Genevieve Valentine’s PERSONA (Saga, 2015)

So my brain is broken right now, right, on account of me finishing a PhD thesis. For the last several weeks, I have barely been able to make myself read: for the last fortnight, I really haven’t.

Except for PERSONA. I looked at the first few pages of PERSONA and found I could not stop. This is an excellent book. It is, so far, the only book I have been able to read since my brain broke. It is the book that signifies to me my brain might not be permanently broken, and the malaise that afflicts my every thought of reading will pass, because once I started reading it I just kept going.

Good book. Excellent book. Very different to Valentine’s The Girls at the Kingfisher Club but just as easy to read. Recommend highly.

Brain broken. But maybe not forever.

In honour of submitting my PhD thesis

…I got a haircut.

I hadn’t had a haircut for several months. Here is a picture of me from Wednesday, prior to THESIS DONE:



Here is a picture of me from today, after submission and haircut:



It ended up a little more butch than I really meant for – this is what happens when you go into a barbershop and say CUT IT ALL OFF: they take you at your word, unlike most ladies’ hairdressers – but it will grow out fluffy-floppy again within a month, and meanwhile the lightness is delightfully freeing.

A significant chunk of my life has come to… well, not an end, precisely, because ahead there is still viva voce and the report of the internal and external examiners, corrections and – if I’m fortunate – commencements, before I get to call myself Dr. Me.

But definitely a sort of period.

It’s a weird feeling.

Bad practice from Reads Print and Design, Dublin

ETA: The matter was resolved to my satisfaction and I didn’t even have to argue. Good practice in the end.

I write this blog post to document my interactions with Reads Print and Design company, Dublin, in the matter of printing and binding four copies of my thesis.

Yesterday morning I went to the Reads website, filled out the form:

Reads thesis printing order screenshot take 1

Reads thesis printing order screenshot take 2

received the quote shown in the screenshot, E62.34, for the printing and binding of four copies of my thesis.

I entered my payment details and was charged that amount. At 1100hrs Thursday I received an order summary/confirmation number by email. At 1232hrs I received by email a confirmation of when my order would be ready to collect.

At 1234hrs I received a second email, the text of which was:

“Your thesis order went through for only one set of black and white copy.

So the other 3 sets were not paid.

You will have to pay on collection.”

My email requesting clarification received an answer:

“You have payed for the binding, handling fee and 4 copies of the colour pages and one copy of black and white.

The other 3 copies of black and white are not payed for.

Your total should have been €124.26

You payed €62.34”

This morning I returned to the Reads Thesis Printing and Binding order form on the website and discovered that an extra box to fill in has been added overnight.

But I have screenshots. From my screenshots, would you conclude, as a reasonable person, that I was misled as to the price of the service on offer? Would you consider that it might fall under the heading of a misleading commercial practice “likely to cause the average consumer to make a transactional decision that the average consumer would not otherwise make?”

So today I am going to go to the business premises to pick up my order. If they try to charge me more than the quoted sum initially charged – well, I’m almost looking forward to writing a formal letter of complaint (with supporting documentation) to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

I have finished my thesis and the really truly final deadline is still a month off. I have time.