Thursday, September 30, 2010

Puss moves and we visit Cowra

On Monday the 9th, following Jen's soccer game on Sunday, we decided to relocate Puss to Cowra. It was figured that he would love it there where he could lounge in front of a wood-fire, hunt mice around stacked trellis post and would be spared the intrusion of almost any vehicular traffic. As well, he would be pampered by Jan and Les! Puss was very put-out by the whole affair and was little comforted by my reassurance. We stayed in Cowra for a few days to try to help him settle in but were suprised by how quickly he reverted to a kind of half-wild state. He comes by now, under the cover of darkness for his dinners, and is extremely elusive. Eight-and-a-half years of sharehousing together have been put aside and now Jan and Les are doing their best to win him over again. Inadvertently, they also end up supporting a number of neighbouring felines that appreciate the extra suppers!

From OuttaFox

Jan and Jenny and I took a morning tea of scones with cream and jam to Les, on Tuesday morning the 10th, while he took a break from spraying prior to the impending bud-burst. Though still quite cool, the relatively wet recent conditions have made Cowra lush and green again. As well, the harvest this year is expected to be quite good.

From OuttaFox

In the next few updates, I will be relating the last hurrah that we held at The Fox and then how we got serious about moving out. We did really hook in to the moving gig so that we could get away on a little driving holiday, the details and some photos of which will be appearing soon too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What has been happening since mid-July?

It's high time that this blog was brought up to date. Over the next couple of weeks, I will update the blog regularly and document the huge events that have taken place in the past two months. Summarily, I submitted my PhD thesis and we celebrated, Jenny and I moved out of the Fox and were kindly farewelled multiple times, Puss was repatriated in Cowra, and then Jen and I moved to the US this month to take up post-doctoral jobs.

In the early hours on the 3rd of August, I received endorsement from my supervisor to submit my thesis. Though incredibly relieving, this spurred me, after Jen and I enjoyed this eagerly anticipated milestone, into frantic activity in order to make the final revisions and then print and bind the document. There was a kind of tranquility, knowing that the thesis was on the cusp of being submitted, that I will always remember.

The final surge to submit the thesis meant that I snatched only scraps of sleep over the next few days as I was determined to have the thesis submitted by Friday, the 6th. My advice to colleagues at the RSC about to go through the same process, just have the ANU printing unit take care of the printing. It turned out to be so much easier than doing it at the RSC! (And you are re-imbursed anyhow.)

After a few printing hiccups (and a bicycle collision en route to the RSC!), four copies of the thesis (shown below), were signed and made ready for submission to the Examinations Office.

From OuttaFox

It was a truly euphoric moment to be concluding this period of intense study and devotion. After four years and five months working at the PhD, finally making my way to the Examinations Office with the theses in hand was overwhelming.

From OuttaFox

Jenny and I toasted to the moment with champagne on the deck by Sullivan's Creek. Jen was so supportive of me and helpful while I was going through the final phases of my program, that I had to toast to her at this point too.

From OuttaFox

Happily, we were shortly joined by a great bunch of friends and colleagues from the RSC and we continued to toast in the usual fashion.

From OuttaFox

Aware that we would be leaving shortly for the US (for Jen, departure was scheduled to take place in just over three weeks time), we soon launched into the next phase of operations: empty the Fox. I reflect now that only seven weeks have passed since this decisive day but I have been so busy that it feels instead like many months. I trust that you will appreciate this, dear reader, and forgive me for the blog's recent lack of updates. I am going to make it all up to you over the next week or so. As such, come back soon for Puss and the last hurrah at The Fox.