Tag Archives: animals

Interregnum indeed

I last updated this blog at the tail end of 2009. Gleep! Quite a lot has changed in my life since then, starting with moving to a new country and starting a new job. But since I am back in my old stomping ground of Northampton/Florence, it seems like s good time to try this again.

There is no one reading this who doesn’t know that in the summer of 2010, I was offered, and accepted a job at Queen Mary, University of London, where I am now a Lecturer in Experimental Linguistics. In fact, I just completed my first year of teaching, and am now celebrating with a month long working vacation in North America.

I flew to Boston on April 2nd, spent a weekend in Northampton with friends, then drove up to Montreal to spend a week there visiting friends and family, and reconnecting with colleagues and potential future collaborators.

Last Monday I drove back to Northampton, and I’ve spent the week here working on data analysis, having meetings with collaborators, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I’ve been able to hang out with the dear old dog and cat who I left behind with former neighbors. Charlie the dog is sliding into mild senility at the perfectly appropriate age of 13. He doesn’t really seem to recognize me, which means there’s no angst about seeing him. He’s not bothered whether I’m there or not, but he’s perfectly happy with the attention.

Andi-cat is another story. She seems to be utterly furious with me. I’m not sure why, since she is apparently very happy in her new home. But she can barely tolerate my presence for 5 minutes before huffing off. It would have been nice to snuggle with her a bit, but I’d rather she be happy in her new home than pining for me. And her look of disgust when she sees me is priceless.

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So I can leave her with a clean conscience, knowing she is not at all sad to see me go. 🙂

Other than being despised by cats, and spending rather a lot of time staring at computer screens, I’ve been enjoying watching spring arrive in the valley. Spring came rather too early in London for me to properly appreciate it, whereas it definitely feels like the time for it now. The earliest flowers are in full bloom.

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If anyone can tell me what these are called, I’d be grateful.

The magnolias are just starting to arrive.
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Although I only spent one year living here, it feels truly and deeply like home, and it’s been so wonderful to have the time to be here and reconnect with so many of my favorite people and places.

Tomorrow I’m off again. First to Boston to return the rental car, then to Columbia SC for 4 days to visit other friends/colleagues and stare at some different computers. Data awaits.

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Filed under home, joy, my fabulous friends, travel

let’s try that again

Somehow I’ve let more than 3 months elapse since last posting here. Ooops. Suddenly getting a job in another country, packing up everything I own, including 4 animals in varying states of health, finding a place to live, moving, etc, etc are all perfectly good excuses (especially as it took me 2 weeks to get an internet connection sorted at home and I only recently found my camera usb cord for transferring photos). But it’s still rather unfortunate. The first month or two on a new place is precisely the time that’s most interesting to document.

At this point it would make no sense to try to revisit all the impressions of those first days and weeks. But I can still note a few.

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Filed under animal hijinks, home, joy

make a joyful noise

A few of the things currently making me very happy indeed:

  • The peonies are out! my number one favourite flower ever, growing just below my bedroom window. Bliss.
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  • My snazzy new folding bike. I couldnt resist this one when I saw the craigslisting. Too cute. I just love the bright red seat. I’ve decided to call her Lolly (as in pop).
  • Impromptu weekend at a cottage by a lake. How lovely to get out of the city and spend time with some delightful people. The dogs were in heaven.
  • Stella and Charlie rest before dinner

    Stella and Charlie rest before dinner

Other, even more exciting things are promising to come soon, but these are quite enough to be going along with. I hope summer is bringing wonderful things to you too.

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follow through, the having of

I really do need to get better about posting more often, instead of just accumulating big piles of photographs and *plans* for posts. Then I wouldn’t be stuck trying to figure out how to string together 5 days worth of thoughts and projects into a single coherent story, without resorting to variations on ‘and then I … and then I …’

In lieu of this masterful summary post, today I’d like to share just a few of the happy moments I’ve caught on film over the past week or so.

 

Breakfast on the balcony

Breakfast on the balcony

 

sweet old girl, basking in the sun

sweet old girl, basking in the sun

summer reading plans

summer reading plans

 

thrift store scores, hanging on the line

thrift store scores, hanging on the line

summer dress

summer dress

lilac tree + lilac house

lilac tree + lilac house

So what’s making you smile these days?

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Filed under home, joy

a new neighbour?

raccoon

raccoon

I just stepped out onto the back porch to put a bag of trash out, and found myself face to face with a raccoon. I know this is normal for Toronto, but I’ve never so much as seen one in Montreal before, let alone on my second story back porch. I called Dixie to come bark at it, figuring once the coon knew a dog lived in the house, he’d give us a miss. But the dingbat’s eye sight is getting so bad she couldn’t see it, and the raccoon wasn’t remotely fazed by her presence. I grabbed a broom and made menacing gestures with it and drove it back down the stairs, but now I wish I hadn’t.  The cats were already in for the night, and there really wasn’t any other harm he could have done. I wonder if we’ll see him again…

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Filed under animal hijinks