A (Falling Back in) Love Letter

Dear Research,

Teaching term is about to start and I just wanted to write a few words to say how much I’ve enjoyed your company this summer.

Coz if we are honest it’s been a difficult few years for both us. We haven’t really enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve had to deal with rejections. I’ve even cheated on you once or twice; first with my teaching and then with other research interests. And, yes I finally admit it, I’ve even had a mild thing for blogging…sorry!

It wasn’t you, it was me!

Well, actually, no it was you. You’ve simply sat on my bookshelf peering at me. I’ve viewed you with suspicion. You just seemed to collect dust & I hate to say it but I’ve really disliked you. You seemed so unsexy to me & worse still other people didn’t seem that interested in you either. It’s the ‘religion’ in you. You wanted to show people that the settlement movement was religious but it just seemed to turn people off. No-one would come and hear you at conferences when you showed your spiritual side. You seemed to have so much promise but I was embarrassed; fed up with how conservative and boring you appeared to have become. I’ve also been jealous. Everyone seems to have such great, fast and heady relationships with their research. I’ve been left wondering why not us; what’s wrong me?

But I want to apologise. There was always so much more to you and I realise that now. I was too blind to see what you had to offer. I was obsessing about one thing but this summer you reminded me what I loved about my PhD in the first place; the people, the places and the ideas. Pushing me to move beyond London. I’m starting to discover more settlement stories and that’s exciting. It’s also taken others to show me your potential.

Yet, I’ve not been fair on you. You’ve put up with my withdrawal and my mad dyslexia. You’ve always stood by me even when I turned my back on you. This teaching term I promise you I will spend more time with you. I might slip occasionally. My other love, teaching, might sometimes overtake but just remember that I will be thinking of you and that together we will write that door stop; oops sorry book!

Your obedient and loving researcher,


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