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19 July 2013

Finally, a weekend

Two and a half days off work after 11 days straight. I was so exhausted that I thought I was coming down with something, because by the end of yesterday my glands had swollen and my head was achey and fuzzy. Fine today though so I guess I just needed a break. Not that it's much of a break, because it's time to get focused on the PhD again. I probably only have a month or two left to get it handed in - I am waiting to hear about when the last lot of fees paid will run out. My day off today was great, but not entirely without stress. I went into the city to sort out some bank stuff and shopping stuff, but driving into the city is a nerve-wracking experience for me, in which I narrowly miss other cars (the streets here a really narrow and windy and confusing) and cause even further damage to my brakes (which started making a bad noise today so I've booked my poor car into a garage to get them fixed). I gave up on town sooner than I intended because it was just too stressful, but after that I went to the opshop by the dump where I found a big pot for soup and a good baking tray, and a pile of other stuff, and they are so nice and helpful there, that it made it all better. I went home and met a potential flatmate, who is my backup but I don't really want because he is far too old - I specified an age bracket in my trademe ad for a reason, that reason being that I really would be more comfortable with people closer to my own age. I don't know how old he was, but seemed to be to be 35+, which is a bit much. So tomorrow somebody else is coming and I have a couple more that are supposed to get back to me - by the end of the weekend I hope to have at least one, even better two, because then both the rooms will be filled and I won't have to worry about money. So after meeting the potential flatmate I called the landlord because my shower sucks, and for various other house problems. Clearly it worked because a few hours later I got a call from a plumber, who is coming tomorrow. Yay. Then I went to visit my neighbour, who I met the other day and is moving in a couple of weeks, and in the process getting rid of a bunch of stuff by giving it to me (because I still need lots of stuff). I bought a washing machine off of trademe you see, and after asking around all week could not manage to find anyone to lend me a vehicle big enough to pick it up with. So my neighbour luckily had the card of a guy with a small business that is pretty much doing odd jobs for people and moving stuff in his truck. Which is perfect, so tomorrow morning he will get my washing machine and bring it here as he does his rounds of moving stuff for people.

So other than that tangent-filled blather, how is everything else going? Well, my job is exhausting but mostly good. For now I am a host, which means I hang around the museum helping people. In some parts (the sciencey parts) I look for people that are looking a bit unsure and I proceed to give details about random animal/natural history stuff. I'm learning about all the art that we have because the art galleries are quite quiet, so I walk around reading, so that I will be prepared if somebody asks me a question. Soon I will begin to be posted in our children's areas aswell, which are where there is a lot more interaction with people. At some point I will be trained to be a tour guide but perhaps not for a couple of months. That's OK though, because for the next two months I have to be thinking about my thesis and not taking on more work. The people I work with are nice but there are about 100 hosts in the team, so in such a large group there are politics and cliques and a fair amount of gossip. I have already noticed that working with some of the hosts is fun and provides opportunity for conversation, while others I would rather not be posted alongside. When I started I wasn't really sure what the job would be like but I've pretty much figured out what I will be able to make of it now. I look forward to becoming a tour guide and to working in the children's areas sometimes, but I think that when the PhD is finally behind me I will focus on introducing myself to the publishing people and seeing where some persistence there will get me. More immediately I will be getting in touch with some of the scientists because I'm hoping that some of them might have some books and journals that I can borrow as I write the last bits of my thesis. And you never know where meeting the science researchers and curators might lead me aswell.

Other than work, and looking for flatmates, and trying to finish furnishing my flat, I have slowly been finding that I have more spare time. The dog is getting used to our new routine. We get up crazy early and go for a walk, then I give her breakfast in a treat-dispensing ball so that she is entertained for awhile. I make my bed up really tight so that she can't get into the sheets (she still pushes the covers off though) and I hide toys and treats for her so that she has something to do while I'm gone. When I get home she is desperate for attention and a walk, but I managed to buy a bike (not a very good bike) so we go careening down the hills, in the dark, without a helmet (I'm working on it but it's hard to shop when you work all day). Then we walk back up the hills because I can't bike up them. Then I flop onto the couch, exhausted, while she rips her toys to pieces and makes a big mess. I have learnt to put away my things because with my being gone all day she has started to chew stuff. She has now destroyed a book, a boot, my hot water bottle and a packet of toilet paper. It could be worse though. I just hope she doesn't figure out how to open the closet. Walking and biking has let us get to know the streets around here, and there is a small village down the road and a bigger suburb in the other direction, with lots of shops. Which is great, I don't have to go into the city. I looked into getting a haircut in one of the nearby places today and being in the suburbs does not make things any cheaper. I guess it will just have to grow long. In fact, a lot of things here are more expensive than down south, and every time I nip into the grocery store I seem to spend way more than I thought I would. Partly because I am still stocking up on the basics, but also I think because everything is just a little dearer.

I have still not got the internet turned on in the flat. I signed up for broadband but it takes 5-10 working days for it to get sorted - how sucky is that? However, I don't have a router for it yet because I bought one of trademe and the person never contacted me back about shipping, so even if the broadband provider was faster I still wouldn't have internet. Hopefully I'll be sorted by next week and then I'll have enough internet to be able to start adding photos to posts. For now, though, I'm using my phone internet and it doesn't go that far so it's time to be going now. Off to bed, another day off tomorrow to continue getting my life sorted. Then more long days of work (poor dog left all alone) and then I'm off to Aus for a few days. Haven't sorted out what to do with the dog yet but hopefully something will work out!

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