In addition to being an academic extraordinaire, I'm also into arts and crafts. A friend saw some of my creations in my room recently and suggested that I should try selling them online. She is even going to help me set up a website.
I have this half-baked fantasy that maybe I could just…phase out the PhD. One day in the semi-distant future, say in five years’ time, when friends come over for dinner to the home I will then be sharing with the Boy – a stylish home, filled with my leopard-print tea-cosies and my handmade porcelain figurines – and then, maybe in between the starter and the main course, one of them will look up from his or her wine glass and ask, wasn’t I doing some kind of a PhD at some point, and how did that go in the end?... And there will be silence around the dinner-table; the other guests will exchange strained glances and pretend they didn’t hear, much as polite guests will when, for example, someone at table has farted. And I will smile and offer everyone some more homemade elderflower champagne, and conversation will burst forth once more. The infortuné will eventually slink off home in embarrassment (or else be removed forcibly by men in white coats) sometime just after dessert.
Maybe, if I give it the right spin in the blurb I write for myself on eBay, it could be like the last three years didn’t even happen. I could write something like this: ‘Cloud Nine is an artist and freelance photographer based in the UK. For the last three years she has been living in London; when she is not painting, she devotes her free time to working with homeless artists [am definitely going to start volunteering with the homeless soon] and lecturing at the University of London.’