Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Juggling Act

Here comes the juggling act, how to leave the kids for three nights and two days to attend the BAAT. Sol had a busy week with lecturing commitments and organising a geology field trip due to leave the day after I returned from Canberra. So it was time to call in the help. The oldies were busy, fair enough they have done they’re time raising kids. Normally they jump at the chance, but being overseas, interstate or teaching kept that option closed. Our gorgeous preschool luckily had a spare spot for Isaac on the Wed. Some other kid was escaping on a holiday I guess. Isaac didn’t mind the extra day as Matilda’s farm was coming for a visit. The boys scored play dates after school and Sol managed to finish early on Tues arvo. Sol juggles very well. Thank goodness for fellow Mummy friends. So all up it was fine. A hire car gave me the freedom to leave late on Mon night. Luckily the travel and accommodation was paid for. We operate with one car at home.

I always hate leaving Sol and the kids. But truthfully the escape lets me return revitalised. Ground-hog day is fine after a break. I snuck a quick look at Floriade before driving home. Such colour! I do wish one day my garden will bloom like that. Last year the preschool had a bulb drive and a few flowers snuck their way up out of the ground.

So on Thurs morning I said good bye to Sol as he left for the Orange geology field trip and settled back into mothering and studying at home.    

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The gorgeous tulips at Floriade 


Matildas’ Farm

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Burnt area assessment team

This time last week I was in Canberra attending a burnt area assessment team (BAAT) training. BAAT is all about assessing risk and potential rehabilitation strategies from fire impacts. The organisers from ACT Parks Convervation and Land and NSW DECCW invited a multi-disciplinary team consisting of experts in biodiversity, built assets, cultural assets, GIS, erosion and flooding.

The whole event was a buzz for me as the PhD topic I spend so much time researching was receiving the attention it really deserves. Great photos were shown of roads washed away and really sad looking turbid water dams cause by erosion post-fire. You may think me strange getting excited over such photos, but each to their own hey. All attendees, apart from me, were government employees. The invite came along as the previous week I had attended a conference in Darwin and ran into old work acquaintances. Life is a bit of who you know, but also what you know.

Media link Bushfire response team to assess habitat damage
ABC Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:25pm AEST


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mount Lofty, fire and water

My studies on erosion post-fire are based in the Mount Lofty Ranges to the east of Adelaide. I’ve focussed on the Mount Bold water reservoir following a wildfire in 2007. My other study sites are within conservation parks, national parks and botanic gardens. Enjoy the photos

A great view of Mount Bold Reservoir

Mount Bold Wildfire
Photo Source: South Australian Country Fire Service Promotions Unit - Photographic Section,


This photo shows in more way than one why I’m on the PhD journey. The actual topic is about protecting our water quality from ending up like the turbid water in the glass. The other reason was the freedom study gave me to spend time with our three kids whilst keeping a foot in the workforce. The boy in the photo is my youngest. He was born 10 months after the PhD commenced. He happily posed for this photo which was used in a conference presentation

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beating self-sabotage

I’m approaching the end of the PhD but really it’s still a long way to go. To finish sounds great! I’m working hard on the self-sabotaging by finding reasons to avoid finishing. Amongst them include the kids, cooking, self-doubt, the chooks, the dog, the garden, playgroup, preschool, school and now a new hobby of blogging. Actually I’m hoping that blogging honesty might just lead me to the latest finish date of Nov 2011.

Latest useful reading
Kearns and Gardiner (2006) Defeating Self-Sabotage: Getting your PhD finished  
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