PhDs, painting and pirating

Published May 28, 2012 by crazyinpink

I got funding to do a PhD!!!!!!

Okay, first of all, it’s not actually my topic I got funded for. It’s the set topic one I applied for.  I now know I have a secure position for the next three years with a salary and an office on campus. Yes, it would be amazing to research my own topic but it’s not a perfect world so I’ll go with what I’m given.  Saying that, if at some point between now and September I get offered the money to do my own topic, I will be jumping ship!

Secondly, I have inadvertently started my own business, face painting. Random.  The last few years I’ve been coerced into painting the odd child’s face at my church’s summer fete.  This year I got organised and bought a little painting set with a book of designs. The fete went really well and I helped to raise a little bit of money but what was most remarkable was that I was asked to do a birthday party the following weekend.  As a student who just seems to be getting poorer and poorer these days I jumped at the chance and so, I am now a professional face painter.

Which leads me onto my third ‘P’: pirating.

My first ‘gig’ as a face painter was a 7 year old’s birthday party in a seaside town a few miles from where I live.  The weather has been absolutely scorching over here the last week and so I arrived in a cute flowery summer dress with some little flowers painted on my own face (one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do) at this gigantic house with a back garden so big it had its own lake.  I was directed to a picnic table and I set up shop. I had a steady stream of kids and it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon in the sun.  When a lull came in my queue for painting, I noticed for the first time that there was a photographer.  He was darting around the kids as they played and posed on the various bouncy castles, trampoline, swing set, paddling pools (it really was a huge garden).  None of the adults were even speaking to me, the woman who had booked me for the party had left half an hour after it started. When Mr Photographer came over to my table I asked him if he wanted to be a pirate.

An hour later, I packed up my stuff and left the party with Mr Photographer’s number and business card.

I’m still not entirely sure how I pulled that one off. Yeah, he was kind of cute and I did enjoy talking to someone over the age of 8.  At one point, after I helped a little girl up onto the trampoline, we were standing chatting.  He had been booked by the grandad and ran a photography studio in the town. I explained that I was a postgrad student just earning some extra pocket-money. He was very interested that I was booked through my church fete because he’s a Christian too. He then said we would have to keep in touch and he might be able to help me get more gigs at different events he’s doing throughout the summer.

When my friends in church asked me how my first job went and I told them about Mr Photographer, one found it hilarious that I managed to ‘pull’ by asking a guy if he wanted to be a pirate.

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2 comments on “PhDs, painting and pirating

  • Thanks for commenting!

    The topic that I’ll be researching is social history. Specifically public health and poverty in Belfast in the early nineteenth century, so hospitals, workhouses and that kind of thing.

    I’m personally more interested in religious history but there will be a bit of an overlap, I’m hoping to do a chapter on charity and churches.

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