Another thesis question, cheesecake, chocolate rose bush, sad bonfire, boiled egg

Our day off started with the usual frustrating efforts to try and extract information from Nottingham university and/or my theological college. It was a very simple question. When I have had my thesis bound, where do I send it, please?

Librarian at the university was foxed. No idea, she said. Nobody had ever asked her that before. (But you’re the librarian. Theses are supposed to be lodged in your library. Surely … ???)

My college put me through to the academic administrator. No idea, she said, I’ve never been asked this before … and our Director of Research is on sabbatical. Anyway, send it to me and I’ll work it out! ย 

Hub and I went to recover with a cup of coffee and, in my case, a very nice piece of lemon and lime cheesecake. Life was looking up.

After that we went for a walk, then to a rather nice garden centre we know for lunch, where the food is fresh and tasty and the plants good quality. We bought a Hot Chocolate rose. We have a triangular bed in our back garden, and weird things happen to it. No matter WHAT we put in the middle, it always disappears. A sort of horticultural Bermuda Triangle. I suspect the fox.


Somewhere, he has a very nice garden round his earth, full of our plants.

Anyway, as there are several other roses in that bed, and they seem to do OK, I decided to buy just this one, in the hope that it would fill the gap. There are already yellow, bright pink, palest pink and apricot roses and I wanted dark red for contrast. The Hot Chocolate is very unusual – a sort of rusty colour, so hope it does well!

(from Apuldram roses website)

Back home via a brief visit to a retail park (Hub does not like shopping), and then I faced a job I’ve been putting off for months. A first trawl through all my father’s archives made me realise that I had no option but to dump a lot of his stuff – sermon notes going back to the 1950s, for instance. ย I cannot take it all with me when we retire, as we will be seriously downsizing. ย  I decided in the end that I couldn’t bear just to put it all out with the paper recycling, so Hub and I had a bonfire instead and ceremonially burned the personal stuff. That felt a more suitable way of doing something which was heartbreaking, although I don’t really know why.


I thanked Dad aloud for his faithful teaching over 70 years, and feel deeply grateful for all the spiritual nourishment he gave so many people for so long. It was nice doing it with Hub, who also appreciated Dad’s wisdom and ministry.

Last piece to go was Dad’s writing course, which he had started at the age of 84. He was a man of karfin hali, as we used to say in the Hausa language: strong character.

After that we had supper and do you know what, sometimes there is nothing nicer than a boiled egg, with Irish soda bread, and a big cup of tea.

Time to unwind.


17 thoughts on “Another thesis question, cheesecake, chocolate rose bush, sad bonfire, boiled egg

  1. Theses/dissertations are usually lodged in the department within a school of study. PhD’s are somewhat different and might be lodged similarly, but also in a main library, as they are more substantial works. They may even be recorded in The Library Of Congress numerical and archiving system.

    My course book detailed how many copies of my masters piece I should prepare, both soft and hard back, and how many of each were to be lodged in the department. In that way, students from similar courses and future ones can refer not just to the departmental library, but also the dissertations/theses that are marked up as ‘reference only’ works. I cannot say I was aware of such a treasure trove till I was putting together my wise words. I didn’t use the references at all, I was too far away. I believe at the time, I was doing a bit of original cogitating for our course, so, apart from one relevant article in a professional journal, the history of student sweat and tears did not open itself up to me.


    1. My course book has been singularly unhelpful, giving me the outline but not the detail of what I need to know. It has proved quite extraordinarily difficult to find answers to my questions. I thought if I phoned up the librarian, she of all people would know the procedure … :no:

      Anyway, I am making progress, albeit slowly!


      1. Uni librarians are unlikely to know departmental policies. They should know about policies that affect the main libraries that they work in, books they should obtain,rules of borrowing etc.

        It is a case of getting to your head of department, or your tutor, or either of their admin secretaries or the secretariat, whatever exists, (by signed for letter if you have to) and asking them where they would like the dissertations to be sent, if they want them at all. That may also be a question to ask. Of course, not to make an unholy alliance, you could offer them to the department as a gift.

        The poor librarians do get asked all sort of questions that are not part of their remit, even down to the preferred method of bibliography. I got handed a phone one day when I was at the library desk to get a book stamped. It was hardly my remit to educate a student about preferred presentations either!


      2. I finally tracked down my college’s academic administrator. I am to send them to her. She’s not sure what to do with them …. but she will find out!


      3. I posted the theses, and followed up with 2 emails, one to the acad admin and the other to my tutor’s secretary. I asked them both to let me know when the theses arrived – I sent them registered so they should have arrived there by 1pm today. Needless to say, I have not yet had communication.

        I got back from posting them, to find a letter from the uni … telling me, with a week’s notice, what I needed to do to fulfil the final requirements, and where to send the thesis! I forwarded the info. I can’t do any more. I feel I’ve spoonfed them quite enough.


      4. It sounds like a trail of frustration GillyK. At least you have a record of everything, including the registration of posting…more secure than proof of posting in the circumstances.

        What would they have been doing if you had submitted a thesis for PhD?! ๐Ÿ™„


      5. This is precisely the reason I decided not to go ahead and upgrade to a PhD when they asked me to do so. I wrote my upgrade paper – one side of A5 – and sent it in January. By May my tutor still had not made time to read it. That has been the story all the way through. I decided I couldn’t stand it any longer and wanted to be shot of it!


  2. I would have thought the librarian would have known a bit more! crikey who else are you supposed to ask!

    I like the idea of the ceremonial fire,that seems quite the right thing to do.


    1. I think that’s spot on, Indigo – it was a sort of ceremony.

      You have my prayers for tomorrow – that you will be EXTRAORDINARILY cool, calm and collected ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. A day that started with frustration and mystification and ended with resolution. It is very sad when we can no longer things which are precious to us. You have all those happy memories of your father in your heart they will always be there.
    I have a lot of poems and songs my son left, a bonfire sounds a good idea.



    1. I am so sorry about your son, Liz. That must be heartbreaking indeed. The bonfire somehow felt right – sort of a ceremony of letting go some of the past.


  4. Seems that the organization at the universities is very poor indeed. Maybe a personal contact with the head of your studies may have been worthwhile. I made that approach here some years ago when in a similar position. The outcome was very pleasing indeed.


    1. My tutor never knows the answer to these practical questions, Skip – she always asks the head of research – and he’s on a year’s sabbatical! Never mind, I will continue to muddle through ๐Ÿ˜‰


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