December 23, 2003

Great expectations, cruel reality

Hubby got home on Saturday night. Rang from the airport and said he would be an hour, and rang again after an hour. To say he was at camp (5 mins away from where we were staying) and that he was going to have a few beers with the boys. INSTANTANEOUS combustion. I still don't think he really understands why I was so upset and angry that he would even suggest such a thing. I guess I was angry because the month without him had been so stressful, and letting him go had turned out to be a real sacrifice and hardship, so when he wasn't putting me first when he came back I was furious, and hurt.

Anyway, he only had one guy to go drinking with, and they decided not to because 'the team was over' and 'they couldn't keep living in the past'. You'll note that it wasn't that he thought he might be doing the wrong thing. He doesn't even like me writing about it here - he doesn't think it is that big a deal.

I always thought I was the selfish one in the relationship, but I have now rethought that. I seem to be the one that is left at (ir)regular intervals holding the baby. C is turning four in April, and I reckon his dad would have been away from home for about a year of that. It stuffs with my work life, my study and my other life (infinitely tiny as that is). It leaves not just me, but a whole range of people with more work to do to keep me mostly sane.

I'm not sure how I'm gonna do it, but some things round here are gonna change... At the very least my attitude to what is actually happening here.

Posted by Toni at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2003

paranoia in pregnancy

Just went and had the blood pressure checked, and it is within specs but is up. I need to kick back and do less!, what a surprise.

Relatively recently the Food Safety Authority published a booklet on healthy eating in pregnancy. Rather than being about what you 'should' eat, it is about what you shouldn't eat. It's a huge list, and if followed to the letter I don't believe life would be very simple at all. It includes all the usual suspects, such as badly cooked chicken, raw eggs, seafood (particuarly shellfish) and pre-prepared salads, but has an extensive list of extras, like cold meats, smoked chicken, soft cheeses and a host of others I don't even remember. My theory is they erred on the side of caution because if anyone followed their advice and still had a damaged baby directly due to food safety (microbiological) issues, the Authority could be held accountable. I'm following most of guidelines, most of the time. But it feels like another layer of guilt is getting laid on mothers - and it seems to me they have enough already.

Posted by Toni at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2003

you'd think...

it would be easier to get documentary evidence (ie a medical certificate) in person than by distance. So I went to the medical centre to get something to say I was/am pregnant, for when I apply for the suspension. After about an hour I did get a note from the doctor. There were issues with my lack of notes, and whether I was registered at the uni clinic or not, identification etc. Maybe it would have been easier to get something faxed down from Wellington. Who knows?

Anyway, once I track down the form, this should go quickly! Hah! famous stupid words said frequently in the face of beauracracy (SP!)

Posted by Toni at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2003

extended pressure or depression??

Talked to the post-grad co-ordinator (or some such title) yesterday, and she is suggesting I take a years suspension, an idea which is supported by two of the three supervisors and has not been canvassed with the other. The opinion of these others is that it will take the pressure off me, let me enjoy the new sprog more, and generally give me some space to get my shit together. I can't disagree with any of these reasons for suspending. And judging by the way I was so strung out when I got here that anything could start tears, a bit more space would be 'useful'.

But the thought of a years suspension gives me the strong impression I will be doing this PhD for another year and a bit (you can't hand in when you are suspended, officially you are not even supposed to work on the PhD). The thought I could be in much the same place in another years times makes me feel literally sick. A six month suspension means I will be finishing in 2004 whether its easy or not, a year means the finish date could be 2005.

Now I know I can work (illegally) through 2004 and get things done, and that no-one really expects me to do nothing next year, but it is a mental thing. The suspension makes the 2005 date a possibility, one that I don't want existing. My stomach sinks with the possibility.

I know I will do the sensible thing, give myself some stress reduction and apply for the year. I don't like it though, and nobody is gonna make me like it.

Dammit, I want this book out of my life.

Posted by Toni at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2003

monday startup

Seem to spend a long time this morning just catching up on things like email, and now it is working time!

Been for lunch with C and was sent away again after a 20 min visit by C. This morning got the full clutching at me through the fence and crying treatment. That kid's mind moves in mysterious ways. He has taken a huge liking to Martin who we are staying with. They were very stand-offish for the first week, warming up seCd, but now Martin is the best, the very best. It is great as he wants to go off and do stuff with M and then I get some genuine down time. And M is a good person for C to spend time with.

Spent the very hot weekend repeatedly going swimming in the host's pool. Bloody marvellous. And earning the privelledge doing gardening and getting blisters on my fingers.

Was amazed to hear they caught Saddam this morning, alive. Bet that trial takes up a lot of newspaper inches. For a long time.

Posted by Toni at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2003

Tidying up

Had the supervisor come for a discussion (not the errant one, the other one), here in his office which I have taken over temporarily. He is not so good at throwing things away, and there are piles of paper gradually growing on the horizontal surfaces everywhere. Since I have been here, I've added my own piles. Which look a lot like his. So when he came to talk and I wanted to show him some of the papers that I have been getting ideas from, and that I wish to use as data sources for the Model, they were lost in this Cfined space. I hate that. My work desk is clean and clear except for what I am working on, and everything else goes in a file. My home desk has one pile, everything else lives in the filing cabinet. I get rediculously upset when I can't find something.

So I have tidied up. My stuff, not his.

I'm not sure exactly why I get so upset about this kind of thing. One of the reasons is I don't feel competent when I can't find what I am talking about. I also feel a fool, which is a different feeling for me than non-competency. It also wastes a lot of time looking for stuff, which is time I don't have available. But this doesn't really explain why I have a clean and clear approach to desks - it seems just a wee bit anal, and like there should be some childhood trauma making me so paranoid about losing stuff on desks.

Posted by Toni at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003


Had meeting with errant supervisor. Modeling looks more than possible without cracking the cranium, actually looks like fun. Might not be the total trauma its been built up to be. First, I have to draw a picture of gene flow. Stand by for screaming at Microsoft products.

Brat is missing his dad, seems to think dad is hiding in Wellington while we are in Canty, and that dad might not come back. Poor brat. Daddy is going to try to stay home for rest of pregnancy - his boss might well co-operate with that one.

Watched "riding in cars with boys" over the last couple of days (disk) and while watching a neglectful mother, I was required to deliberately not go when the brat called, so he would go to sleep. Felt worse than usual. Even in a movie, I find it hard not to get very grumpy with selfish women who don't make space in their lives for their kids. Mind you, what with kids being so selfish, it is a BIG space they need. They WANT a bigger space, always.

Posted by Toni at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2003

tracking up

Have almost made Ctact with the errant supervisor, and things look somewhat brighter on the thesis front. Am working on lit review, its a funny job, but going okay.

Had good weekend, went round to friends on Sunday. They have now officially tried everything, and appear to be infertile, so are doing the double income no kids thing with determination. They have a covered in ground pool, and are installing a tennis court in that fancy green artificial surface, and with the big fence and floodlights. Seems much like lifestyles of the rich and famous compared to us. They would rather have the kids, but aren't dwelling in bitterness. Or splitting up over it. Bloody fabulous people to visit! All the toys! And they understand about pregnant women who just want to sleep after lunch. C doesn't need a day nap now, but his mum does.

Am slowly getting round all the people I used to know and see regular down here, which is a great excuse to go out and drink half-way decent coffee. I am getting that Wellington fixation with coffee....

Did you know a martini made at the Lincoln pub Ctains lemonade?? Kindof glad I am not drinking alcohol at the moment, its hard to get a ginger ale wrong!

Posted by Toni at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2003


Bit cranky today (again) even though I finally had good news from work, with someone finally saying something sensible about the application I left behind me. Yay the boss!

No maths yesterday, which is a pain. Its what I came for. Found some interesting stuff that I will try to incorporate into the book.

Am enjoying spending time with the sprat, must go part-time soon, realise I am not seeing the best of him!

Things I like for the Friday theme: Good Food, like ripe tomatoes on toast. Roast chicken. Salads, desserts most food really. Crisp wine on hot days. Feel of silk swishing round me. Getting things right, and showing other people in succint ways of why I am right without putting anyone down. Sun. Beautiful gardens, people, sculpture, books, poetry, jewellery. Hubby and son. Dancing. Singing. Good music. Watching well co-ordinated animals move eg Arab horses with good action, greyhounds, birds flying. My life!!

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I took the target="_blank">What Mythological Creature Are you? test by user=peacefulchaos> !

I'd love to be a dragon... I liked the result of this quiz. Why can't I get the picture here? How did I stuff up? let me count the ways... help

Posted by Toni at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2003

Was expecting to spend today with the supervisor starting work on the stats, but he has apparently disappeared, and I am fucked off. I have come to Christchurch specifically to work with him, and had a booking for today which I Cfirmed last week. I will be very pissed off if I have come all this way and gone through all this organising and stress for nothing.

In the interim, I'm reading some papers on my topic, and have found a couple of really good ones. You know what though? Science papers have the power to put me to sleep. Remind me of this if I start complaining later in the preg of not being able to sleep. Genetics papers are particularly effective, and if anyone wants to borrow some ...

Posted by Toni at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2003

Lest we forget...

Still working away on the lit review actually in the library. You'd think that would be really good, actually working in the place that holds the references I am working with, But, I have forgotten how to find them! So I am fixing up all the words and expanding the utter tripe I came up with on the first draft into something a bit more useful, and I will put in the references when I get home. It is much easier when I only have to troll through stuff on my own subject. Must regain skills though, as I should head home with some New references.

Great to be back in the library again. They have all these horrifically expensive overseas periodicals on garden design, design in general, science stuff and lots and lots of books. Much better in the non-fiction than the public libraries ever could be. No real fiction collection, its a hard road finding the perfect library.

Bought some hair restraint (every time I go away I forget/can't find something absolutely necessary. My memory is getting preggy brain fug. Blast!

Posted by Toni at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2003


Back at the uni now, and pissed off pretty much already. Wanted to get a library card, so needed proof I was a reg student. Go to registry. They can't find me as they have accidentally changed my name back to my maiden name. Been married 9.5 years, far as I know still am. Anyway, go back to library with form. Go back to registry to get back my card. Go back to library and they can't update the old card, cos that has already been done once, so they finally give a me new card. In my maiden name, with the married name login being the computer valid one.

Have written tetchy letter demanding they fix my name issue, or they no doubt will either a)not accept I have been here as long as I have and b)will give the certificate in the wrong name too.

At all times I have been treated like an only just responsible child. C gets more respect.

Heard from R in Afghanistan, he is fine and having a reasonable time. Not quite busy enough, but liking to work with the Americans and see how they do stuff.

Posted by Toni at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)