11 February 2013

Back to the thesis again

How bad am I, taking off nearly two full weeks to enjoy the sun and then make a costume instead of doing my thesis work! Especially with me having mostly slow days before that...in my defense, the weather was so hot it was hard to do anything other than lie somewhere cool. Strange here in Invercargill, but I'm not complaining - in fact, I would like it to come back please. Because today was rainy and cold and despite already being wet from the rain the dog still wanted to jump in our little city river (she has decided she likes water after all, though she's still not keen on actual swimming). I have learnt that when she really, really wants to chase a duck no amount of whistling or calling will stop her and that the Otepuni (our little river) ends as a muddy creek - a smelly muddy creek. So I had a very wet, dirty, stinky dog keeping me company this afternoon, while I did my best to put in a full day of real work. Which actually went quite well, I think the costume making break helped. Speaking of which, my costume turned out amazingly, though to be honest I'm not overly keen to see the Shakespeare in the Park production this year, it doesn't really seem very interesting or fun. Here is my creation, the fantastic (if I do say so myself) blue dress:

The costume making actually ended up being sort of stressful - we were seriously limited in time and working in a very small, stuffy space, missing out on the gorgeous sunshine and not even able to open up the windows and doors because Mum's cats are still too new to the place. Plus the poor doggie had such a boring week, being tied up outside half the day. Though I think it was good for her, she has gotten so much better at staying and not whining or howling and now doesn't really need to be tied at all, so long as it's not for too long she'll just wait of her own accord. Now this week, while I am trying so hard to put in 8 hours of PhD work a day, I plan to take her interesting places for big long walks so that I have time to think. Apparently there are new walking tracks right on the edge of the city so I must check them out, because while the park is great for a walk, everybody else thinks so too and technically a dog should be on a leash there, so every time we see another dog I have to call her back and put the leash on, and then she pulls because she just wants to greet the other dog and play. There is no dog park here and so many people are uptight about letting their dogs run free - even at the beach! Yesterday I met a woman with her dog and she has just moved her and was disappointed by the poor attitude to dogs playing together here, so it was lucky that we came across each other because both of the dogs got a good long play and hopefully we will do it again. After all, the only other animals my family has are the cats and Cher doesn't really seem to get that cats are not to be chased. Luckily our first obedience class is this week. Except the trainer will probably not be impressed with the fact that I let my dog chase birds - in fact I encourage her, because it tires her out. Although it often also leaves her covered in mud.

Anyway, speaking of cats, yesterday one of Mum's (the psycho one) managed to get out into the sunshine. She kept an eye on him but next thing you knew he just disappeared. She called me and I came to help her look but we couldn't find him. The house next door had a big yard full of long grass and trees - it looked so neglected that I assumed the lot was empty and jumped over the fence to look for the cat. Bad assumption. A dog began barking and came tearing towards me, a big solid thing that looked like a pit-bull. Normally I wouldn't be afraid of a strange dog but I was intruding after all, that dog would have had every right to go for me. So what did I do? I screamed of course, and quickly looked for an easy way to jump back over the fence. As I jumped the dog turned back so I think I would have been safe enough, but you can never be sure. When I was safe on the other side I noticed that I had cut my knee on the tin fence - all thanks to that bloody mental cat. We couldn't find him and there was nothing much to be done so we sat around and waited for him to come back - and he did, eventually. After he'd been out for maybe an hour we heard his bell and went out to find him. He came towards Mum but when he saw me he hissed and ran away (that's often his response to me, he's a real bastard cat). So I had to hide and he finally came to Mum and went inside, then immediately hid under the bed for awhile. That was OK because we had to be going, but as he crept out from under the bed and began to wash all the dirt off of his white fur I saw that is stumpy foot was bleeding (he only has three full feet you see) so perhaps he had a run-in with a tin fence as well.

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