Wednesday, June 29, 2005

growling and brawling

The dogs are up to no good today. Must be the weather. It's been raining for about a week and everyone is feeling a bit cooped up and damp. The house has that sort of steaming clothes odour and the living room looks like a laundry, clothes hanging over every surface to dry. Really, we are not prepared for this sort of weather in Sydney. I've never had so many undie crisis in one week! It's rare to not be able to hang out your clothes to dry outside. Now I understand why people have dryers. How do people live like this? :-)

Wow, another downpour....impressive.

My blood pressure went up this morning. A bunch of council goons were hacking at the trees in the street. Not just grooming them but hacking off primary limbs (does that make sense? I'm no arborist!). Now I understand if they must trim the branches occasionally to keep them from growing into the electricity cables. However, these guys were butchering the trees. My heart beating madly and my head slightly throbbing (I always get a headache when I get cross), I went outside and as politely as I could asked them what the f*&^% they were doing. They told me they were responding to a complaint. A complaint? A complaint about low lying branches. A complaint about low lying branches? Since when has the council responded to a single complaint? I was flabbergasted and spent the next 30 minutes trying to get through to the Head Tree Manager at the local council to make my own complaint. I wondered if they might respond so enthusiastically to my complaint. I don't think so. Can't image big gang of goons coming down quite so keenly to stick the branches back on. I can't help thinking that there is an unwritten bias towards destruction in the council's policies. It is so much easier to come and cut down a bunch of trees than it is to develop a plan, for say, building a cable trench in the street so that all the trees can grow without fear of reprisal. OK, so I understand this is possibly not the most life and death issue. I can get very worked up about trees. My partner has suggested that I have querulant tendencies. Is that a good word or what? Do you like that word?
A querulant is, you could say, a professional complainer. You know, the sad thing is, I could really see myself being a querulant - if I had the time!!

Almost finished my confirmation of candidature document. It's been a really interesting process writing it and I've had to do a lot of thinking about the project. I'm going to try and polish a couple of the sections today and then give my supervisor a revised draft tomorrow.

There is a master class that I've signed up for in August that focuses on strategies for approaching fieldwork. It's excellent timing since I hope to start the fieldwork later this year.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Amazing race

Sitting in the lounge with the powerbook on my lap, thanks to wireless. Cat is on the armchair, one dog on her bed in front of the gas heater and other dog on a pillow on the lounge. Been a bit quiet on the blog front lately. I think I may have got lost in the PHD forest at the base of Mt Fuji. My sister told me it is the deepest, most impenetrable and disorienting forest in Japan. Apparently the army runs orienteering training for their cadets there and many people have got lost. So anyway I felt like I was there and am just emerging from the woods. I've been working on my confirmation of candidature document and it requires formulating and refining my research area. It's been a challenging process particularly since I haven't studied for so long. Last time I wrote anything academic was over ten years ago. I love all the readings I'm doing though. I could easily just read for three years but I don't think that's recommended...