Mille feuille

August 13, 2009

My academic supervisor just suggested my latest theoretical analogy reminded her of mille feuille. Apart from the fact that it makes me really want to eat something sweet and custardy (and I’m highly unlikely to find anything like that around here), I think the idea of envisaging theoretical ideas as food is great.  It means I can combine two of my favourite things – theorising and eating.

Actually that is probably something I do really well already.  My recent research trip to the North Coast and Roatan was characterised both by very interesting interviews and discussions, and by great food – fresh fried fish and tajadas, chorizo, many many baleadas and yummy tropical fruit.  Some of my best research conversations have happened over food, both in restaurants and homes. I’m not sure what it is about sharing food that encourages good discussions (I wonder if anyone has research that yet – now that would be fun research to do!), but it does seem to work that way.   It doesn’t take much of a step from there to start making theory from the mix of food and ideas.

The trip wasn’t all work and eating.  I managed to have a lovely mini-holiday on the beach in Roatan with my family.  While there we were able to stay a little more up-market than we normally would, the political crisis and travel advisories have succeeded in significantly reducing the number of tourists arriving, and hotel prices have been slashed as a result.  Not good for business (and I do feel for the hoteliers) but nice for us.  We swam, watched dolphin shows and lay in the hammock and just relaxed.

Now I am back at my desk with a pile of notes and a voice recorder full of interesting interviews.  But this time I’m not the only one who was at ‘school’ – my little big girl is now a big school girl.  Well, almost, she’s a big pre-k (preschool) girl, and today was her first day.  She loved it.

All round, life is going well.  The research is progressing.  I am enjoying living here, and my family is happy.  All I need now is a slice of mille feuille and all will be perfect.

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