The crucial component to any research being successful is fieldwork and gaining access to research participants; which in the academic year 2019-2020 in England became a challenging endeavour, with regards, a) industrial action across the higher education sector, in December 2019 and again in February 2020; b) regional rail network industrial strike action across the year, and c) the pandemic (Coronavirus). This perfect storm restricted and challenged qualitative data collection for a study on 'Teaching Innovation in 21st century UK Higher Education'. Writing from a postgraduate researcher position and perspective who was caught in university halls of residence; this paper reflects a meaningful mental activity and an approach to telling stories. Through my reflections, three themes of experience are significant. 1) Connection and access to participants, Implications of mass media reporting; workloads and screen time. 2) The use of visual method selection is difficult to achieve over a series of digital platforms regarding network failures, functionality, visual descriptions, and feelings of incompetence in understanding the impaired spoken drawing, and 3) the emotional toll on the researcher.
- lived experience