Monday, March 28, 2016

The writing cave

Bosca edits an early draft.

We’re in a writing cave. You know when you’re coming to the end of a project, an assignment, a Phd, a book, a major project – and you’re just about there, but not quite? That time when you’re living on toast, asking anyone brave enough to inquire about your welfare to proofread something for the umpteenth time, wearing things you really should have culled from your wardrobe in 1982 but who is going to see them???, and growing a beard like Robinson Crusoe? It’s like every study vacation I had rolled into one single, eternal block…

Well, apart from the beard part, we’re there. Apologies if SAT has been a little quiet this week – we’re working hard and devoting just about every waking minute to this project, a textbook of veterinary ethics that we are co-authoring and editing with Dr Siobhan Mullan from Bristol University.

I feel like an ultramarathon runner, except most of this has been done sitting around and I can only make this comparison because I’ve never actually run an ultramarathon. I expect its a lot harder (albeit for a shorter period...)

Phil and Bosca take advantage of sun after the rain. Whenever I look up I see a variation on this scene.

Fortunately we’ve had endless support, particularly from non-human companions who have basically slept through the entire process and punctuated my day asking for meals, walks and grooms. And loads of help from friends and family who have popped over for a “shut up and write session” (this is an hour of power where phones are down, internet – unless you need it to download citations – is strictly off, and you both sit there and just write like crazy – try it if you haven’t), debated ethical scenarios, provided thoughtful counter-examples, sent texts and emails of support and been so kind – thank you!

We're looking forward to a bit of a break after this deadline.
We’ll be returning to normal service next week. Meanwhile you’re welcome to email us about any ethical dilemmas or conflict you’ve experienced, either as a veterinarian, nurse, student, technician, client or in another role. We’re in that headspace.