I quite like having a field to go to

I know I am not doing real field work, but I find it a useful way to explain to people what is occupying my day. Having a place based field/ case study certainly makes my life a lot easier and the experience of those in between times during field work a lot friendlier. I have had a few chance meetings with people I have met through my research, and places are starting to feel familiar. Today I bumped into a member of staff from university, almost literally, when I turned around in a line at a Port Melbourne cafe. It is not someone I know particularly well, but it was one of those moments that reminded me just how interconnected my worlds are.

Being there is not the only thing that matters. Unsurprisingly, emails and phone calls have been a very significant part of getting started on this project (along with websites and Google maps). However, being there has been key to getting to talk with and meet different people. If you send an email it can sit there, and I have just found out that some replies I have been sent to my university email address have bounced. If you meet someone face to face then you have the chance to negotiate right away.

It is often said that you live your PhD, so I feel lucky that starting to live my project has the potential to be rather social and include some fun. So, am I taking the easy way out by having a place based project, or do my early experiences of a place based project demonstrate something of the significance that places still have?


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