My poor fallow blog, my poor neglected readers. I thought I was busy before child number two arrived at the end of winter. But since then, I have been busier, and exhausted with a tiredness that has settled in. (I was going to tell you her name in a previous post, because we still hadn’t chosen it – it’s Sarah, and she’s now six months old, and crawling the length and breadth of the house.) Today is my birthday, and I have a tradition of writing a blog post on my birthday – that and going to a movie, once a regular occurrence, but currently an annual one. I have no wisdom or wit about turning thirty-eight, I’m rather sad about it really. Well, and glad to still be here on Earth in reasonable health.

My PhD thesis is down to correcting typos, checking references and all these sorts of things. Tomorrow, my scholarship runs out – a rather unfortunate milestone – but I will remain enrolled for a while longer. Meanwhile, I have been busy writing an essay on the legacy of Katharine Susannah Prichard as part of the fiftieth anniversary commemoration of her death. It asks this question: ‘What is the Australian literary community to make of Prichard after our eyes have opened to the troubles with her representation of Aboriginal people in Coonardoo?’ I’ve found it the most difficult thing to write in my five years working on Katharine, but last week I finished a draft and I felt proud of it. We’ll see what blind peer-reviewers say, but hopefully it will be published in a certain journal later in the year.

So many things I would have liked to blog about, including Michelle de Krester’s The Life to Come, which I read at the end of December and thought a brilliant novel about writing and life. And I would like to compare A.N. Wilson’s biography of C.S. Lewis to Alister McGrath’s, which I read years earlier. And I would like to reflect on energy and success in life. And that mad professor I had as an undergraduate whose death I learned of. And the small green shoots of a desire to return to writing poetry and short stories, after a long sad letting go of novels. But time. Time permits only this dispatch.