So I guess that this is the occupational hazard with blogs. You set up your shiny new website, enthusiastic about all the witty and insightful anecdotes that you will be sharing with your legions of followers, and then in the first couple of months you write about absolutely anything you can think of (my Christmas eating masterpiece, for example). Then, you get swamped with other stuff to do in order to pay the mortgage, you get out of your swing, and blog writing loses its urgency. Actually - why am I pretentiously writing all of this in the second person. What I am finding particularly annoying at the moment is that there are lots of people with very busy jobs/ lives who still seem to manage to write regularly and engagingly. I've actually been ruminating a bit on the life unexamined. Probably because it's my birthday this week, and I'm feeling old. One of my resolutions is to do more, and procrastinate less - so this page will be a good test of that. The other thing is that I need to get to the gym more regularly. My kids use me as a defacto trampoline. Cute when they were little; painful now that they're both nearly ten.
The big news of the past few weeks is that we've hired a Research Associate for our Making Light Work, the renewable energy project that I'm doing with the British Academy. We're delighted to welcome Susann Stritzke to the team. She started just last week, and is already immersed in it all. I've been to Africa a couple of times since February on fieldwork for Making Light Work; it's a super interesting project, where the challenges are always more nuanced than they seem at first blush. Convinced that there is scope for less orthodox thinking, and I'd love to get some external perspectives on the issues - wonder if anyone reading this has an interest in renewables and development in Africa? If so, give me a shout. Separately, I was in Paris visiting the OECD and World Water Council on a new initiative around financing water infrastructure. I've also been learning how to use NVivo (qualitative coding software) through an excellent course run by Oxford's IT Leaning Centre. Plus it has been a busy teaching term at Catz, where we've taken on everything from drone strikes, the gig economy, social reproduction and peak globalisation. We're very lucky with the students that we get - intellectually curious, and up for the debate. In addition to all that, we're hoping to start a major collaboration with enterprise in coming weeks: just waiting for the legal folk on both sides to get it over the line. More to come on that one.