I am now a doctoral candidate, supported by a scholarship, and I have two absolutely sensational supervisors. My PhD thesis will be on the history and demise of the provincial system of government in New Zealand, a topic about which very little work has been done since W. P. Morrell's politico-legal history of the provinces in the 1930s. I could not have asked this to go any more ideally than it has. In a couple of months, when my mother is in Melbourne and the real estate market doesn't have the early year pressures of students looking for accommodation before the university year begins, I'm going to look for a new place to live. The scholarship means I should be able to afford to get out of my shoebox.
How did BA Honours go? Well, uh ... stunningly well. My thesis got the highest mark in History. I'm still pretty proud of it to be honest. I had harboured a quiet belief it would do decently, but I hadn't expected such a high mark. I think I am still beaming from one of the markers (and, as it happens, the man I consider Australia's leading living historian) describing my writing as "incisive and often eloquent". I'm starting to have some belief in myself that I really can make it as an academic historian. As an aside, my graduation ceremony is hilariously on St Patrick's Day. I ... think we all know what I will be doing afterwards.
Beyond university? Life's been pretty good lately. I turned 23 earlier in January; it was fairly low key but good times were had and food experiments were conducted. Fairy bread and pizza make for a surprisingly effective combination, let me tell you. As for the immediate future, I am off to follow Porcupine Tree to their three Australian concerts on 5, 6, and 7 February with Charlotte from the Superthread. I'm heading up to Brisbane on Tuesday the second, so that I can show Charlotte the sights, then she is staying with me for a week after the Melbourne gig to see some of Victoria, catch A Place To Bury Strangers in concert, and have a bit of a Superthread gathering with the rest of the Victorian contingent. If we can pull the gathering off the way I'd like, it will be the largest one we've had yet.
What else? I'm pretty let down by the summer of cricket. The Australian cricket team is far below its best and would have been given a lesson or two by a number of other countries, but instead they've received subpar opponents, especially Pakistan, who've done sweet fuck-all. The final ODI against Pakistan tonight was, as it happens, the only truly exciting, riveting game of the entire ODI series. Pakistan's loss in the second Test was inexcusable, and just proves my point that any real opposition would have left Australia reeling. I'm looking forward to the rugby and Aussie rules seasons commencing soon enough. My life has also been absorbed by the World Domination part of Stick Tennis, which is hilarious given I didn't even watch even a whole minute of the Australian Open. I only ended up playing Stick Tennis because of Stick Cricket!
That will do for now. Hope you're all keeping well, and I'd love to hear from all of you. I'll be around.