Well, that certainly went fast. One day I'm planning on updating the blog, the next it's several months later...Seriously that is exactly how it has felt. I've always said you never know where science will take you, and the last few months have demonstrated that things can be flipped around in the space of not months or weeks, but days.
While I've been sparse on blog posts, I've certainly not been sparse in living. I've seen some major changes in my life - I've moved interstate, taken up a new job and am now finishing my PhD part-time rather than it being all consuming.
I came across the opportunity to move back to near family, and in the world of science this can be rarity. In fact, I was thinking it would be 5 years or so before I could be within 'quick visit' distance of my family. Despite not being completely finished with the thesis, the fact I may soon be out of money was at the forefront of my thoughts and I had been applying for jobs in the hope I landed something sooner rather than later. In many regards when it comes to finishing a PhD you are damned if you are and damned if you don't.
In order to be able to finish your PhD thesis and walk into a job at the right time is really down to luck - luck with timing, luck with funding, and to be able to continue working on exactly what you want is even another level of luck again. However for the majority it's one way or the other - you continue to work on the thesis full time, submit and end up unemployed or you find a good job and finish writeup in your spare time; really it's stress about money or stress about writing up, there's no in-between.
I've managed to find a job in my hometown, and even better it's in something I want to be working on - I count myself amongst the lucky (especially in the current economic climate). And best of all, I'm happy to say I really like the new job.
However, the relocation, the farewells, the establishment of a routine where I'm making actual progress on the thesis - some things (like this blog) were pushed aside while I dealt with the perpetual whirlwind that seemed to consume the last few months.
So with things now settling down, it's time to breathe some life back into this blog....welcome back to paradigm of one in (almost) 7 billion.