I find myself in alien territory of academia. Yesterday I came up to Lancaster University, a modern, self-contained education provider, sandwiched between the main north-south rail line and the M6, but with lovely views on to green hills beyond. There are all sorts of students here - quite different to the ambience of Henley.
This is my first trip to this campus as a PhD student, and I had to go through the same rites of passage of registration, library and ISS logins that everyone does. I also had a meeting with my supervisors, John Burgoyne and Ian Clark. We were joined by a third academic, Ian Densten, so my barely-thought-through ideas were given a real work-out in their mental gym. My brain still aches this morning! But it was also tremendously helpful and although I cannot see with 20/20 vision where I am going, I can see better now where I'm not.
Today I have been attending a get-together of other part-time PhD students in the department. It's very interesting hearing different people's stories and perspectives. Some of the stories are horror stories, but they are told with some relish by those who have them now in their past. How I look forward to telling my own, in hindsight.