A little bit of this, and an little bit of that… my part in the Festival of the Scorpio

What a whirlwind of a couple of weeks! A conference presentation, a birthday, and a drastic change of pace have left me catching my breath and re-prioritising everything again.

Where to begin?

So some moons ago, 377 or thereabouts, give or take a quarter… after days of waiting, I graced the world with my presence. My punctuality has improved somewhat during the last few decades, but that is besides the point. I am a Scorpio and proud of it.

I may not as been as lucky as some other Scorpios who went on a lovely adventure and had a fantastic time (and many others since), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a great birthday myself (and my version of Festival of the Scorpio celebrations with another of the starsign is due in a few days), so all is good in the world. I was given books(!) – we all know that Books doth a happy Shelley make – and free coffee, some gelato, and promise of more book(s). All in all, it was a great day – and it rained for me. I’m very pleased about that. Also went and saw One Day, which was another sweet, sad chick flick where you spend so much time being irked by Anne Hathaway’s ever-changing accent that you miss the really plodding parts of the movie. No, I enjoyed it – and it was great to hang out and eat Malteasers and laugh at painfully awkward moments on-screen.

A little amusing (and some light) reading

Another stern word from my Doctor later that week about burnout saw me able to escape home for the weekend after my birthday. Puppy licks really are the best medicine! Acushla was very happy to see me, and I was very happy to see her. And the Bay’s excellent weather. Oh, and my parents, as always.

An unsuspecting dog and a borrowed SLR means I can finally take a photo of her.

And with the excellent weather came some extra activity from our resident erupting volcano, who put on the biggest show in about a decade.

White Island even put on a show for me!

And I got to spend some time on the beach at Mount Maunganui. You can see the Rena in the distance from the road – but look at this! This was taken just before 8am on a Saturday morning at high tide.

View from Mount Maunganui on a Saturday Morning

And this was taken at low tide on a Sunday evening…

Mount Maunganui beach at low tide on a Sunday evening.

Haven’t the volunteers, the salvors, and everybody involved done an amazing job with *touch wood* minimising the horror that it really could have been?

So a mandated trip home and the threat of serious burnout has seen me shift projects within the company I’m currently contracted to. This new project is really interesting. The PM is using the Lean Six Sigma approach and I’m stoked to be finally getting to see how it works. Now that I’ve had 4 days to get used to the pace (or significant reduction of it), I’m hoping to really get stuck into things and apply myself. I really miss the people I was working with, but the fact that I can sleep and I’m not as exhausted as I have been is clear evidence that I was pushing myself too hard.

I’m getting there. But it’s made me realise that I’ve fallen prey to what many Postgrads do, even though I was attempting not to: trying to catch up. You spend so long at uni that you get “left behind” as it were, and even though you’ve had your own experiences and life lessons, you’ve not been in the “real world” for the same amount of time as your friends, and you feel that (and in many cases you have) missed out. So you try very hard to catch up. I’ve watched this mentality ruin people. And I need to consciously stop and not let me get me. I also need to stop wanting to go back to academia. It’s not a good idea. Not for me, at least.

So what have I been doing instead? Aiming for champs in late-2012, I’ve had to start going to the gym to get strength back in my shoulder, and balance my shoulders out. It’s been a good nearly five months now, and I am going to need to step things up a gear again fairly soon. I’m really enjoying it. Adrenaline is a wonderful drug. I’m also halfway through a swim clinic. I’m with a couple of swimmers who want to get their technique correct to compete in the upcoming summer of triathlons and I’m keeping up nicely. It’s pretty cool, and if it means it’ll help to eventually let me do an ocean swim – well I’ll take all the tips I can get. Honestly though, it’s so good to be back in the water. I really should have done this years ago. But no more excuses. I will get to my 100 laps and my eventual swimming in the waves.

In the wonderful world of knitting, I’ve got my paws on Blendy’s new book, and some amazing Happy Go Knitty cotton in colours that remind me of Starry Night. See?

Blendy Knits Again and pretty cotton

There’s a cowl with my name on it in that book. Once I’ve got the Christmas Knitting and the wedding shawls I’m doing for Erin as soon as she gets me the yarn, finished, of course. Whew. And I really do aim to do a pair of socks/month next year. I have a considerable amount of not-stash I need to use up. I’m thinking yarn diet. Yes, I know. I said the d-word. But I think it’s for the best. Almost everything in stash has a project attached to it (only the silk doesn’t and that’s because I’m at a loss for what to make with such loveliness). So let’s see how long that diet will last. This is looking to be a new year’s resolution. Until I panic. Still. I have 6 weeks to (not) talk myself out of it.

But the ironing calls, dear readers. And dinner. And preparation for a new week. And mindfulness that this is not a race. Time to stop and smell the lilies and irises.. Or walk along the water to work. That’ll do as well.

Until next time…



  1. Ah trying to catch up…I always feel like I am trying to do that and then I realise I have no idea what I’m trying to catch up to…or whom I’m trying to catch up with. So I continue to plod along and do what I want…not always when I want but yeah…

    Take care of yourself please. 😉

    1. Yes ma’am. And I’m still trying to catch up to you. :p Just as you’re about to gallivanting off again. *sigh*.

  2. Oh, look at that gorgeous… puppy? That is a significant puppy! She’s beautiful. And good for slowing down. Very sensible.

    1. In my eyes (and her own), she will always be 6 months old with big paws. Even when she’s the grand old dame she is now. 🙂

      Sensible? Me? Yeah, I guess.

  3. I think I missed your actual birthday? So happy birthday, fellow(lady) Scorpio! So many Scorpios! Do we rule the world or what? Heh!

    That beach is just gorgeous. So lucky.

  4. oh god its been huge hasnt it? what a month. can it stop spinning now? im glad you got some down time, what beautiful scenery to soak up,and hello gorgeous big black briard! how lovely is she?! i hope the changes at work bring you some peace of mind too, and the space to find your own way of being creative that isnt soul destroying (a la academia). and of course, happy happy festival of scorpio across the ditch! xx

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