25 March 2013

Sunshine and procrastination

The last two weeks have been pretty mostly sunshine and I have been doing my best to make the most of it. Which means a lot of time outside, reading books, walking the dog on the beach and doing the garden. Did I mention I was learning to garden? The first big job was cutting back all of the trees that have been massively encroaching upon the lawn here at my sister's house - they have probably not been looked after for 5 years or more. I found some interesting things in amongst them too - a good spade (which I have now managed to lose again), a cricket ball for the dog to destroy, a little rose bush trying to survive under a huge flax bush and a tidy little brick border around the entire garden. The dog tried to help, by dragging away the branches that I  chop down and chewing them into lots of little pieces. But now that that's all done it's time to plant stuff which is more interesting, but not great for my budget because there are so many nice bulbs and flowers to buy. The garden here is going to be amazing next spring, though if all goes well I won't be here to see it, because I will have found a job and move somewhere to start a proper life. For now though I will plant stuff, because gardening is a great excuse to be outside in the sun.

While I'm here in Invercargill I make sure that the dog stays tired and quiet by taking her on long bike rides. There is a track that goes about halfway around the outside of the city, starting near here at my sister's house and ending at the estuary. The dog loves it, she swims about half of it altogether in her effort to chase the birds. She's even started chasing the swans, which surprised me because swans are usually pretty aggressive; I thought they would have chased her away.

With the surprisingly warm Autumn weather the scenery along the cycle track is so nice that I had to stop and take photos, and you know it's surprisingly awkward to bike with a heavy camera around your neck. I probably looked a bit silly too. At least I didn't fall off and break it. And for all that trouble I got a nice picture of the Waihopai river mouth and the big blue sky.

On these walks I also generally end up with a very muddy dog. But at least she's tired and leaves me alone for a few hours. Now all I have to do is start being more productive in those hours, because the real things, as in work, are on a bit of a go-slow. But at least I've got the dog to keep me cheerful so work (or lack thereof) isn't getting me down.

Now it's pretty much Easter so that's cause for a break, right? Making hot cross buns is definitely on my to-do list, and apparently helping prepare food for a hangi. Hopefully there'll be chocolate, and I should probably try to get in touch with all of my overseas mates (who are currently snowed in, but I'm preferring our sunshine). Of course, I should also stop slacking off and get back to work, otherwise it will never finish. So I have a small list of PhD related tasks for this week and then next week it will be back to Colac Bay to get serious about writing again, even though I still haven't had any corrected drafts back from my supervisor. Though I'm loving the hot weather, I'm sort of hoping it will peter out after Easter so that I'm not so distracted by pretty views like this one:

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