2 February 2017

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A temporary reprieve today, from what was apparently Sydney’s hottest month on record. I’m enjoying the cool (which is what 26 degrees celsius feels like at this point…) and the breeze and the rain, before the heat and humidity return in full force just in time for the weekend.

It’s an unsettling, and unsettled, time for me at the moment, for a range of reasons. I’m about to provide my faculty with my ‘notice of intent to submit’ for my PhD. That leaves me with three months more of frantic writing and editing. Three months of attempting to coax and cajole the disparate threads of my research over the last three years, trying to persuade them to coalesce into something resembling cogency. And of course, three months of trying to discern what lies beyond submission.

The temptation at the moment is to retreat from the outside world into my thesis – but of the course the world also lies within it. Writing about quarantine and racial politics and immigration control is not much of a retreat right now. And so my writing often morphs from the intended academic arguments into impassioned missives to politicians.

There is some consolation in small kindnesses though – like the frangipanis gifted by a smiling stranger, who has apparently observed my furrowed brow as I sit hunched over my laptop in a favourite cafe.

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