Up until about 5pm, yesterday was a really good day. I'd written one lecture; sorted out some seminar notes; read some good stuff for the PhD; delivered a lecture that went down well and had a really interesting seminar with my first years looking at women in 19th century USA.
Then, before I left the lecture hall, I made the mistake of checking my emails only to find I'd been knocked back on not one but two funding applications. I've been planning a trip to the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries which I was looking at making next February. As a self-funded student, with a large mortgage and three kids, external funding is the only way that I can get to the key archives (all in the US) and so far, I've led a charmed life. Two applications in the first months of the PhD both led to travel grants and I even got some funding from a corporate client! Nearly two years down the line, any hope of corporate funding is remote at best, while the foundations in the US have less money and more applications to deal with. If ever there could be a really bad time to hit the peak period of research on a PhD, I seem to have found it!
The last couple of hours have been spent searching for other sources of funding - and there aren't many around that would wish to part with spondoolicks to enable me to chase down connections between Eisenhower and his key advisers on space.
No point getting maudlin though - I'll just keep plugging on.