Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Doctor Susanne's PhD defence

Ann and Keith and I drove down to Sundsvall to Mid Sweden University to attend Susanne Sahlin's PhD thesis defence. A celebration! After a really interesting 2 hours of conversation with the opponent and the grading committee, and the audience - who eventually came up with some questions and reactions - Susanne was declared to be a Doctor of Philosophy!

There were drinks of alcohol-free bubble and there were nibbles. There was conversation and there were hugs. It's a big day for Susanne and her family, colleagues and friends, and we were out in force.Once again I had the feeling that the university phase of my life is over and I have moved on to new entertainments and concerns. But it's nice to see people all the same.

This blip is my version of the 2 hours of opposition and defence, which was actually a respectful and considerate conversation more than anything else. It's the culmination of many years of study and work, so it feels good when the proceedings are humane.Sometimes I see a lot of images in the words, this time not so much. It is what it is. There's a party this evening but I am glad to be home and resting before my own "big day" tomorrow, 8 hours of book-binding!

We delivered Ann to her house, driving through drizzle and dimness and then picked a heap of Aronia berries from her laden bushes. There was an amazing harvest this year, she has taken what she wants and her neighbours have been picking, the birds are eating and still the bushes are laden with berries. They are very tart indeed, I tried one raw and quickly spat it out again. So, one and a half litres of berries are cooking with cinnamon stick till they soften and fall apart, soon to be mixed with vanilla and rum and sugar to turn them into some sort of preserve.

We don't eat a lot of jam really, even though I am a very happy jam maker. This one can be eaten with ice cream, and perhaps will work a bit like cranberry preserve? (in my head at least) Much of what I make is given away. I think we will have a go at making wine from the rest of the beautiful berries, but I'll have to do some research first.

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