Out of my flat
I’ve finally moved out of my flat in Manchester and am back in Bury for the time being. It’s not much fun as I can’t easily get in for FoE meetings, but on the plus side I have hardly any outgoings and a much more pleasant environment to work on my dissertation—which I am feeling much more confident about now.
I can’t believe how much stuff I’ve accumulated over the last two years—two trips were required to move everything out of my flat. I dread to think how much I’ve spent on books as a result of my MA, although hopefully those will pay for themselves when I get round to writing some books of my own on the subject. I also seem to have amassed huge quantities of paper, despite having switched to paperless billing for most things. Ironically, perhaps the biggest pile of paper in my room consists of Friends of the Earth material and other environmental paperwork. So much for saving the planet…
The problem I now have is deciding where to go next. If I’m going to be in Manchester next year, then I want to make sure that I find somewhere really good which I can hopefully rent for a few years (or perhaps decades if house prices continue to rise) until I’m ready to move onto the housing ladder. On the other hand, if I end up going to Oxford then there’s not much point in lugging all my stuff (or even part of it) back to Manchester for three months—plus there’s the matter of trying to get a place to rent for such a short period of time.
Speaking of the DPhil, the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I’ve already got one referee lined up and will see another (potential) referee on Tuesday, plus I’ve ordered the Alternative Prospectus from OUSU so that will hopefully arrive by the end of the week (thanks to Peg for the suggestion). I’ve got some questions to email to the supervisor and admissions secretary tomorrow as well to find out more details (mainly questions about colleges and accommodation) which will hopefully provide me with a bit more information and keep my name in their minds. I’m going to prod the CS department about the PhD I’ve already applied for as well to see if I can move things along in that area.
As well as my dissertation and DPhil application, I’ve also finally managed to sit down and work on some of my websites. The idea with these is to have five or six sites which bring in a small amount of money and allow me to live a slightly more lavish lifestyle than your average student, so I’m quite pleased to see that the earnings for one of the sites is slowly creeping up. I’ve also managed to write a site from scratch in just a few days and take it to the point where it’s ready for people to use rather than just lying slightly unfinished. I’m not sure exactly where to take Track Domains as I need to add some more features to it over the next few weeks, but I’m hoping that I’ll soon have a service which is useful enough for people to sign up for and perhaps even pay for extra functionality.
Speaking of sites, I’ve also added some more content to my personal portfolio site, so if anyone has any comments on that (particularly on my CV or the academia section, just in case my potential supervisor stumbles across it), please let me know. I’ve never been entirely happy with it but it has got me a number of potential pieces of paid work so I must be doing something right.