Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It Done Snowed II

OK, so further to our previous tantalising post: BEHOLD THE SNOW. This would be from last Thursday. Shut up, I never said we'd update frequently! Take a careful look at the picture of Grant. He lost that beanie (lovingly knitted BY HIS WIFE) half an hour later.

It was especially wonderful snow actually - still coming down at 10am, all clothes soaked, sizeable snowperson-facilitating snow (my snowperson was lame because my hands got cold).
Much better than the previous January snow which, while nice, had stopped by the time we got up. When I went to copyright class in the afternoon, my lecturer, who is an Australian expat decades removed from the motherland, said to me in excitement: "Isn't it wonderful?"

After I dropped Grant off at the station at about 7.30am I went for a hike through Holland Park, which is the foresty snowy pictures, esp the maze, the terribly cold fishies in the Kyoto Garden and My Lord Holland You Are Sitting Very Still.

Freakishly, the tube was only running about 20 mins late when I caught it in to class in the morning despite the snow. Considering that it routinely does way worse in bright sunny weather, I was pleasantly surprised! It still would have been faster to ride in, but I get scared of unusual weather conditions, viz. when I rode home after hail in Sydney and tried to access my inner European for racial memories on what to do when hitting an ice drift at speed. I did ride in the next day, and got absolutely drenched in a sleety downpour (fellow student, English: "You don't have to ride in EVERY day, you know"), and then afterwards had to spend half an hour cleaning the grit out of the bike that had been scattered in the snow the day before. Apparently gritty abrasive salt+dirt+water = bad for bikes. Or so I am told. I have my suspicions that it is a beat-up though to make me clean my poor old bike.

Grant actually had to come home early on the snow day with a cold and was off sick the next day too (damn contracting damn no sick leave). However, he's much better now, with the exception of in the wee small hours when he tends to start hacking up a lung just to piss me off. We have new cough syrup - honey and lemon flavour. On inspection, ingredients = honey and lemon. Not entirely sure why this product exists.

Anyway, Grant's bug did mean we didn't get up to too much hiking at the weekend, which coupled with the fact I rode into school 2 days last week meant that my walking total was CRAP - a measly 58000 steps. Did however do 40km on the bike. Not very flash, but given it is the dead of winter I am pretty chuffed. I have to wear a jumper while I ride and everything. AND windproof gloves, cf Wednesday when I didn't wear them and couldn't feel my fingers for quite some time thereafter.

We did meet a friend of Grant's from when he was working in Syd, who is over for the week, for drinks and dinner on Saturday night around SoHo (no champagne, but if there had been I doubt it would have tasted like cherry cola). Met some nice friends of hers, too, which is always a good thing in this big wide city. Otherwise the only other weekend adventure was a moderate stroll to Kensington Palace Gardens for tea and scones. I used the word "grand." Now all I need to do is start saying "all right" instead of "Hello, how are you?" and I'll be set.

Thesis has been doing quite well yesterday and today, in part because I cheated by doing thesis work instead of trade marks/copyright today as well as yesterday. Aren't I clever in using my self-distracting powers for good instead of evil? Yesterday I cleaned the flat from top to bottom by way of distraction. Excellent stuff. Anyway, today's slog got me 1800 words added and about 800-1000 subtracted, so I am still ahead of the game. My argument now goes from intro to parts a through c of part 2 before running aground, compare earlier where it sort of went intro, part 2(c), make of that what you will. OF COURSE, disclaimer here is that my supervisor has read none of it yet so could decide it is all total rubbish. I think I keep deterring him from reading what he has already by sending him a new draft every week. I personally would regard that as a tip not to read anything until I had a version someone was prepared to call final! It isn't due until July but I have 6700 done pretty well and another 6000 done in early draft form. Cue freakout re: 15,000 word target overshoot (familiar from 2000 where I produced a 25000 word thesis that was supposed to be 12000), which is why I am glad to have cut some words out. Have to do some more work on the USA part of it though.

I must say Jamie hit the nail on the head when she told me the problem with grad school was the utter lack of external stimulus to activity. I have *no* assessment tasks due until July, and final exams are August. Until then I could do jack and there would be no consequences. Don't tell my brain this or I won't get anything done. It's just between you and me, OK? All of this is way worse coming from a life where the task that got done first was (a) the most overdue (b) the one with the screaming client or partner attached to it, and there sure as hell were stimuli to prompt action (positive - $$$, negative - aforementioned screaming). Feel rather like a marionette with strings cut at times. Still, it is nice to relaxxxxxxxxx just the same, also to use brain as sharp instrument instead of blunt one for a change.

UK things people never warned me about: the limescale. OH MY GOD, THE LIMESCALE, THE KETTLE KILLING, DRAIN-CLOGGING, TAPE-CAKING LIMESCALE (apparently it's very healthy for you though). Also, still a bit annoyed by lack of tags on teabags.

OK, off to veg shop and then copyright study. YAY.

Bike k last week: 40km
This: 0
Thesis: 1800 words, but lost 800-1000, so what do we call that?

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