Tired hamstrings

A street people were talking about that I went to go have a look at

One of the things I love about my project is that I have the freedom to test out ‘hunches’ by going and having both a look and a go.

I am sure it is the survey and interview parts of my methodology that will inform most of what I write up, but the experience I am accumulating will give me the background to evaluate and contextualise the data I gather through more formal means.


Having a go at activities that other people do means that I am doing quite a lot of things that I would not do usually. I am very aware that I have been doing things I would not usually do because I have been getting sore muscles (often where I did not even know I had any muscles). It is difficult to separate out what aches are from activities I am not used to (bending down to pick up rubbish, squatting for an extended period weeding, joining in an exercise group, standing still behind a counter) and which pains are from simply travelling to ‘the field’ (carting around a day’s worth of junk, riding to the other side of the city, never thinking to bring a hat with me).

I do have some family that live in the area I am looking at. This is proving useful as I have been staying the odd night and getting little comforts that come from having a home base, such as a place to stash dry socks for wet days and access to a fridge so I can reduce my muesli bar intake. However, if I moved into the area I would not fill my days doing what many people do across all of Melbourne’s suburbs, leave home in the morning and go to work.

I ride, drive or public transport into ‘the field’ in the morning tired from the commute, and see people walking their dogs or making their way towards the city looking tired because they only just got out of bed. My aches and pains are not part of my body adjusting to the life styles of other people so much as a reminder that I am doing something slightly unusual with my time.

Perhaps in a few weeks my body will adjust to these activities, the weather will get too cold for me to ride my bike and I will get better at only packing my shoulder bag with things I actually do need for the day. In other words, things will start to feel very normal. This will not necessarily be a loss, the other week I realised the council meeting procedures are starting to make sense to me as I now know what is being spoken about when one councillor engages in some meta-communication about the comments made by another. While I have lost the sense of confusion that is probably experienced by most local residents who go to ask a question or speak to an item for the first time, I am starting to form some questions about council processes. The fact that my experiences and interpretations will change with time and familiarity is one of the reasons that I have to set aside time to keep notes, even though I find it difficult to muster the motivation to keep up to date with them.

I doubt I am going to stumble on a perfect way to undertake the ‘having a look and a go’ part of my project, but it is proving to be good for my general fitness, it is interesting and I suspect that it will be important for how I think about the formal data I collect.


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2 Responses to “Tired hamstrings”

  1. Bryonny G-H Says:

    I insist that the caption “A street people were talking about that I went to go have a look at” makes it into the actual thesis!

    • Tracey Says:

      Well, I liked it at the time because it seemed to convey something about how I am using my free time at the moment. However, when I come to write up, I will have to be a bit more thoughtful when it comes to my use of words… and I suppose I should be a bit more thoughtful in this forum too.

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