Gone digging (well, not exactly)

Just a short note as I am doing my last minute hovering about the house stressing about whether I have packed enough layers, if the cold weather is going to affect our travel plans tomorrow. We aren’t exactly digging on this campaign- soil research, geophysics and field survey are the order of business until April 16th.

The week kind of got taken over by little jobs so I’m also behind on work, but I guess it will give me something to do in the evenings. We’ll be up in the mountains, staying in a village called San Lorenzo Bellizi. This means that I’ll be unlikely to have even limited internet access so I’ll be out of the loop for a week, though I’ll try to tweet by text. If you need me, you’ll have to call.

Be excellent to each other!


#project52 week 12

A late #project52 post

#project52 week11

This should have been posted over the weekend, but I couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and write, and there isn’t a lot to say about last week. I felt blue, didn’t go running, and lost faith in myself a bit. I sort-of predicted that last week… But I’m wondering if there isn’t an element of fear of success in there somewhere.

Anyhow, enough with the navel gazing. Last Tuesday was a fun day. I took two of my student assistants out to the local park to do some testing of a pair of second-hand FM256’s that we bought towards the end of last year. We want to do some surveys in rocky upland environments, so we need something light and maneuverable rather than something designed for speedy coverage. I had so much nostalgia- it’s been ages since I worked with Geoscan instruments and their very particular repertoire of beeps and whistles took me back to so many fun PhD (and before) memories.

We were also visited by no less than 15 species of bird (that we could identify) within an hour or so of arriving. It made all of the snow and cold hands worth it.

Snow, sculptures and getting on with things

No great long-winded post today. It’s been a pretty good week (despite a slightly ‘interesting’ brain-day on Tuesday)- I crossed some big things off my ‘to do’ list/heap/mountain. I’ve had a really  nice weekend as well. This is the year of Yoda, which as previously mentioned involves doing more, saying yes and generally making the most of things. I didn’t have any epic adventures this weekend- I stayed in Groningen. But I did venture to my local independent (and awesome) coffee shop (not THAT kind) for breakfast, tried and loved new coffee, went on a huge photography mission and stomp, Skype with my nearest and dearest and confirm a visit from a wonderful friend. Said coffee shop (Black and Bloom) have a coffee and games afternoon next Sunday, which I am going to be brave and go along to. Fluxx (a card game) is a good ice-breaker, and it’s being run along with my friendly local gaming store (who really fit that description).

I also did two long (30 minutes+) runs without any of my usual wailing and gnashing of teeth, a chunk of work on my PhD papers and still had enough time to hang out online with my beloved for a big chunk of today. What I didn’t do was waste my weekend numbing my brain with T.V. or feeling needlessly anxious! So, this week’s #project52 picture is of a sculpture that is odd but rather lovely that lives on the canal-side on one of my routes into the city centre. Posting him and chatting with Sarah about him needing a scarf is what prompted us to fix the dates for her trip, so he’s here for two reasons: 1) I like him a lot and I keep meaning to post more pictures of the art all over the city and 2) he’s a harbinger of good things 🙂


#project52 Week 10

I’m feeling really good right now- I went running in the snow this morning without a squeak of protest, and the soup I made for dinner is delicious, even if I did grate myself into it a bit. Part of me is wondering how long it will stay this easy to do all the right things, but a more sensible part is kicking it under the table and whispering to me to just enjoy it while it lasts…


This week I have been reminded of my resolution. I’m not going to write a lot today, just explain why the little knight I got in my latest lego splurge actually meant something, enough to be my #project52 for the week.


#project52 week 10 - reminders

I read, a lot. I’m a big fantasy and sci-fi geek, and I particularly love well crafted YA (Young Adult) fantasy, even more so when it has a feminist bent. No, for a million and one reasons, I do not mean Twilight (but that is a rant for a different time and place). Anyway, a particular author-heroine of mine is Tamora Pierce. Cat and Cas and I can talk about her books for hours, even though we’ve all read them so often we know the words by heart. All of her books came with me to Groningen because they’re like old friends: I need them around to see me through homesickness and heartsickness, to keep me company on rainy weekends, and to remind me to better. You see, though many of the heroines of the stories have magical powers, or extraordinary talents, my favourite heroine from these stories is a girl called Kel. Kel isn’t absurdly talented, she has no magical gift, she’s not especially beautiful and she has flaws. But she never ever gives up- she strives in a patriarchal society to become the realm’s second female knight, and she makes it. She gets to where she is with hard work, courage, and a strong sense of right and wrong. She is a heroine entirely on her own merit, and despite being from a fantasy book, this makes her all the more real.

So, when I bought some lego as I left the UK (minifigs- you don’t know what you get until you open the little packet), it seemed exactly right that it should be a little knight, grinning at me. Kel reminds me that you keep going. That the only sure way to fail is not to try in the first place. And that a little hard work is good for everyone.