Slight Return (or ‘The Sign of Four’)

I’ve neglected this blog over the last few months. Not completely my fault you understand, there are reasons for my tardiness; the first being the late stages of pregnancy and subsequent arrival of my now 11 week old. But the main reason is the frustrating situation I found myself in waiting to hear about possible funding sources.

I’m in a funny position. Being a honorary researcher sometimes finding funding is tricky as you’re associated with (in my case) a brilliant institution/department, but in many cases unable to get finances under your own right. This means I’m reliant on selling my research proposals to ‘proper’ academics without seeming like a mercenary and, sometimes, before they are truly formed, in order to secure a institution from which to co-bid from. (put into the mix that I also have a day job that requires me first and foremost to secure grants for other academics, the time I have to formulate ideas in the first place is precious but often in short supply…)

My choice of research doesn’t always help either – in many instances too academic or archaeologically focused for those interested in folklore, myths and stories, but too unusual for the more traditional landscapists.

So I found myself going round and around during the twilight part of last year with a book proposal that was universally liked but “didn’t fit the current list” of a number of publishing houses, a funding opportunity that I’d been approached about several months prior going cold, and requests for information going unanswered.

Combine that with late pregnancy hormones and I’d about had enough….

So, skip forward a couple of months. I’d had a break from academia (which is the joy of the honorary position – it allows a little breathing space) and with Little ‘un at school, and Littlest ‘un asleep I opened my inbox; four emails stood out:

  1. The return of pilot project funding I thought was dead and buried
  2. A possible book commission
  3. An approach for research collaboration
  4. Agreement to work on a large proposal

Four simple correspondences, but to me four signs to keep going and ride the rough with the smooth.

The game as they say is on…