I hardly feel I can keep up! I am juggling a lot of balls in the air right now, and I am frantically trying not to drop any of them! Keeping on top of lecture and practical notes for classes and slowly starting to collect and process data for my dissertation, as well as just feeding myself, having clean clothes to wear, going to the gym and seeing friends, it’s all pretty damn difficult (how do grown ups do it??)! I am very aware that it’s only 99 days until I return home, and I feel so much pressure on this dissertation project for my return to UEA. This week was not as much as a success as last week. No matter how exhausted I feel from trying so hard I just didn’t seem to achieve much in terms of ticking boxes. I guess all I can do is try again next week! Right now it’s one o’clock in the afternoon and I am under my bedsheets in my towels from just coming out of the shower after a very long lie in (I needed it). Getting going with work this weekend may be a slow process. Last weekend I spent the afternoon at the beach, working on my “tan” and listening to music. It was so enjoyable I decided I should spend an hour or two like that every weekend, but unfortunately it’s really windy today, and wind on a sandy beaches doesn’t go well together. It’s a shame as it’s a bright sunny day and a nice, warm 20 degrees in the air! I know I need to do work today, but I need some time to regenerate too because I feel SO tired.
Highlights of this week have included going to the beach, albeit to collect root samples from the plants on the coastal dunes, and not as a sunbathing session! On Monday I went out with a girl called Louisa to Fairy Meadow Beach, the one five minutes from Campus East. Louisa has done a similar project with Kris on mycorrhizae and she helped me out and gave me lots of tips for my own project! On the morning we went out we met up at the beach at 8 in the morning. the sun was low on the horizon, rising from the sea and slowly warming up the cool morning air and clearing the soft, silver fog that carpeted the sandy dunes and the ocean. It was serene and magical. As the morning turned into early afternoon the sun rose above us, and the light and colours around us turned from soft to bold and bright. The sky turned from soft blue and pink to bright, dark blue.
On Thursday morning I went out to some beaches south of Wollongong (Warawong and “The Farm”) with Kris and did some more sampling. It was a lovely, sunny morning and the beaches were bright and beautiful. Early morning surfers were catching a wave, but apart from them and a happy class of school kids pottering by the rocky shores the beach was empty. Lizards were basking on the wooden stairs that meandered down the coastal hills to the beach. The plan was that we would collect for a couple of hours and then try and return to the lab back at UOW to do my first go in the lab processing the roots before my class in the afternoon. She warned me I might be slower in the start, and she was right. I spent the rest of the afternoon setting up the lab and finding equipment (so I should be quicker to start next time), and in the end I didn’t manage to get close to the stage where I could leave the roots in an important solution over night. so I was forced to pause that process until Sunday. I am hoping to work on the project proposal this weekend though, crossing my fingers.
Apart from that my week has included flatmate- bonding over hallway ball games (golf, bowling and football) in what we have named “The goon (boxed wine) games”. I won a goon for my amazing golfing skills, together with Tom and Ami! I don’t think I can remember the last time I have laughed so hard! We had so much fun we have decided we should make it a weekly occurrence. My week has also had time to include a slightly depressing and failed introduction into the world of dating again after finally deciding it was time to “put myself out there” again after so long. Boys suck and it would be amazing to meet a guy with my own mental age (you would think that them attending uni would imply they had.. but no).. I think I am going to retreat back from that scene and remain alone for a while longer. Wait for them all to grow up a bit more…
In happy food news, I ate salmon, avocado and fried onion with couscous this week. I am still thinking about this meal way too much. Look at this beautiful dish though!