Today marks one year since I moved to Oxford from my previous university in Leicester. I remember quite vividly driving down with two cars full and moving into the college flats in Summertown. Moving to a new institution and city was exciting and more than a little stressful. I’m glad I made the move for my work, but I also miss Leicester and the many great times I had there as a student. I miss the city in particular in Autumn, because the changing trees and falling leaves remind me of walking to campus through Victoria Park or into the city centre down New Walk.
Here, the trees are slowly turning and while the weather is a bit tropical right now – I’m typing this in shorts and sandals – the new term is tangible. Sunday marks the start of 0th week, with the arrival of new students and undergraduates.
The new school year provides the excuse to buy new stationary, and to reflect on my work in the last 12 months and my aims for the coming year. The DPhil experience has taught me lots about my working practices, my needs and how to manage myself. I’ve obviously also learned plenty about my specific topic and how to make observations on poetry more widely. I’m pleased to say I’m still very enthusiastic about my topic.