Methinks my ambitions in the directions of learning to upload my own POD, and writing a proposal for a PhD are revealing enormous gaps in my knowledge. Things I have never known and things I thought I did know are proving humblingly difficult to grasp.

The PhD problem is mainly that of rationale – why should I write about what I want to write about? How does my idea fit in with the current state of scholarship? What I really want to say is that I’d like to do it because it’s interesting to me, but I do understand that that’s not how it works. For my M.Phil nearly 40 years ago it was more or less like that, and I don’t think I had to write anything so detailed and so – well – convincing!
Hand in hand with this is the fact that I’ve read too much over 65 years (I started young) and am having immense trouble constraining my plans into the required number of words; I keep thinking of other things that would fit into my putative thesis… But they won’t, I’d be working for 20 years and producing a multi-volume work. Even part-time I’d only have 6 years if accepted.

As for trying to learn all the ways to prepare a text for uploading, previously carried out for me by Jan Hawke, it’s being a definite shock to my self-esteem. I like to say I’m good at ‘editing’ but by that I mean reading texts for typos, repetition, etc. This is more like learning a whole new language. At least I’ve found out where the Section Break button is in Windows 10, and remembered from a long way back how to display carriage returns. For my next trick, how to have a different running headline on each chapter…..

Jan, at last I truly appreciate the volume and quality of work you’ve done for me. Thanks abounding!


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