Tag Archives: home

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

Merry Interregnum!

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is my favourite time of year. The hubub of Christmas is over, and the froufra of New Year’s is still a few days off. The fridge is overflowing with delicious left overs, there’s a pile of new books and dvds just begging to be enjoyed, and there’s usually no where you absolutely *have* to be. It’s a time for loafing on couch.

And for walks in the woods.

How are you spending your holiday week?

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Filed under holiday, home, joy, winter

things worth celebrating

  1. Glorious, unseasonably warm, sunny, Sundays! This is now the third week in a row that after a cold and damp Saturday we’ve got a Sunday warm enough to throw the windows open!
  2. Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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me time

This past weekend was only the second one I’ve had to myself in June, and is the last weekend I’ll be home alone until mid-August, so I was determined to be as hermity and homebody-ish as possible. Besides the usual weekend chores (vaccuming, laundry, washing dishes, running errands) and a decent amount of time spent curled up with a book, a cat and either a mug of tea or a glass of lemonade (depending on the ambient temperature) in the papsan, most of my weekend was spent at my sewing machine and/or my cutting mat.

This makes more sense when you realise that my sewing room is also my guest room, so this was my last chance to have unfettered access to it for ages. Also, the long lingering cool spring has turned the corner into the warmer, muggier summer weather (still cool enough not to drag out the a/c, but I’m sure that it won’t be long now). So it was high time I got working on several of the summer dress revisions I had planned. Continue reading

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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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9. Surprisingly well done

On Saturday morning, I made a long list of things I hoped to accomplish this weekend. Here it is again with the completed tasks scratched off.

  • bake sticky buns
  • get more seeds started
  • finish cleaning up back deck
  • return library books (and get others)
  • add lace inset to black dress
  • make planters
  • vacuum
  • repair window screen
  • find bobbin holder insert for sewing machine
  • take pictures for photo project [picture here]
  • laundry
  • finish grading summary reports
  • make chicken stock
  • figure out fabric for library bag project
  • make delicate wash bag prototype
  • clear out at least 8GBs of hard drive space
  • Mile End Jane’s Walk, Sunday @ 2pm

 

cinnamon-raisin-walnut buns with maple syrup glaze

cinnamon-raisin-walnut buns with maple syrup glaze

 

Janes Walkers in front of well preserved 1910-ish flats in east Mile-End

Jane's Walkers in front of well preserved 1910-ish flats in east Mile-End

As for the rest, I made a good stab at the back deck (only a small corner is still really in shambles),

 

my summer reading nook, complete with dozing dog

my summer reading nook, complete with dozing dog

and I did the initial leg work for replacing the screen and the sewing machine part (which it turns out is called a shuttle). The grading and the library trip will happen tomorrow. The rest…

Well there’s always another weekend.

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