Today I am Jospeh Knecht.

I'm really happy!  I'm in a phase of blissful contentment!  You're possibly all quite sick of hearing about my love-up state after two years, but it's hard to be anything but ecstatic when you're with someone who constantly goes over and above your expectations.  Aside from the fact that Gareth and I are still doing long-distance and I can't wait until we finally get to live together, thing between us are wonderful, and continue to get better and better!  Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by it all, but in a good way.  I find that I can;t stop smiling to myself about how happy I am with Gareth, then I realise that passers-by are staring at me in bemusement.....
Summary: I am head-over-heels in love, but not always physically head-over-heels of course.... ahem ;-)

Becoming Dr Wild...
I spend far too much time thinking about the future; thinking about where I'll be in 6 months time, what I'll be doing, and so forth.  At times it becomes almost all-consuming, especially when I should be mulling over my dissertation, rather than my currently irrelevant future.  (Irrelevant because, without a decent degree, half of my aspirations will become twice as hard to achieve.)

I'm toying with the idea of doing an MA/MPhil, not immediately after my degree, but possibly in a year's time.  However, the current state of the economy and possibility of not finding a decent job are contributing to my own pros/cons list of going down the academia route.  And, I don't want to sink further into academia because, while looking out from my comforting nest of books, paper and ideas, the outside world appears somewhat alien and unforgiving.


- Something I enjoy - I love researching and discovering new things.  I could pore over books for hours and it would be awesome!
- *Could* enhance my career prospects - if I wanted to become a lecturer/professional historian.... and I am quite set on working in the publishing industry - editorial or commissioning, either would be cool! Do employers value a masters if it's not directly relevant to the job?
- Could go on to do a Phd ---> I'd become the awesomely titled Dr Wild! <--- Bad. Shouldn't do a PhD for the sake of a title!
- I'm more likely to get to live with Gareth, rather than being miles away in Oxford/London.

- I'd be wasting a year that could otherwise be spent earning money/building up actual work experience --> overall better career prospects
- History masters' rarely obtain funding/scholarships without a First class degree/a particularly important area of interest
- costs money - I've estimated about £8,000-10,000 for a year (fees/rent/basic living costs)
- I'm not sure what the current avg. salary is for history lecturers, but from what I can ascertain, it's standard to live in mild poverty for at least the first decade of your career.

So - what have I learned from this?  My decision centres on money, necessity and love, but mostly money.  That says a lot about me doesn't it!
Possible solution: I could do half and half, work part-time and do a masters part-time.... solving my money and time-efficiency issues.

Just to add to the confusion - I'm vaguely considering a two-year master's course in Nordic Viking and Medieval Culture at Oslo University, Norway.  It's taught in English, I'd get to learn Norwegian, Old Norse and possibly Icelandic.....and there are no tuition fees!

Friends and Aberystwyth:

Another apprehension....I am beginning to realise just how much I'll miss Aberystwyth and the friends I've made here in the last two and a half years.  I'm going to miss the social life, the weekly agenda - Geek Night, Sci-fi Night, Troma....
I already miss living with and hanging out with Ele - I'm not sure how "the evil one" herself feels about this.  Ele could think I'm a nutter and be glad to be a safe distance away for all I know! :-)

I've come to love taking almost daily walks along the seafront or, weather permitting, up to Pen Dinas.  I feel really free and relaxed here, in a way that I never found in my home town, and the more often I visit London, or return to Birmingham, the more I know I'll find a city confining. (The only real advantage to living in a city would be decent public transport - ah, if only there were a national Oystercard system!)

In other news:
I've begun driving lessons, after years of intending to and never getting round to it.  Verdict: Absolutely loving every minute of it! And yes, I do make car noises when driving.  Neeeeowww-n!  And Gareth has been crazy-enough to put me on his insurance....

Well, I've been up writing this for at least the last two hours.  Blogging isn't my usual forte, so I apologise for reporting otherwise boring and repetitive nonsense about my life.  Also, I've run of things to write that aren't otherwise sex and/or books, or my dissertation - yes, I put sex and books in the same sentence.

Oo, dissertation!  My dissertation by the way, is awesome!  I'm studying the conversions of Iceland and Norway to Chistianity in the Medieval period.  I've always been fascinated by religion and by why people chose/were forced even to accept Christianity, particularly the politics behind the rise of western Christendom.  Some of the genuine acts of personal and/or collective piety are really quite astonishing!  (And I'm going to stop now before I get carried away....) :-)

Good Night, Nos Da, Guten Nacht, Buenos Noches....
love and cookies to you all :-)

  • Current Music
    Tori Amos

A good cup of tea.

Well, it's only been 7 months since my last (and first) post here!  There seems to have been a surge of contented/not-so-contented posts from various friends recently, some are pretty regular posters, others not so.  It always makes me smile to read of other people's happiness, and in a selfish way, lucky when I read of unhappiness, but I wanted to share some of my happiness too.

Firstly, since coming to live and study in Aberystwyth, I have felt so much more at ease, than at any other point in my life I remember.  Maybe it's just the "Aber Effect", but I get a wonderful feeling of freedom here.  As you will probably have guessed by now, I'm not much of a blogger, but I do like to scrapbook things - whether literally in a book or on the walls of my room.  I also do most of my thinking/pondering when I'm out walking, so in that respect Aber is perfect for me.  The views are beautiful and I find the surrounding countryside so inspiring, especially at this time of year, when everywhere feels so crisp and at night when all the stars are visible.  I feel very much like I've found home.

Despite living apart from my parents and family and hardly seeing them, I don't think I've ever felt closer to them.  Although, having lived independently - to an extent - for almost 14months now, I don't think I could ever live with my parents again.  Partly because I now live with such freedom, that I don't have to think about them in planning my daily life, but for reasons that may become apparent as I go on.

Friends!  Friends really do help make the world go round!  Well, they make it turn smoother at least.  I've made many friends here in the last year, whether on my course, in halls, or in other ways generally attributed to the "Aber Effect" (there it is again!).  I've made friends that I think and hope will be in my life for many years to come; good friends that make me laugh, who are there for me - and who, I hope, know that I am there for them too! - friends with amazing ideas and aspirations, friends who make me think about the world in a different way.
There you have it, I have truly awesome friends!  Woop! ( An entire paragraph, when I could've just said that.)

I'm loving my degree this year, finally having a proper choice in my modules and in what area to specialise.  I'm daily filled with inspiring ideas for a future career!  (and I'm very aware of just how much I've written so far! so I'll leave it at that, because I know I'm going to get carried away with my next, and final bit.)

I don't think I need to tell people that I am happy with Gareth, I always seem to end up smiling to myself when I think about him - then I realise where I am and that passers by must think I'm slightly odd and reduce my grin to a vaguely smug look.  It has been a year now, and yet it has gone so quickly that it seems more like years.  Having lived together over the summer, I guess we've had the chance to irritate or otherwise experience living together pretty contentedly.  Trying to be as brief as possible here, but Gareth has to be one of the most amazing people I've ever met, he inspires me, he challenges me, he makes me laugh, and most importantly, he makes me happy!
In simple terms, I am in love.

Life is good, it could be better, but I don't see the need to rush things.  As a student I accept that there are certain sacrifices I'll have to make; that things won't always go the way I want; and that I've still got the rest of my life ahead of me.  So for now, I am content with my lot, and the things to come, and I'm glad I've got someone to share my life with.
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    loved loved

Poem of the week.

The trouble with geraniums
is that they're much too red!
The trouble with my toast is that
it's far too full of bread.

The trouble with a diamond
is that it's much too bright.
The same applies to fish and stars
and the electric light.

The trouble with the stars I see
lies in the way they fly.
The trouble with myself is all
self-centred in the eye.

The trouble with my looking-glass
is that is shows me, me:
there's trouble in all sorts of things
where it should never be.

~Mervin Peake
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    content content