carcassonne.

August 17: The medieval city, Carcassonne

August 18: The beach at Leucate.

Of course none of this tells you much about a holiday, but it functions as a sort of snapshot-postcard, which is a statement in itself.


August 19: A necessary conversation with a friend about the need to find balance in all things.

August 20: A trip to the dentist revealed a cavity below the gumline that would require a return visit, a half-hour appointment, and, to quote the dentist, the likelihood of bleeding. I’m terrified of the dentist at the best of times…

August 21: This entry is about the slight nagging fear that I assume is shared by all users of academic libraries, of being squashed between two of the stacks deep in the bowels of the library, only discovered approximately 22 years later when somebody finally goes looking for an obscure periodical. The fear is real.


August 22: A dog walk in the rain on a very unproductive day, salvaged by picking 500g of blackberries in the woods.

August 23: This one’s about the aspect of PhD life that’s about exchanging knowledge and ideas – along with two PhD colleagues I’ve just set up a group called Ethnographic Exchange, to support one another as we embark upon research using this tricky methodology…

August 24: My stepdaughter went to her first Pride, in Manchester. Pride is very visible this year, with a lot of brands aligning themselves – one can’t help but raise a cynical eyebrow at their motivations.


August 25: On realising that August has slid by almost unnoticed and that you haven’t finished (and in some cases started) some of the things you planned to do. As the quote misattributed to Buddha says, the trouble is, you think there’s always time.

August 26: The Ikea instruction figure seemed apt: my husband was busy building Ikea furniture for his son’s room (he claims he enjoys it (!)), whilst I was scratching my head over drafting a pattern for new dungarees from an awesome pair bought earlier in the month.

August 27: This evening we made a chicken tagine and it got me thinking about a great many things – cookery as a form of amateur craft / the benefits of making more effort with meal planning / a need to stem the tide of PhD panic-eating / a dreadful attempt at a run earlier / mostly, though, about cookery as amateur craft


August 28: Some days are better than others.

August 29: Bulldoze your way to a brighter day. Feeling a bit fraught today as I began my first pilot study the next day, and had a big pile of things to do…

August 30: Today’s about how printing ink gets everywhere – this was day one of a two day screen printing course at Leeds Print Workshop, a pilot for my PhD research into amateur craft learning in open access spaces. I went to yoga that evening and discovered a large blob of blue ink still on my arm…


August 31: Today, coming up against brick walls in myriad forms… hiccups in my thinking on my pilot study printmaking course are very useful for my research but frustrating nonetheless. Other walls are less easy to scale.

September 1: A late-night visitor.

September 2: This one’s about how materials (‘stash’) accrue for making – a label on fabric from my mum, purchased pre-decimalisation (1971!) and put aside to wait for the right project…