Monthly Archives: January 1970

small print

Will someone please go round and get the people who make the forms you have to submit grant applications on.

You can never fit it all in the boxes. You can imagine it: two inch square box with “Please detail everything you want to do in 3 years’ research in this space. Do not use a font smaller than 12 point”.

Currently reading: Death in Holy Orders by PD James. Not very exciting. Does not present a picture of any church that I recognise.

more grant madness

The most difficult type of grant application is NIH (the US National Insitutes of Health). Everyone panics over their application, even my former boss who had got loads of grants. I’ve been asked to do an application in 3 weeks. The website is impenetrable, I’ve only just managed to find somewhere it tells me what “sections a-d” should be in the main description of my project.

At US universities they have special people who are employed just to format and prepare these applications. Our grants office said “oh yes, that’s the American one, isn’t it? I think one person has applied for one, ask her”.

Currently reading: lots of impenetrable web pages. Haven’t yet finished the PD James because it’s not that exciting. Have however started reading 3 other books (oops).


Thanks Birdie for confirming that I am a normal reader. A friend of mine once related how shocked she was with herself because she was reading Harry Potter (4, I think) and it was too heavy to carry around so she had – can you believe it – started reading another book for train journeys. She told me how promiscuous she felt to be reading two books at once.

off home

I’m off home now, having not got much work done today except to realise the references in my horrendous grant application have all gone on holiday without telling me where they were going – probably buried in some reference file somewhere in the depths of my computer, no doubt.

I’m going to take some baked potatoes and broccoli cheese over to some new parents when I get home (we do this for new parents at our church, so Tubbs can immediately forget about it as it’s much too far), and then go home and cook dinner for a visitor. The visitor won’t read this before arriving but will be very glad to discover that broccoli is not on our menu as a hearty dislike of broccoli was expressed, albeit in a quiet voice.

something to look forward to

Today has seemed like a very long day. I don’t really get a lunch hour on Tuesdays as we have a seminar then and I’ve been struggling with (guess what?) my grant application all afternoon. But I have photography class in the evening, and I’m not as tired as the last time I went. So that’s all fab.

Currently reading: How to Live Alone and Love it , by Marjorie Hillis. Very amusing and insightful – written in the 1930s, positive without being cheesy, kind of like Sex and the City but withouth the sex or the navel-gazing. It was serialised on Radio 4 and I thought it was hilarious so I ordered a copy from a secondhand bookshop in the US. Cost $12 in case you are interested.


Finally finished my grant application. I am pretty sure it has things missing but I will probably cease to care in about 2 hours’ time when I am on a train heading somewhere ELSE that isn’t MY OFFICE for the weekend.

Currently reading: Lots and lots and lots of student essays.


there are four people in the department – me, one of the secretaries, one of the technicians, and one of the PhD students. I have a slight cold. I am trying to write a grant application and the most important thing is, of course, not the content but the formatting.

Current reading:

The Egg and I – Betty Macdonald. A sort of forerunner to The Good Life, the author foolishly marries a man (bad start there) who wants to be a chicken farmer on a remote and rainswept mountain. It’s amusing and interesting – she grew up in a mining boom town in Montana – an unsanitised version of being a child in the Wild West.


my feet hurt. I went for a ramble with the ramblers and it was all on concrete. I had to give up halfway but as someone pointed out, it’s not a Japanese endurance game show.

Don’t bother seeing Minority Report.

I finished The Egg and I which held good to its promise of being very readable, and also finished The Visit (Adrian Plass) which I think I’d read before but in an illustrated edition which was very good, apart from making Jesus look like Richard Branson.


Wood apprently liked Minority report apart from the last bit “blatantly tacked on”. I know this because I got sent his comment but I can’t seem to find where to read the comments on here.

I thought the most interesting idea in the film – the precogs, who seem to be somewhat like idiot or autistic savants (people with general developmental disability but a particular ability in one area, rather like Rainman) was not at all developed. But then I would say that.

I forgot my travelcard today. Not as disastrous as it might have been since I walked to work. I have too many bags though, that is the problem. My mother has just given me three new bags.

Currently reading: On Green Dolphin Street, by Sebastian Faulkes. Very good – better than some of his previous stuff – but it still has the obligatory first-sexual-experience-in-dingy-surroundings-in-wartime scene. Given that Seb himself wasn’t old enough to have such an experience, one wonders why he keeps repeating it – wishful thinking maybe?


Today while cycling to work I got stuck behind a learner driver. I know that sounds silly but I didn’t want to pass them in case they swerved out or something.

I can’t decide whether to work at home this afternoon. Such is my exciting life.