So after months of idle and carefree travelling around hamlets, farms and towns of the we decided to head back to the big bad city (well my parents house) a couple of weeks early so I could get on with my thesis. The original plan was to get it done before Christmas but then during travelling I thought that I could intermit and get everything done after the travels. But after a wet September in Scotland I decided I wanted to get home, get warm and get writing!
Well it wasn’t quite that easy to sit down infront of a computer and “get writing”. It’s been about 10 days since we were back and I think I’m now in the position to actual start reading and researching. The bulk of the time has been spent sorting University accounts out, filing paperwork and erm, redesigning this website. Well I wanted to keep track of where my research was heading through the website so others can use the information, so I don’t feel bad at all about spending some time on it.
I’ve also finally got my laptop sync-ed with the desktop using the fabulous dropbox which basically keeps a folder sync-ed between multiple computers and all the files are available on the web too – handy if you aren’t at home and need to read a document. Actually I might make a page of all the tools I’ve used so far (such as google docs, zotero etc) to help keep me organised.
I’ve also started twittering but that’s mainly as I’m fed up with facebook but I did like seeing what everyone was doing. When If I leave facebook It’ll be an easy way to keep in touch with people hopefully.
So the thesis. Well it’s about local food production, mainly looking at the suburbs of cities rather than the inner city or rural areas. My idea is that houses in these areas tend to have larger gardens and some more open space for growing but at the same time people tend to travel more than those in urban areas to shops, school and work. So their environmental footprint may be bigger. I want to do some surveys and mapping (I’m not 100% sure on my primary research at the moment) to see if this is the case and how much food could be produced.
Luckily there are quite a few initiatives around the country looking into localisation (or producing, living and consuming more locally), including of course Transition Towns. There are plenty of books on the subject (thats another idea a book list!) and many government documents which I can comment on once I’ve read them. Also helpfully I’ve got a couple of theses from ex-students at CAT so I can expand/improve on their work hopefully.
So it’s going to be a bit of a stressful battle over the next 12 11 weeks. I’ve at least got a deadline of Christmas Eve, so by then I can be drinking mulled wine and eating a mince pie with the satisfied feeling of having written 15,000 words on something (hopefully) interesting. And in the knowledge that I can head of to Europe and beyond without having to worry about it.
But for now, I’d better get reading….