Huzzah, have submitted the magnum opus to the Ministry, and am now gainfully employed in one of those fabulous postdoc things. More on the exact nature of that later.

I started composing a list in my head of things NOT to say to PhD students in the final death throes of writing up, but decided that actually, what was necessary was a blanket ban on any conversation that wasn’t (a) offers of help, whether practical, material, or emotional; (b) idle gossip about celebrities; (c) “Have you heard X’s new album? Here, let me give it to you.” That pretty much covered it.

This last week has been strange without the hour-to-hour countdown; at the end of writing-up I got into this interesting rhythm of not even needing a to-do list. Hadn’t looked at iCal since the beginning of February. The immediacy of writing the next paragraph, fiddling with the next table, doing the colour-coding on the next figure–they all slotted into their own timetable without needing me to arrange them.

Now I have all this perceived TIME and I notice I have become enamoured of scheduling and organising. It’s all patently false of course; I have huge amounts to do, but I have the leisure to think in terms of alternatives (which of these things shall I do, rather than which of these things shall I do next?). And, obviously, the leisure to make blog posts.

So, while I was writing up, my friends have been doing exciting things.

Simon @ Auckland has set up Henry, the Human Evolution News RelaY, which gathers all sorts of newsy tidbits from the scientific literature and press. You can contribute stories, too, as long as you pass Simon’s stringent journalistic criteria.

Mhairi @ Bristol and Eshetu @ Addis Ababa have won a 3-year British Academy grant for the UK-Africa Partnership to investigate population change in 21st century Africa, with a focus on Ethiopia.

Laura @ UCL has set up the Ethnographic Database Project, which aims to gather cultural information on Indo-European societies in a systematic and freely-available fashion. This is a pilot for what may be a larger venture, and one close to my academic heart, so if you can contribute, please do!

Later this month is the second European Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference, at which I’ll be presenting and which looks to be great fun.

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