Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The big smoke

Currently I’m in Sydney enjoying the AFAC (Australian fire authority council) conference. I went for a walk early yesterday morning only to be amused by the sights. So many people were walking around in suits. I loved this window display- just image handbags having legs like that. Actually if you could afford handbags like that you should have amazing legs to go with them. Shame the photo is fairly average.  Give me a practical backpack anyday over these simple hand bags. 

Another great sight was this welcoming sign in front of the botanic gardens. I love that they encourage people to walk on the grass. I have so many fond memories of visiting the gardens. I even came home with a stray duck from the gardens many years ago. This duck was so tame it would follow us everywhere in the back yard. Dad had to stick it in the wheelbarrow at one stage to stop it exploring his shorts every time he bent over to garden.  

We glammed it up last night and put on our frocks for a huge dinner party. There are over 1300 conference delegates so you can imagine it's a big night out. Due to my limited purchases of makeup over the past 10 years I snuck into Myers and got my makeup done. What a treat, came away poorer but in the possession of a new lipstick and some cream. 

Tomorrow I present my research. Rather nervous of course. The slides look gorgeous to me. My big concern is how to make 30 slides of erosion interesting for the normal audience whilst still sounding intelligent. I love the slides but maybe not everyone else thinks soil erosion post-fire is a beautiful sight… Tomorrow night I get to see my family again. As lovely as it is to escape the normal daily routine I really do miss my hubby, the little men and Alex the dog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Once again the PhD is so like a developing baby. When my boys were just about to crawl they were so frustrated. Objects were just within reach yet the effort seemed too much and a grizzle was so much easier. As the parent I noticed time and time again just before they reached a milestone they were horrid, then when the milestone was reached peace and harmony was restored. Such milestones included crawling, teething, talking and walking. Well my PhD is so similar. Today I had a win with an equation featuring the letter “e”. Binary logistic regression and probability for those statistically and mathematically inclined. My maths is not really at this level so it’s been a huge milestone to reach with much grumbling and cursing by me. Today I felt alive with happiness at reaching this huge milestone. I ran along the beach at lunch unable to wipe away my smile. My poor family might finally have a dancing happy Mum again. Who would think the letter “e” could bring such delight.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Icing on the finger bun

I'm thinking of writing a book. All this blogging and PhD writing has actually made me enjoy writing. Originally I started blogging to improve my writing skills.  Back in school I found english shocking  until a tutor explained creative writing wasn't about being creative but rather about writing with fluent grammar and correct spelling. Word software has been wonderful at teaching me spelling and hinting that my grammar is all wrong. Luckily there are people called editors!

The book I'm dreaming up is inspired by the school canteen. Today I picked up 25 finger buns for the canteen. Oh so yummy looking with pink icing. Our committee spent a long time discussing where to buy the finger buns and what icing to have due to kids with allergies and intolerances. How could I not choose the title "the icing on the finger bun". I could cover many parenting themes of our generation. Topics such as  food additives, artifical colours, family juggling, time managment, getting ready for school, homework, after school sports, man flu, holidays, sick kids, exercise and the list goes on. One of my characters would be a vegetarian mum whose son only orders meat pies. Feel free to add some ideas for me. Of course I must finish the PhD first. The book would be a hobby when we travel around Oz looking at rocks.  Hmm three boys, hubby, dog and myself in a caravan for six months. Now that might be a more interesting story to write about ; )


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blood giving

Finishing this PhD is squeezing all the life and blood out of me. So what better way to review my latest manuscript than by sitting at the mobile blood bank located at uni and literally let them drain my blood. Last time I gave blood was pre children.  Hmmm that was a while ago.

I laughed when the lady suggested I took it easy on Friday and let some else cook my dinner after I had donated blood. I assured her I would. Little did she know I intended to ride my bike home, review my paper, cook dinner for the family, watch the school concert band, drive an hour to reach a meeting, discuss management stuff, eat dinner, drive home late at night and feel great. Well I did and it did feel great. For ages I've been watching those adds on the buses that show pictures of people that can't give blood. I no longer fit any of those categories, it was time to brave up and release the precious stuff. Feels great to just maybe help someone in need. Every year since having children I've caught the flu and various other winter illnesses. This year I have had nothing, not even a cold. Its great to be healthy. Fingers crossed it lasts. Go on, if you're feeling well go share your blood.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pinch and Punch

Its 1 August and somehow we all forgot pinch and punch for the first of the month until about 8am. My family, including the extended family, have played this game ever since I can remember. When my brothers and I left home we still played using the phone. Text messages and emails complicated the game. We got married and now the spouses play hard. In fact my sister in law does most of the winning. Getting up to babies early in the morning has its advantages. Mums is a close rival. This tradition was continued when we lived interstate. Even overseas holiday desintation have been fair game.

It has been 80 games of pinch and punch since I started this PhD. How many more to go...   

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