Surprising as a Slinky

Blog post 5:  Surprising as a Slinky

When I was looking for a subject for a research project aged sixty six, I knew I needed it to keep me amused for a long time and had to be based on my areas of interest and expertise. It needed to be as complicated as hopscotch, but simple as a skipping rope. It needed it to be as exciting as the rope swing over the river, but snuggly as a bedtime story. Stretchy as potty putty, surprising as a slinky, bouncy as a ball.  

I homed in on the subject of women, women of my age and women whose families had travelled way from home. I could interview the women I meet when we go to New Zealand and America on our prolonged visits to our children. I pondered that our generation of women has a new story to tell. The particular beliefs, family history and separation are unique. If it is true that there is no one better to tell the story of a group than someone from within it, then I could be that woman.  At the University I was steered towards the department of Ethnology and Folklore and The Elphinstone Institute. I wrote a proposal, sent it, and with guidance from Dr Tom Mackean wrote it again, and again over that summer.

And so it was that in 2019, I began a six-year part-time PhD in Ethnology at Aberdeen University a half an hour drive away. It hadn’t got a title as yet but it was to be on the experience of being a contemporary grandmother and how the subject of family history is being addressed.

Published by marycane

A PhD student at the Elphinstone Institute Aberdeen Scotland. I am studying the experience of being a contemporary grandmother. In particular I am interested in how those grandmothers, whose family live far away, are passing on their family history.

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