Day 1156

The following story is fictional and entirely unrelated to my PhD research…

It’s been 1156 days since I first arrived in the land of phud. I arrived on a ye olde and grande ship with a welcoming committee cheering my arrival. I was welcomed as an equal having just graduated with highest honours. These people in the land of phud all seemed so wise and what lay ahead was mysterious and exciting. I spent the first 300 days looking around my new home, examining the ground stones laid by many before me and finding a spot to build my own wondrous sculpture. I had written up the plans and documented thoroughly my understanding of this place and was granted permission to begin building.

First, I thought, I would build a small scale replica, in order to detect any hidden flaws in my design. This took a lot longer than I expected and another 300 days later I had finished it. It was only then that I started to build my showpiece — my home in the land of phud.

The base and ground stones were a piece of cake, or so I thought. Cracks begun to appear early on, and much effort was put into filling them. But the fixes were quick and dirty, and sooner or later the cracks would come back and threaten the stability of the structure. Once the base was finished it was time for the main event, a wondrous tower upon which I would live. But this was a dream, and reality got in the way. The tower was built of precious stones, each more rare than the last. I ventured far and wide to find these minerals, and upon the discovery of each I was replenished with motivation to find the next. Each element of the tower required careful placement, but the cracks in the base were mischievous and repeatedly threatened the whole structure. The introduction of a new element required adjustment and realigning of base. This scenario repeated over and over (and over) again.

Looking back at my plans I see the tower was supposed to be 50m high. Looking at it now I see it is barely 10m. I’ve been trying to place another element for many months, but the tower is becoming increasingly unstable. I fear that I have no more strength to lift the remaining stones. When I am awake at night I see a bright light shining from out over the water. This light promises a new life. Maybe I’ll pack up my family and set sail again …