So I broke my foot the other day while making tea. Confused? So am I. Here I was living under the impression that tea drinking was an activity that carried only moderate risk. Sure, you could drink it while it was too hot and burn your taste buds, or spill it on yourself and burn some other parts. You could put your milk in before your tea and be socially ostracized. Or you could choke on an unfortunate teabag left in the bottom of the cup. Or consume too many tannins. For the most part, however, the risks are minimal and do not involve the lower extremities of the body. Of course, these risks are all assumed to happen to a normal person, not one who seems to attract danger and mishap such as myself.
I think I'll leave the details as to what exactly happened vague on purpose. Believe me, the truth is always much more mundane than what people work up in their imaginations. So let your imaginations go wild. Tea + ? = broken foot.
I initially thought that the toes were broken, which didn't really concern me as I've broken toes on numerous occasions through my equestrian and karate activities. But some prompting from my mother caused me to seek out the GP, who took an X-ray and revealed that yes, I have broken my third toe on my left foot, but have also broken the intermediate cuneiform (props to me for not having to look that up when he said it was broken). Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done for it save some splinting and resting of the foot. Sure doctor. I'll rest it. I'll try my best anyway. I make no promises.
In other news, I've decided my dissertation topic. Possibly only of interest to myself, the exact topic is too extensive to detail in this post. Sadly, I have had to, at long last, move away from the topic of 'plague'. I tried to find some way to work it in to IR (an examination of the international implications of global epidemics beginning with plague and continuing to contemporary malaria, HIV/AIDs perhaps?) but eventually realized that this is a new period of my life and so I must separate myself from plague. While I imagine that I will always go a bit fluttery when I hear the names 'Cohn' and 'Herlihy', I realize that this is part of being an adult - giving up things you love. (Although my fondness for plague is not quite so strong as to be described as love...). Still, at least I know that if this whole 'international relations' thing fails to work out, I can always return to history and become a plague historian. That would suit me just fine.
My dissertation topic is extremely topical and deals with aspects of current maritime counter-terrorism policies and international law as applied to Somalia/Horn of Africa region. I figured that since I've already published an article about the consequences of Somalia's status as a collapsed state (although I really do need to update it with a more in-depth look at whether such evaluations actually serve to perpetuate this condition), it would not be too much of a stretch to move into its current activities on the sea. (For those who do not read the BBC, the Somali pirates were awarded something like $12.3 million in ransom for two ships today. This is the highest amount paid to the pirates to date -- and isn't exactly going to be helpful in convincing the Somalis that piracy is not a lucrative endeavor.)