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Like many people, I grew up in the suburbs in a neighborhood with plenty of other children my age nearby, relative freedom as to where and with whom I went, and given that my mom did home day-care for a number of years, our house was general the place where the kids hung out anyway.

One thing I'd always vaguely worried about having kids and NOT living in the suburbs AND not having a car was whether that ubiquity of play would even be possible, or if I'd forever find myself scheduling play dates weeks in advance and giving up all or part of a day to ferry my child across town by bus, etc.

And, yeah, that still happens. We make a point of ensuring that there are fixed days when friends come over or when she goes to friend's -- even if it means that we spend an hour on public transport to get there and another hour to get back. (We didn't realize H. lived so far away when we invited her to come over and play; it wasn't a problem for her parents, since they have a car, but then when they reciprocated the invitation, it was a bit of a trek for Joel to get her out there.) And with D. living across the street we can make plans somewhat more flexibly -- we can knock on her door en route to the forest, for example, or I can text her parents on Friday to make plans for Sunday. But this morning Gwen asked if D. could come over or if she could go over to D.'s in the afternoon, way less notice than we usually have and with the ubiquity of birthday parties I knew the chance was high she might not be available but I texted Lauren anyway to see if she would be free after Gwen and I got back from the new house (I'd promised her we'd go over there so she could play at the park there for awhile. Especially as it was turning out to be one of those gloriously sunny fall days!). No answer, but I had told Gwen not to get her hopes up, so we were okay with this -- and she was still excited about going to the playground.

And then whom did we meet coming across Framwellgate Bridge? D. and her parents and little brother! They were on their way home after a family morning out, and Gwen was begging for D. to come to the playground with her. Within two minutes I'd relieved Lauren and Oliver of one of their children for the rest of the afternoon and the girls were skipping off hand in hand. Gwen got to show D. her new bedroom, they played at the park for 45 min., and then we came back to the old house where they had hot chocolate and spent at least half an hour upstairs pretending to take naps, and then colored until Oliver came by around 4:30 to bring her home for supper.

I very much like that things like this can happen WITHOUT buckets full of advanced planning. I love living in a small enough city where you can run into a friend downtown, head off in one direction to a park, then walk back the other direction home, and still have plenty of time to play at both places.
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If ever there was a day for sunshine and the arrival of spring, the first day of a four-day weekend would be it! In the morning Gwen and I cleaned up all the planters from last summer, tearing out the dead plants and removing a layer of moss and weeds -- all except for the planter which had the strawberries, since amazingly some of the strawberries survived!

We then took a break as just 'cause it's Good Friday doesn't mean Latin reading group up in St. Andrews doesn't meet, so I left Gwen in daddy's capable hands and headed up to the bedroom to skype in as I usually do (well, usually I do it from the office). I do enjoy 21st C academia: First Neffie came and sat on my lap, and later on I swapped her for Gwen, who was suddenly struck by the need for some cuddles.


Afterwards, she and I headed out to B&Q (she on her bike, which makes the walk substantially faster!) to go plant shopping. Last year we waited way too late, really, which is why we didn't get much from our tomato and pepper plants, so I didn't want that to happen again. It turned out we erred on the other side with our trip, since the only vegetable seedlings were peas, broad beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. We ended up coming home with one box of pea sprouts and one of cauliflower sprouts, which we cheerfully planted. We also went a bit crazy and came back not only with four raspberry canes (it had always been my intention to clear out some of the growth in the alley behind our garden to plant raspberries there; but I hadn't gotten around to it yet), but also two blackberry canes and a blueberry bush. Oh, we're going to have fun!

Gwen and I then headed over to the new place via the river, stopping halfway there to patronize the ice cream van.


(Amazing sometimes the photos you can get via cell-phone selfies quickly snapped!)

We then cleared out a bunch of debris from the alley garden, and planted the raspberries and blueberries; not sure yet where the blackberries will go. We did supper at the Elm Tree, where the cook gifted Gwen with a bag of mini chocolate eggs, simply because she is so cute. It was past bedtime (and dark) when Gwen and I started back home, but she was in a surprisingly good mood (and had been pretty much all day!), that as we crossed the bridge and I pointed out how beautiful the castle was in the twilight with the lights on, and she said "someday I want to go there", I took a gamble and asked if she wanted to go there now. So we did.


We alternated her walking and me carrying her, and we made it home all the way without any whining, even though by the time we got there it was an hour past bedtime and she'd walked or biked around 4.5 miles over the course of the day.


Feb. 23rd, 2016 09:21 am
aryanhwy: (widget)
Though Wisconsin has many lakes, I never lived particularly near any of them -- not even when I was in Madison, a city bounded by three, one of which borders part of the campus. But my usual commute never took me near any of them, and only occasionally did I have seminar in the 5th floor seminar room that directly overlooked it. (One afternoon there was the most tremendous thunderstorm over the like, and slowly the seminar discussion died as we all turned and watched it slack-jawed. I've never seen colors like that before.)

Then, in Amsterdam, our apartment overlooked the Singel canal, with floor-to-ceiling windows meaning that every day for large parts of the day I was overlooking the river, with the waterfowl, the casual boats, and the every moving waves and sunlight upon them. It was really, really peaceful; I can't think of any time where I was anxious or unhappy where going at sitting on the couch and looking out the window for awhile didn't help.

Tilburg is one of the few cities in the Netherlands that has almost no water in it (at least, of the cities I've made it to with any regularity!). There were a few piddly little ones south of us, but I basically only ever saw them from the bus. There were many reasons we weren't entirely happy in Tilburg, but not having that beautiful water rippling by my window was certainly one of them.

One of the best parts of Heidelberg was my commute -- though I was unhappy that it was so far away (it wasn't that it took a long time but it was that I had to take Gwen out to nursery and then backtrack to get to my office. It was the inefficiency that bothered me: if the places of the two were swapped, so that I dropped her off first and then continued on to my office without backtracking, I wouldn't have minded going the same distance) -- was getting to bike along the Neckar every day. Whether it was sunny or foggy, raining or snowing or clear, hot or cold, it was beautiful every single day -- especially coming back home with a straight view of the castle.

So one of the things that I cherish most about Durham is that my present commute takes me over the Wear every day (and when we move, I'll STILL have to cross it -- twice! Three times while Gwen still goes to her current nursery.), because it, too, is beautiful every single day. Even if I'm running late, I'm never so late that I can't stop, pause, whip out my phone, snap a shot, smile at the beauty, and continue on. (And I always love how many other people who see me do so, also pause, and often also take a picture.)

This is what I walked home past yesterday afternoon.


I'm glad my life has led me near water.
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It was raining when we headed out this morning, and not too much later it changed to snow; it has now been snowing hard for about 2.5 hours. Heading home, all I could think was "I cannot wait to get out of this, my hands are so cold, my feet are wet, isn't today a great day to spend the rest of the day instead out of that horrible nasty cold wet stuff? Make some hot chocolate, cuddle up with a blanket and a cat or two, perfect!

This is basically the first serious snow that Gwen has experienced on her own turf. It snowed moderately regularly in Heidelberg, but she was too young to really enjoy it. Last year, the prospect of snow at her cousins' was really hyped up to her, but when it DID snow, she was a bit nonplussed about it: I think she hadn't realized it would be so cold! But there I was watching her shout "snow! snow!" and stomp through all the piles that had already formed, picking up bits of it in her bare hands (it was raining when we left. I didn't have any gloves for her!), and as I was about to say aloud, "Wouldn't it be nice to get home and stay inside the rest of the day", I realized, NO. When you are four, what you want mom to say is "Wouldn't it be fun if when we got home we got you all bundled up with your winter coat and hat and scarf and mittens and an extra pair of pants (we don't own snow pants...) so you can play in the snow in the back garden, and afterwards have hot chocolate?"

So she's out there thrilled to bits, I'm indoors contemplating making a cup of tea before the hot chocolate, because my poor, poor hands are still stiff and working their way back to life after being out in this weather (and I had my gloves!), and I am given cause to pause and reflect on the fact that I am not a kid any more.
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We sure packed a lot in.

Gwen's party was planned for three hours in the afternoon, which meant of course the excitement had her up around 6:00am, and though she laid back down for another hour or so I'm pretty sure she didn't sleep. So we were up again not too long after that, to mix up the birthday cake and pop it into the oven. We then left the buzzer next to daddy in bed, because we were off! It was Gwen's first lesson at the drama/singing/dancing Academy we've signed her up for. It went...OK. It started off with EVERYONE (not just the young kids, everyone up through highschool) up on stage with REALLY (unnecessarily) loud music playing for some group warm up, and she got whisked along with the others and then basically stood a bit petrified. After that, I went with her to the Poppets lesson, and she wavered between warming up and being her happy cheerful self, and curling up on a chair next to me, saying she was tired (and she was obviously flagging). But after they'd done their dance three times, she joined in for part of the fourth, and when they practiced singing at the end, she enthusiastically sang Jingle Bells while sitting next to me, and she joined in for the end-of-lesson game of duck, duck, goose. In all, she was much more standoffish than she normally is, BUT I think the newness, the sensory assault of the start, and her tiredness had a big effect. We'll give it a few weeks before we make any decision, I think once she finds things more familiar that this could still be a lot of fun for her. And if not? We're out a few GBP and we can always try again in a year or two if we think she'd enjoy it then.

We headed home to eat some lunch and decorate the cake -- red frosting with a rainbow spider web and Spiderman sprinkles! -- and tidy the house before the guests started coming. Sadly, Eve was ill during the night so she wasn't coming, but in the end, three little girls, two bigger girls, plus two of our friends filled the house. We made birthday crowns, opened presents, ate cake and ice cream, made jewelry, painted nails, and just let them run around the house and play. My decision not to make any formal plans for games paid off.

Then afterwards we skyped with both sets of grandparents, and by the time bath and videos and stories were over (and Gwen suddenly realized she hadn't had supper -- which was fine with me because she'd been snacking all day, and then she decided it was okay too), it was already rather late.

This morning she was up around 7:00 as usual but I didn't manage to get out of bed until 9:00. I do love that she's able to entertain herself for two hours on a Sunday morning! One of our gifts to her was a set of Frozen posters with watercolors, and as soon as she'd opened it on Wednesday night she wanted to paint; I promised her we could do it on Sunday. So after we tidied up the livingroom after breakfast we got the paints out. Another gift, from Grandma & Grandpa, was a set of three dinosaur cookie cutters and a snail cutter, which combined with the fact that we had leftover frosting from the cake meant that baking cookies was indicated. We had a lot of fun with that, and afterwards Gwen told me, "Thank you, mummy, for making these cookies! They're so TASTY!" -- she is really quite sweet about spontaneously offering thanks for sometimes rather abstract things. It's very satisfying every time she does, because it means we're doing something right.

We then headed over to the new place to briefly see the upstairs floors with their first two coats of wax on (OH WOW DO THEY LOOK BEAUTIFUL), and then pick up Joel and head back to the peninsula. Every other year in November Durham hosts the Lumiere Light Festival, something we'd been hearing about almost since we moved here last year! It was so busy last time that this year, between 4:30-7:30 you had to have a ticket to get onto the peninsula. But if you were already there, say, around 4:00pm...So that's what we did! We ended up walking around for more than two hours, ending up hope about 6:45pm at which point Gwen was simply exhausted so I put her to bed with a cookie and a cup of warm milk, after which I promptly collapsed on the couch. It's nearly 9:00pm and I haven't written my 400 words either today OR yesterday; and I may not worry about it. I can bang out 1200 tomorrow if previous weeks are any indication.

This photo is of the old Shire Hall, across the street from my office, taken from my office Thursday evening:


Same view, on Friday:


Most of what we saw tonight was punctuated with, "Oh, WOW. That was BEAUTIFUL!" Nothing like attending a light show with a four year old. :)


Whales flying above the marketplace:


The cathedral:


The castle:


I'm really glad we got to go, and that Gwen enjoyed it so much, and that Joel was able to take the time off of working on the house. And in two years' time, we'll have even more fun, I'm sure!
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This afternoon, I took a fresh cup of tea and the book I've been asked to review to my comfy chair in the corner of my office, next to the radiator and the window. I queued up some music, pulled up another chair to use as a footstool, and with the sun streaming in on me, curled up on the chair with my book and my tea and my music, cosy and comfortably warm, and read for about three hours.

When I sit at my desk, pouring over an article, typing at the keyboard, scribbling proofs or translations on scratch paper, I feel like I'm Doing Work, like a Proper Adult.

When I slouch down on my chair with my feet up on another piece of furniture, I get a very distinct impression of just how lucky I am that I can make myself comfortable and read for a couple of hours and get paid for it.

[In fact, my todo list for the entire day was essentially: Make tea. Read. Reading group. Grab lunch, and more tea. Read. Read. More tea. Read. Logic logic logic (aka, meet with student). Read.]

Whenever I miss Heidelberg, it helps to remember how lucky I am to be here.
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I didn't end up saying what I was planning to say in this post because I had plenty of other things to say first. Here are a few of them.

It's hard to put into words how much I love teaching. It is basically everything I ever dreamed it would be when I first decided, around age 13, that it was what I wanted to do. My Wednesday morning tutorial group for Logic, Language, & Reality is turning out to be a great one -- small, but populated with people who are ready to come in and just start talking, without (much) prompting from me, and also in response to each other's questions rather than waiting for me to answer them. And when I put forth a question, they explore possible answers to it, rather than staring at me dumbly. Because they've read the material and are engaged in it, we end up having really interesting discussions -- last week, we had a 20 minute diversion on the origin and development of the universities in the Middle Ages. This morning, someone asked "But what are Frege's views on numbers?" and so we talked about 1-1 correspondences and equivalence classes, and I told them that if I can get a 3rd year philosophy of math module going, we'd read Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic -- which holds a special place in my heart as the very first piece of contemporary analytic philosophy that I ever read. My Frege/Russell/Wittgenstein class basically revolutionized my philosophical world: I had NO IDEA that philosophy could be conducted this way and on those questions. It was one of the best courses I had as an undergrad -- we'd arrive early to lecture every week and stay late (I was routinely late for my History of Modern Philosophy discussion section, in part because that class was by far the low point of my undergrad philosophical career. It was just SO BORING), and at the end of the semester the professor took us all out for pizza.

There's three people in this group that are doing joint philosophy/math degrees, and I find it astonishing that there is such a degree programme here and NO PHILOSOPHY OF MATH COURSE. (They agree with me, and would really like that to change, so I've told them to start telling staff this.) I think I should be able to do it without too much difficulty: I can adapt my current 3rd year seminar from being modal logic & incompleteness to being incompleteness & foundations of math -- and it would make sense, since clearly it's the phil of math. stuff that the 2nd year course this year is going to be a feeder for, whereas last year it was clearly modal logic. So I hope I can slide this in as a minor change to course content rather than as the development and deployment of a wholly new course, which I doubt would fly.

But it's only a month into the year and I've already got a cohort of motivated and excited students who are interested in the things I am interested in; I can already start putting pretty good bets on who's going to approach me about supervising their theses. That's the ONE thing about last year that really made me feel validated in how I handled the 2nd year course -- the fact that almost as soon as signing up for supervision opened, my list was full, proving that there were people who found the material interesting, stimulating, and worthwhile. (In fact, it is a small matter of smug pride that my list was full before a majority of the others: People knew that there would be competition for a limited number of slots!) I have been so pleased with my supervisees this year so far -- we had a group meeting week before last, and it was great to see both the ideas they have (some of which are really quite serious and substantial, and I have high hopes for) and how interested they were in what others were doing, offering questions and comments even if the topic was far from theirs. I hope to have them all together again once or twice next term, and then perhaps also in Easter term after they've submitted. Maybe we'll go for celebratory drinks. But these are people who care about what they are doing, and what they care about is what I care about, and how on earth could one NOT enjoy this?
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Running into a colleague (not even from my dept.!) in the hall and ending up in his office for a half hour chat, in addition to help w.r.t. using his scanner since I can't get to the phil. dept. one because it is in the kitchen (!), which is currently locked and -- joys -- unable to be unlocked (!).

Catching up with a friend who lives a few hours away over a cup of tea as she was in town for a spate of MA supervision.

Running into another friend while walking that one to her car -- a friend mutual to both of us.

Passing students on the street and waving.

Having a student come up to me in the library and ask "Dr. Uckelman, have you seen this book? I was reminded about it in lecture today and thought you would find it interesting!"

Turning up to the local pub and being greeted, "Are you having the regular, pet?"

Being on the same committee as the parent of one of the kids in Gwen's nursery.

I feel like in the last year I've met and talked to far, far more people here than I ever did in Heidelberg. Heidelberg was great, but a bit isolating.
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Today was matriculation, when the students are formally entered into the university. It is broken into five ceremonies, with 3 (sometimes 4) colleges per ceremony. I didn't really know what matriculation was like, so when I saw an email asking for volunteers to marshal, I figured that would be a good way to do so. I first signed up for just the morning, but then a week in advance they still needed volunteers so I added myself to the afternoon rota, too.

Durham weather in early October can be quite variable, but many people commented on the fact that this was the worst weather matriculation had seen in years. It rained continually, from when I arrived at 8:45 to when I left shortly before 17:00. (It was only on the way home after I got Gwen from nursery that I furled my umbrella finally). I had an indoor/outdoor role, organizing (indoors) the students as they came in through the back chapel of the cathedral, then standing out front the main entrance to the cathedral during the ceremonies to direct any visitors or tourists down to the other entrance, and then shepherding the students out through the main entrance and down the correct exit path.

When I was given the indoor duty for the first ceremony, I thought "Yay, out of the rain!" It didn't take long to realize that, no, on a good day, the chapel is significantly cooler than outdoors, and on a bad day, the entrance, which I had to stand in front of to immediately direct students to my left as they came through, turned into a wind tunnel. After five ceremonies, I was rather cold and damp. Here's a view out that door:


A bit ago, I typed this up and posted it to FB:
Lessons learned from marshalling five matriculation ceremonies today:

1. Contrary to popular opinion, queuing does NOT come naturally to all Brits.
2. Teacher voice is needed to get everyone to (a) walk in the direction they need to, (b) stop when they need to, (c) go when they need to. We've got 600 people to file through this chapel, you're going to have to do the kindergarten snake and go down, turn 'round the column, come back up, all the way up, to me, all the way to me, and then turn and go back down, turn left at the statue, c'mon back up, and THEN into the cathedral.
3. Dressing for the rain isn't enough. You need to dress for the bloody wind coming through the wind tunnel the doors form.
4. Once the queue is going, all you really need to do is stand with one arm outstretched, palm politely forward.
5. A black robe means you are a student.
6. A black robe with a commanding tone means you are a symbol of authority (see (2)).
7. A black robe and standing in front of the main entrance asking "Can I help you?" is not always enough to indicate that "You aren't allowed in this entrance if you don't give me the right answer".
8. Dyeing my hair has shaved a good 5-10 years off my age. I am now "young lady" again.
9. If you think "I wonder if I should bring a thermos of tea with me", the answer is always "yes".
10. They're so young, they're all so young.
11. I can't wait until next year.
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Sunday night I put the flannel sheets back on the bed. Yesterday I (vainly) turned the heat back on in my office. It's hovering around 13C and rainy. I remember my first summer in the Netherlands; we arrived at the end of August, so I had no idea what was in store for me the next year, and it was lovely and pleasant and nice and then all of a sudden it was November and I realized I was still waiting for real summer to happen, and it wasn't going to and it was crushing.

Now, I knew not to expect much, moving to the north of England, but...still. I've been told that this has been an unusually cold summer -- we had a glorious week, sunny and around 25-27C without any rain, the week after Easter, but that seems to have been a fluke. Then I went to Lincoln at the end of June and was shocked when suddenly it was 30C and humid (I would've packed differently had I known...) but by the time we made it back to Durham a huge storm had gone through and the weather turned. A week and a half later in Leeds we had a deluge of Biblical proportions during lunch one day (appropriately, the day of various sessions on the apocalypse), and it hasn't really warmed up at all since.

Yesterday and today have been the first days in awhile where it's actually been raining when we went out in the morning, but I am definitely feeling the lack of proper summer!
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Which means, for all its positives, Durham hasn't really been home for the last six months, at least, not my home. Widget is so very much Joel's cat that even when he cuddles up with me or sits on my lap, I can tell I'm second best. It's been hard. I miss having a cat to cuddle with, and in particular, I miss having a cat to cuddle up with while Widget is sitting on Joel's lap.

But there was always one reason or another that we couldn't go out to the nearby shelters -- all good reasons, but they eventually all disappeared about two weeks ago and I gave Joel an ultimatum: I knew we had a bunch of other things we had to do that weekend, but I didn't care, we were going out and picking out our cats.

Yes, cats. Because I was selfish enough to want a cat that would be mine, but generous to know how important it was to me to grow up with a cat that was mine to know I wanted to get one for Gwen. Besides, three cats, three people, this seems eminently sane. And I figured we could get a bonded pair -- siblings, or a mother and child, or even just a pair that had lived together for a long time.

There are two shelters nearby, and one had advertised on their website a lovely pair, including one grey and white cat with a little grey nose. So we went there first, only to find the grey one had been spoken for the day before. But we looked around anyway, and in the cages for the cats that had been surrendered (voluntarily or not) that day was a sweet little male tabby, in the class black and brown tabby pattern that screams CAT to me (because that was what the first cat I grew up with was like). He had a pretty badly injured leg, so the lady took him out of the cage but then held him rather than passing him around. Despite the fact that he was clearly unhappy and in pain, he seemed very affectionate, rubbing up against her chin and always seeking out her hand for pettings.

The other shelter had quite a few more cats, including some youngish (~6 month) ones; we knew we didn't want kittens, but young cats are fun! But we wandered around and none of them really stuck out, until Joel drew me over to a quiet little female who was simply sitting in her box, a white and calico who had arrived a few weeks earlier due to the death of her owner. The lady opened the door to her cage and I stuck my hand in, and immediately she started rubbing against it, so soft, so sweet, and the next time our friend Thomas (who was our ride) looked over, he was like "yup, that's your cat." (He should know. He came merely as our chauffeur, and ended up leaving with a deposit on Figaro, an excellent little black fellow who has proved to be very much his cat.) We left with earnest money down on her, and the next morning I called back the first shelter and said we wanted the stripey one.

There was various paperwork to do, a home visit, plus waiting for the stripey one to be neutered and have his legged checked out (puncture wound that went in one side and out the other; they think it was a dog), but last Monday (first day of Easter break), I went out to fetch him. Gwen was given full rights to his name, so she declared he was Goldie (after Goldie the Fish in Peppa Pig). I decided that since he will hopefully be her friend for the rest of his life, that a good formal name would be Goldwine (from OE wine, OG wini 'friend').

So, introducing Goldwine, who clearly knows what a good situation he's landed in:


We had our home visit from the other shelter Thursday night, and thus went out Saturday to fetch my kitty home. She is an adorable fluffy sweetheart who purrs and purrs and loves being petted, but has so far spent most of her time under the dresser, so I have one photo from when I first picked her out,, and one from a brief foray onto the bed:


Note her lovely heraldic nose, Per pale argent and Or. She's currently rejoicing in the temporary name of "Nucat" (her originally appellation of Tinkerbell is not right), but I'm sure we'll figure out her real name soon.

Suddenly, the house we're renting has become a home. It feels comfortably full.
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Yesterday walking up the hill home, I noticed some of the street lights were out. "Huh, that's interesting", I thought, and gave it no more mind. We turned onto our street, and all the lights there were also out, which I figured was connected. But it wasn't until I opened our door and flipped the switch...and flipped it again and a third time, that I realized the power was out.

I can't remember the last time that I dealt with a non-self-inflicted power outage (self-inflicted ones are generally easy to deal with, once you find the right fuse in the fuse box). My first thought was, of course, to post about it on FB via my phone. I did this partly because of the novelty and to engender expressions of surprise in my friends, but also because if there were some sort of website that you could check to either report a power outage or view the status of a known outage, someone viewing my status would know what that site was and that would be the fasted way to find it. And it was. In about 3 minutes, I'd been PMed the relevant link and found that the power outage had been reported around 11:30am, and that it was estimated to be fixed by 11:30pm.

The next thing I did was collect candles. Thankfully, our lighter, which needs to be refilled or replaced, still had enough juice in it left to light one candle, and then I could use toothpicks to light the others. Thankfully also, Gwen thinks candles are cool, and while she was a bit confused about the light in her room not turning on when she pulled the cord, she didn't find the situation that upsetting. That is...until I explained to her that without electricity, I wasn't going to be able to get the stove on (we have a gas stove, but it would need to be manually light, and frankly, I was not interested in putting a flaming wooden toothpick and my fingers that close to the burners not really knowing yet how quickly the gas comes out before I could get it ignited. I also figured the less we dug into the fridge, the better), and thus we weren't going to be having lentil soup for supper as I'd promised. Instead, I told Gwen, we were going to order a pizza for delivery (I'd been planning to do pizza delivery at least one night during this 2 week period that Joel is gone, just hadn't figured it would be so soon!)

She looks at me in consternation, and stamps her foot angrily. "But I don't want pizza! I want lentil soup!"


Thankfully, by the time it came, she'd changed her mind, and thought it was tasty. And then we brought some candles up to her room to read before bed, and I made sure she had extra blankets, because the temp. indoors was steadily dropping. I bundled up and crawled into bed directly after, and of course Widget soon came and found me. Between candles, the light of my laptop, and, later, the flashlight app on my phone, I still managed to get some things that I'd planned to do that evening done (though nowhere near all). Because the wireless router was down, I had to use my phone as a tether for my laptop, which meant that the phone battery charged while the laptop battery drained, but thankfully the laptop has a pretty long battery life still, because it's so new. It was just a little bit remarkable on the one hand how disruptive this was -- had to change my plans for dinner, didn't get any dishes washed, didn't start a new load of laundry, or hang up the one that's been on the rack for a few days -- but on the other hand how little disruptive it was -- thanks to the magic of wireless/mobile internet and long-lasting batteries, I had light, heat, and the ability to do what I usually spend my nights doing. Though when it hit about 12.5 C (= 54.5 F) I decided that was cold enough, and went to bed. Thankfully, the electricity did come on again at some point overnight, and by morning the house was warm again.
aryanhwy: (Default)
And there are three spots that I walk by regularly that always sucker me in to taking pictures. I post a lot of them on FB, but since I post so many, I'm sure they don't all get seen and enjoyed as they should.

So, as if I didn't have enough other things to do already, I created:, where I'll share one photo per day.


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