Today is the day that I finally stopped telling people that I 'might' not finish my PhD, and started telling them that I am withdrawing from my PhD candidature.
I suppose it's a victory for life over books in one sense, since the Noodle's health problems have been the main reason that the PhD is not progressing in an orderly fashion. But on the other hand I've been able to read a lot of books that were firmly off the list while I was a research fiend. However much I love Pierre Bourdieu (and it's a lot) I really do love Diana Wynne Jones that bit more. If only it had occurred to me to write about her, but novice postgraduate students are a bunch of silly sausages when it comes to life changing decisions like thesis topics I've found.
Starting in February my new life is as a public servant in Canberra. I am joining the graduate program at the Attorney-General's department, and am very much looking forward to doing some useful work with some real, live human beings for company.
My university has been very supportive of my taking time off, studying part time and providing crumbs of tutoring work. The reality of the situation, however, is that I need money that comes in regularly, year round, rather than sporadically. I am so going to miss having time to spend with the Noodle, but it is certainly time for the husband/father unit to have a turn.
I have been mourning the passing of Dr Penthe, but she never really existed anyway.