Dissertation Diaries: Drafts and Deadlines

Hello! I hope everyone’s had a pleasant week and weekend. I spent mine part stressing about upcoming assignments (two on the week we finish semester one? Cheers uni, that’s very kind. NOT.), part getting the assignments actually done and (most importantly) I enjoyed the company of family I hadn’t seen in a while, celebrated my Dad’s birthday and danced the night away to Miles Kane (which was, in part, ruined by someone pouring their drink down me mid-gig!).

I’m hoping from next week (as I’m finished for this part of the year), I can post more on this blog. Maybe something Christmassy, hopefully the follow-up to this. For now, though, here’s my annual Dissertation related update.

As you’ll know, if you’ve been keeping up with my Dissertation Diaries posts (onetwothreefourfive, six, seven), I am now well and truly into it. My proposal has been marked, I’ve met with my advisor and today I completed my 2000 word draft chapter due on Friday.

Very productive, right?

I feel a bit of both about it, which basically means I feel good that I’m getting bits done with my dissertation and I’m feeling productive. It’s just…I’m worried that what I am producing is just, to phrase like a A-level teacher might’ve done, waffle.

Though it felt horrible getting 2000 words done, I’m looking at this positively. In a way, this is a good thing. I’m 2000 words into my dissertation, so only 6000 words need to be done after this (which is still a lot, but it’s less than when I started and 8000 words was such a daunting target), minus tweaks. Plus, getting feedback from my advisor will mean that either I can carry on writing how I am, which is great, or I just need to make changes. Either way, I’ll have a clearer idea of where my argument is going to go.

It’s just a shame that all I want to do at the moment is be cosy and work-free with a Christmas film on…is it acceptable to do just that in January/February onwards?

Asking for a friend (ok…me).

Blogmas Collab with Hannah’s Bookshelf

I’ve done Blogmas (to a degree) before, prior to starting this blog, and I absolutely loved it. Posting every day wasn’t just a good way to motivate me to write, it was also a way to get me (a notorious Grinch/Scrooge type) feeling the Christmas spirit…just a little bit. Unfortunately, due to being up to my eyeballs in uni work and juggling everything else life throws my way, I had to give Blogmas a miss for this year.

Do not despair, though, dear reader! I couldn’t go without doing at least one Christmas related post on my blog (there may be more to come!) so I  present to you a Blogmas collab with the lovely Hannah, of Hannah’s Bookshelf. You’ll see my post over on her blog very soon (once I’ve got over the annoying mountain of uni work) but, for now, over to Hannah.

Hey guys! I’m Hannah, from Hannah’s Bookshelf and my task today is to give you an idea about what books have been released just in time for Christmas!

This time of year is rife with new releases as publishers want to get their books out there in time for the festive, gift-giving season. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year and being a book blogger, as well as a bookseller, so it’s probably not surprising at all that I love to give books as gifts. I always feel that there’s a book for everyone out there, even those who aren’t huge readers. Here are a few that you might like the look of for someone special in your life 😊🎄


Geronimo by David Walliams

The book is a heartwarming tale about a brave little penguin who wants nothing more than to fly. A lovely story with gorgeous illustrations from Tony Ross. A beautiful picture book, perfect for younger readers.

Hannah Collab 1

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

This book is a beautiful story, similar to that of Roald Dahl’s BFG, featuring a ten-year-old orphan, Elsie, and her adventure to find the last woolly mammoth! A heartwarming story to intrigue your little ones and get them excited about reading. Aimed at 9-12-year-olds, this is the latest novel by this bestselling author and has already proved to be a popular seller for the Christmas period – definitely not one to miss!

Hannah Collab 3

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

This book is the newest book in the well-known kids series and a must-read for 9-12-year-old fans. A cold snap hits the school and the playground is transformed into an icy battleground. Full of laughs, this would be a fab, festive present for your little readers!

Hannah Collab 2.jpg


Normal People by Sally Rooney

This book was recently named as Waterstones’ ‘Book of the Year 2018’ and is a heartwarming story of just how important someone can become to you and the path that your life takes. A must read for any romance fans in your life who appreciate the characters with a sense of vulnerability.

Also, perfect for Christmas, there is a Waterstones exclusive edition of this book, beautifully designed with foil detail, a ribbon marker and redesigned endpapers – a truly gorgeous gift! You could always pair this book with Sally Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends for a bigger present.

Hannah Collab 5

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

An absolutely gorgeous book of the stories of thirty separate women, all of whom reaching the realisation that they hold the power within themselves to turn their lives around. A wonderful collection of stories designed to empower readers, perfect for any women in your life who need a little reminder of how fabulous they are.

Hannah Collab 4

Elevation by Stephen King

An expert tale spun by an expert storyteller. The most recent offering of this author and a long-anticipated release. A story about finding common ground with someone who at first you can only see differences with, with a dose or eerieness that King does so well.

Hannah Collab 6


Becoming by Michelle Obama

The memoir of the iconic woman and ex-First Lady of the United States, she discusses her triumphs and disappointments, inspiring others with her stories of an exceptional life. A deeply personal insight into her world, from the South Side of Chicago to the Whitehouse. A wonderful gift for those people in your life who appreciate powerful women and find inspiration in their stories.

Hannah Collab 7

Dynasties by Stephen Moss

This book is a gorgeous companion to the hit TV series, recently broadcast on the BBC. It features a selection of over 200 simply stunning wildlife photographs, detailing the lives of these magnificent animals in a truly captivating way. With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough himself, this book is an absolutely perfect gift for any wildlife lovers in your life and also makes a wonderful coffee table book that guests won’t be able to resist picking up!

Hannah Collab 10

The Hairy Bikers: British Classics by Si King and Dave Myers

This gorgeous hardback cookbook boats over 100 new recipes, focusing on classic recipes to showcase the beauty of real home cooking. Chapters span every kind of food you could wish for, from salads and soups to succulent Sunday roasts and perfect puddings, it’ll give you enough inspiration for months to come!

Hannah Collab 9

Let Her Fly by Ziauddin Yousafzai

An extraordinary memoir from Malala’s father, focusing on his experiences with fatherhood and the fight for equality. A real symbol that feminism comes in many forms. A really personal and interesting look into the life and relationships of the father of one of the most inspiring young women of our generation – a must read!

Hannah Collab 8

What books are you giving for Christmas this year? Do any of these recommendations take your fancy? I’d love to know!

You can check out my Blogmas posts over on my blog, full of Christmassy content! 🎄

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d ever like to discuss these book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

I can’t thank Hannah enough for letting me collab with her. You should definitely give her a follow (if you haven’t already) so you don’t miss out on any of her reviews…and so you get to see my half of our collab (sorry for the shameless self-promo)

Dissertation Diaries: Back to Square One

Hi! I hope you’re all doing well and you had a pleasant week and a lovely weekend. It’s been a pretty decent week, aside from catching a cold and feeling the pressure of uni a lot more than usual. I enjoyed a third date which was lovely (again gin fuelled), plus I spent time with my family and got reading done.

Considering these posts are essentially mini diary entries, I’ll be honest with you. The whole “uni is great and I’m loving every moment of it” bubble I’d grown used to in first and second year has well and truly burst. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do and I’ve loved exploring a subject I’m passionate about, but it’s pretty stressful right now, making sure I’m on top of uni reading, I’ve got some sort of idea for my December and January assignments and I get my dissertation underway.

My plan was to get a significant amount of it done, just so I’m not stressing when I have three modules next semester, but (of course) an obstacle has been presented!

This obstacle came last week, when I finally got my dissertation feedback. The feedback was good, don’t worry. It just got me confused on my direction. I’d picked a subject I thought was straightforward but, on my feedback, I realised there’s so much I could write it’d well surpass the 8,000 words expected!

So this has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works! I won’t need to restart my dissertation by no means, it’s just picking through what I’ve already written and seeing what’s relevant, where I can go with it and what’s best left out. I’m going for a meeting next week with my dissertation advisor, so it’ll be good to talk it through it with someone.

I’ll admit, I got upset with my mark for this proposal. I didn’t think it deserved more, but it was a bit of a defeat to know that I could get (and have got) better marks. Of course, this is only 10% of my overall mark so I’ve got the dissertation to redeem myself…it just panicked me a bit. I’ve thought it all through a lot since and I feel better now, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with my dissertation but I know I’ll get to where I want to be soon.