This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Top tips for women academics who happen to live and work in different cities (in no particular order)

1. Always buy tickets on-line for example here.
2. Grants that pay travel are good.
3. Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate are very very cold stations. Therefore,
4. You need to purchase hat, gloves and scarf in triplicate for when you leave them on the train.
5. But the worse thing is once you have used to living this half life of station coffee, train announcements, ticket barriers and coach B is when it ALL SEEMS NORMAL.
So here are more warnings.


1. You tell outsiders that the number 14 bus from Meadowhall to Rotherham is your favourite bus.
2. Your Ipod has Cat Power's 'The Greatest' overplayed by 74 times each day.
3. You read every single woman's magazine EACH MONTH (even Woman and Home ha) because you like the pictures.
4. You can tell which Midland Mainline trains have electric points for your laptop from a 50 yard distance.
5. You head for coach B by reflex because THAT IS THE EMPTY ONE.
6. You are addicted to the M and S at Sheffield station and can find your way blindfold to your favourite sandwich.
7. You are on first name terms with the lost property lady at Sheffield station.
8. Midland mainline staff know you so well they are forgiving when your web booking is muddled and you are sitting on the Sheffield to London train rather than the London to Sheffield and your ticket goes the other way.
9. Your rucksack is packed and ready for the next trip within 10 minutes of getting home.
10. Your children are unclear as to what your function is, exactly.

However, there are compensations. These are:
1. Your ethnographic distancing is excellent and you can always withdraw from the field.
2. No one knows where you are, exactly, ever.
3. You are invisible to both home and work. You could be, frankly, anywhere...
4. You are very good at adjusting to local conditions. Meadowhall to you is 'local' not global.
5. When people ask you where you live you wave vaguely and quote Clifford Geertz.
6. Appadurai is your bedside reading because you are always SOMEWHERE ELSE.
This could be here:

or here:

These are actually pictures of the THREE CORNERED HOUSE
viewed between Market Harborough and Kettering and one of the best reasons to travel London- Sheffield on a regular basis.


Mary Plain said...

this is great, Kate! My own list of acculturation would include knowing the A46 rather too well and which lane to be in at each road change between Lincoln and Birmingham. Mind you that was v useful driving down in fog this week..
Have a good Christmas- in however many locations feel appropriate!

Kate said...

Happy CHristmas Mary Plain!

Tessa32 said...

what about living and working somewhere and doing a PhD in a completely different COUNTRY. Which I did because my supervisor retired (twice.). So then my new supervisor retired and moved back to the first country (where I started and where I still lived). So, I am doing a part time PhD at Strathclyde, but meeting my supervisor in LONDON tomorrow. love, Fiona