No posts for a while, for which I apologise (assuming that you are a big fan who hangs on my every word). Judging from my current level of fatigue I am guessing that the silence is because I have been incredibly busy. And, yes, that would be about right. I have been firmly chained to my desk writing a number of things including a new paper arising from Sam Ware’s thesis and another chapter of the book.
The paper has been a difficult one to write as Sam generated vast amounts of data and I have had to be selective to make it into a coherent story for publication. Normally I can turn a paper around in a few days, but this one took several weeks during which I honed my procrastination skills to a fine edge. My oldest daughter came in to do some work experience (for which I shall honour her by making her an official group member) and so part of my procrastination involved teaching her how to count nephrons and generally supervise her activities. The girl done good and turned out to be a natural pipette-master and so she generated some useful data. Anyway, the paper is now in full first draft and I am just allowing it to settle and mature a bit (like a fine wine). It is an interesting little study showing that maternal age, as well as maternal diet, can have long-term effects on body composition and behaviour in Rattus rattus.
My real achievement has been the completion of chapter 3 of my book (Pregnancy). As with the others it has involved the production of more figures and an update of the evidence. There are some more in depth accounts of the relationship between weight and pregnancy outcomes, more detail on pre-eclampsia and up-to-date evidence on multiple pregnancies, hyperemesis and alcohol. The main implication of laying this chapter to rest is that I only have one left to do. Chapter 1 remains untouched and is a pretty big task as I am planning extensive changes. I do have a slight concern in that I have already written 4000 words than I was contracted for, so will end up about 25000 over. Hopefully it won’t matter too much. Every word is a gem (naturally) and I wouldn’t want to cut anything. If all goes to plan, the writing of the book will be complete by the middle of August and then I can focus on the online supporting materials and twiddly bits like contents pages. I would expect to submit to the publisher well before Christmas. Sadly there are no bonuses for being ready four months early.