1. Why on earth didn’t I tell my supervisor earlier about the problems I was having with my PhD?
He is a lovely and wise man, and he thinks my work could be great. He may struggle to give practical advice without referring to the great thinkers (today’s life advice came courtesy of St. Ignatius Loyola and Georg Hegel), but that’s part of what makes him lovable. I’m going to get this PhD done, and today was my best day of study since before the summer, but my supervisor thinks I should shelve the idea of finishing by next September…which leads me to my second question:
2. How am I going to tell my mother that I won’t be finished my PhD by September?
How? She doesn’t understand why I “insist on” living in Dublin. And she thinks there’s some awful smutty reason why I like living in Hall. She still talks about “we” when she talks about my finances, even though I haven’t taken any money from them in over a year and I haven’t borrowed anything substantial from them in over two years. And undoubtedly, taking a fourth year for my PhD (which nearly everyone does anyway) would be construed either as a shame on the entire family or a secretive agenda of mine to avoid Cork.
3. Are the yellow patches in the swimming pool urine?
Or is it rust/dirt? Should I swim around it? I know urine is sterile, but it still gives me the yucks. I’ve been swimming every weekday for the last week, and, in spite of all the pee I’ve undoubtedly swallowed, it makes me feel much better. I can’t swim without a float. I haven’t figured out how to breathe and I keep getting in everyone’s way, but it’s my own way of finding a bit of zen in my day and it really does make me feel a lot better. Never let me stop, people. I’ll start lessons again next week and then I’ll really get into the swing of it again.
4. What was I doing lying butt naked, face-up on a table in Temple Bar in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon?
Today was my “patch test”. I got one strip of hair taken from my back, one from my bottom and one from my bollock to check if I’m allergic, before my full back, sack and crack wax tomorrow. I felt especially weird for the testicle part, when the nice man who did the waxing just pushed my bits around without any warning, like a barber pushing your fringe to the side. It was truly bizarre, and felt partly medical and partly spiritual, with a definite feel of insane religious ritual (with me as the animal about to be sacrificed). Incidentally, it doesn’t hurt anything as much as I expected. There is a real sting, but it’s no childbirth.
5. When I strip off for “intimate waxing” should I take off my socks?
For the patch test today, I left my socks on. I took off my shoes, my jeans and underpants and my shirt and then I even took my watch off, and then froze in indecision. The nice waxing man needs to access pretty much my entire body, but not my feet. So I climbed up on the table, wearing only my socks. I felt sleazy as a result. Tomorrow, I’m going to take off my socks and dare to bare it all.