Having submitted my 'stuff' for the Board last week, I set to the task of quizzing myself, memorising footnotes, cosying up to Mr Knox to ask his advice... all the while coming down with what has been the filthiest, nastiest cold I've had the misfortune of experiencing. Ack.
And so Friday loomed and I arrived at New College.
Free buffet lunch, as a 'welcome' to the start of play of the academic year, saw me juggling a couple of sarnies, a coffee, danish and a plum. Sat to the side of the room quietly dying. And watched as illustrious supervisor wandered in also looking like death. Brief chat ensued, with me wondering aloud about communicating via the medium of interpretive dance should my voice fail.
Wandered back up to the office - the wonderfully shiny newly refurbished gorgeous office of joyfulness with my fabulously fabby gorgeouso workspace - and continued memorising footnotes.
3pm was approaching.
Armed with my sample chapter, extended proposal, and thesis timetable - possibly one of the best pieces of creative writing I've done in a long while! - off I went.
My brain was utter mush.
Thankfully, the chair of the meeting seemed to talk at length about a particular book I might want to read. Then a couple of fairly light questions.
The fog in my brain began to roll down in earnest, just as the next person on the panel starting asking questions.
Gasping for breath at one point and apologising, amidst the voice beginning to go, supervisor slid throat lozenges across the table silently.
Some minor relief re. voice, but brain was still fogged.
I suspect the examiner could have suggested I include a chapter on Godzilla battling zombie seamonsters and I'd have nodded in agreement.
I burbled incoherently.
Next examiner made a few points but no questions, really.
And that was it.
Out of the room I stepped.
In the midst of the fog, I mused on the less than ideal conditions for this type of thing.
Invited back into room
Smiles all around.
A couple of suggestions.
They seemed to like it.
I think I smiled pathetically, thanked them for their time and asked them if it was okay to go home and die.
Was told to finish writing the thesis first.
So, I will.
But not this weekend. I am going to watch back to back episodes of the classic BBC edition of Pride and Prejudice.
Sorry Mr Knox, it's Mr Darcy time.