Listful thinking

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The Lists

Every year on my birthday I write a list of things to do in the next year.  There are no rules, except that the list has to be as long as the number of years that I’m turning and I need to know when a list item can be crossed off. The list tends to be a mixture of personal and work-related items, low hanging fruit and things that are more of a challenge. I haven’t yet managed to complete a list and some items have moved from one year to the next without ever being crossed off.  I always try and put the list on my computer desktop, so that I see it everyday and am inspired (or guilted) into working on the items. Below are the lists to date.

27 Things

27 things

28 Things

28 things

29 Things

29 Things

30 Things

30 things

31 Things

31 things

32 Things

32 things

33 Things

33 things

34 Things

34 things

35 Things

35 things


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35 Things

Every year on my birthday, I write a list of things to do in the coming year. The length of the list corresponds to the age that I’m turning, so it gets progressively longer.  This is the list of 35 Things.  You’ll note that some of the items have been crossed off already.  That’s because my birthday is in August – I’m a bit slow on the old blog-updating! I’m always up for help crossing things off, so let me know if there is something you want to do.

  1. Ride the Great Divide
  2. Bike Around the Bay
  3. Do an overnight trip on the Munda Biddi trail
  4. Go to Alice Springs
  5. Restore my old bicycle
  6. Move to Perth
  7. Submit a Strategic Assessment paper
  8. Make a softie for Zac
  9. Publish an Adelie paper
  10. Submit the whio BRT paper
  11. Find a job
  12. Make an Antarctic photobook
  13. Take a crafty course
  14. Learn a new modeling technique
  15. Write a Decision Point article
  16. Do some kite photography
  17. Bike to Freemantle for dessert
  18. Sew an item of clothing
  19. Buy new swimmers
  20. See a wombat in the wild
  21. Write a blog post for the Adelie paper
  22. Ride 1000km in 30 days
  23. Get a pet BOB
  24. Buy a bike packing tent
  25. Go to Rottnest Island
  26. Go to an outdoor cinema
  27. See Antarctica: a Year on Ice
  28. Take a cooking class
  29. Go to the theatre
  30. Make cold brew coffee
  31. Go on a summer roadtrip
  32. Do Meatless March
  33. Go to Melbourne Zoo
  34. Go on a monthly adventure (SONDJFMAMJJA)
  35. Do some monthly craftiness (SONDJFMAMJJA)

35 things

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34 things – a recap

So the year of 34 things ended in August 2014. It seems that I haven’t posted anything here since October 2013 and now it’s January 2015! It was a pretty busy year – 32 flights (!), including a trip to London and Antarctica, several trips to NZ and multiple trips to Perth and Newcastle. Here’s a summary of the list of 34 things and the progress (or not) that was made.

1. Take Hamish to Antarctica
December and January saw my fourth trip to Antarctica to wrangle Adelie penguins and this year I managed to wrangle myself a vaguely useful field assistant, who at least looked the part. Given that we’ve spent most of the last four years living in different countries/sides of a continent, it was nice to spend two months confined to a very small hut surrounded by 40,000 breeding pairs of penguins.

2. Go to London
The start of the year of 34 things saw me in London for the International Congress of Ecology – a large gathering of ecologists chatting about critters and maths and all things ecological. It was a great week of ecologising, followed by a week of sightseeing around the city and the surrounds.

3. Take underwater photos of penguins
The grand plan was to buy a cheap camera, build an underwater case for it, precariously attach it to a pole, dangle it underwater from the shore and attempt to capture penguins swimming past. We were thwarted at the second step and a lack of time to get organised. We did however buy a cheap canon camera, hack the software and leave it set up at various sites around the colony to capture timelapse sequences. This poor camera took over 40,000 pictures and, almost a year later, we are still sorting through the images and stitching together the sequences. I’d still like to give the underwater photos a go – maybe next time (assuming I’m allowed back down).

4. Go cycle touring
I’ve had go cycle touring on the list for a few years now and it hasn’t really happened. I have done a lot of riding this year, including some weekend trips, with a group in Melbourne which has been a lot of fun. Next year…stay tuned for more details

5. Compete in a road bike race
This year I participated in the Rapha 100 – a 100km womens-only event that was run simultaneously around the world. This was only the second time that I had ridden 100km in a day and it was a beautiful (hilly) course through the countryside of Victoria.

6. See the map that changed the world
The first geological map of Britain hangs in the foyer of the British Geological Society.

7. Submit a unimelb paper
A big part of academic life is publishing your research in scientific journals. This year I published my first paper from my work at The University of Melbourne looking at how we can use information about what people value in the landscape, combined with knowledge of where plants and animals live, to improve decisions about which areas to protect for conservation.

8. Learn a new skill
I took a cheese making course and made the world’s most expensive block of feta. It was super tasty and pretty easy but required way more equipment than I could be bothered getting to actually repeat the exercise. But maybe some other time…
9. Become an Aunt
Really this involve no skill or input on my part but he is a little cutie. Shame I live on the other side of the ditch and don’t get to play with little Zac more often.

10. Take a crafty class
I spent a day learning how to make soap and have become slightly addicted. Needless to say I have boxes overflowing with random flavoured(?) soap, so come to me for all your soap requirements.

11. Take a proper holiday

What is this holiday word? I realised the other day that since I started my job in Melbourne in 2012, I have taken a whole two weeks of holiday (using my all annual leave the first year to go to Antarctica seemed like a good idea but wrangling penguins doesn’t equal a holiday). Somewhere along the line, life got busy and fitting holidays in just hasn’t really worked out. But we’re plotting a BIG holiday next year -can’t wait!

12. Go to the theatre
Being in London, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to get some culture and visit the theatre. In fact, I managed to go twice to see Wicked and something based on Queen’s music. Excellent.

13. Climb a 15 route outside
I’m not sure I even managed to go climbing – so slack!

14. Ride to Fremantle for dessert
I was promised that we would go “next time” I was in Perth but I’m still waiting….

15. Go to an outdoor cinema
The problem of spending the summer in Antarctica is that you tend to miss out on summery activities, like going to outdoor cinema’s. Also I’m slack!

16. Take a photo every day of the year
I did really well for a while. In fact, I think I only missed a few days for the first six months. And then I hit the post-fieldwork blues and really struggled to remember to take a picture when I was basically going from home to work and back everyday without much else going. I really liked the idea and had a lot of fun while I was doing it but it did end up being a bit of a chore. I only got as far as posting the photos from September and October but will put up the rest sometime soon.

17. Go to the Pilbara
The usual story of my research life, I didn’t get to see the thing that I’m working on. I’d love to get up there at some point as the landscape looks stunning.

18. See a wombat in the wild
Nope. Didn’t help that I didn’t go anywhere that they might be found.

19. Finish knitting the infinity scarf

I didn’t do a whole lot of crafting this year but I did finish this scarf, made from a beautiful merino-alpaca blend that somebody gave me for christmas. I haven’t worn it a whole lot as it never seemed to get cold enough in Melbourne.

20. Learn to do metapopulation modeling

That’s what minions are for, right?! I have technically been involved in a metapopulation modelling project but, with limited time, I’ve been fortunate to have one of our Master’s graduates helping me out with the technical aspects of the modelling.

21. Submit a whio paper
Nope – slack!

22. Write an Antarctic fieldwork blog series
Does two posts count as a series? This year we didn’t have internet at Cape Bird (which seemed like the way it should be), so writing posts during the season didn’t end up being a priority. And it was difficult to find time when I got back. But I did write about wrangling penguins over on my research blog.

23. Fix up my new old bike
The lad managed to pick up two 1970s ladies road bikes of the side of the road for me and the plan was to strip them back, repaint them and do them up. We spent a bit of time cannibalising bits off one to make the other roadworthy but I haven’t spent enough time in the West to do anymore. Next list….

24. Submit a sturgeon paper
Nope – slack!

25. See a whale shark
The plan had been to take a holiday (#11) and head north to Exmouth and whale shark country over the winter. But life got in the way and we never quite made it. But the whale sharks cruise the Western Australian coast every year, so there is hope for a future list.

26. Take part in a charitable activity
Nope – slack!

27. Go tramping in Tasmania
Nope – slack!

28. Take a mountain bike skills course
Nope – slack! But I did take my mountain bike to Perth and we have done quite a bit of riding every time I’ve been over. I’ve even got the chain ring scar on my leg to prove it!

29. Get a gym program and do it for at least two months
Well I joined the gym. That’s a start, right?!

30. Keep up Wildlife Wednesday
This is one of those terrible list items that isn’t well-defined. I mean, what does “keep up” mean? One post a week, one post a month, one post a year? Over on my research blog, I started a series of blog posts in Oct 2012 that featured a picture of some wildlife feature with a short description that detailed something about their ecology. I really enjoyed writing these posts but this year I only managed five posts, less than I would have liked.

31. Find the perfect pair of pants
Again, a terribly defined list item – what are the perfect pants? I have always had difficulty finding pants that fit well (my thighs are great for hill climbing, less so for this current trend of skinny jeans) but I did manage to find some jeans that I’m relatively happy with (and are made for midgets, so I don’t have to cut six inches off the bottom). So I guess that’s a win.

32. Do The Frocktober Challenge
Following on the success of skirtember (33 things – when I wore a skirt every day in September to try and conquer my fear of skirts), I thought I’d up the anti and wear a dress everyday in October. I was surprised to discover how many dresses were in my wardrobe considering how infrequently I wear them. It was fun, I didn’t die and it may have marginally decreased my fear of dresses. having said that, they haven’t really made it into my daily rotation of clothes but they also aren’t that practical when commuting by bike.

33. Do something crafty at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)
34. Do something adventurous at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)

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34 things in photos – October

It’s been a pretty crazy month, with lots happening on the work front, but I managed to cross a few things of the list. The big challenge for October was wearing a dress every day, which turned out to not actually be that difficult. In fact, I think I have now trained myself out of being scared of dresses! We’ll see how long that lasts!

October highlights include:

  • Successfully completing Frocktober (#29)
  • Finishing knitting my infinity scarf – just a shame it’s not really scarf weather any more (#19 & #33)
  • Getting three(!) papers accepted into journals (I wrote about one over on my research blog) (#7)
  • Started playing around with my new old bikes (#23 – there’s still a lot of work to do)
  • Getting the cutest children’s book about penguins from a friend
  • Spending 2.5 weeks in Perth with the lad
  • Going camping with the new “swent” – a fancy double swag that’s big enough to almost qualify as a tent (#34)
  • Checking out the historic Freemantle Prison
  • Experimenting with taking star photos
  • One Wildlife Wednesday post (#30)

Unfortunately, there were three days when I forgot to take photos for the 365 day photo challenge. I think being in a different place, and working stupidly long hours at the same time, meant that I just simply forgot (It wasn’t that I got locked in a closet like one of my friends suggested!). I may have slightly cheated for one of those days and created an image after the fact but I think it’s a fair representation of the what the day was like!

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34 things in photos – September

Wow – how did September get to be over already?!  Another month that has flown by in what seems to have been an incredibly busy year.  This month I’ve been to four different cities in Australia and spent a lot of time in airports.  But I’ve also cruised the Brisbane River, hung out with water dragons, eaten a lot of pizza, got some new slippers, met some friendly firemen, spent time in the garden, made friends with a butterfly, fed some ducks, bottled homegrown olives, had a few beers and been out on my bike.

I’ve also managed to remember to take a photo every day this month.  Here’s a pictorial summary of September 2013.

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33 things – a recap

So the year of 33 has been and gone.  It wasn’t the most successful year list-wise but it certainly has been a very busy year, with lots of changes.

1. Climb a route out of the Melbourne book

Before I moved to Melbourne, I’d been getting into rock climbing at the local gym.  We’d all trundle down once a week or so and muck about on the indoor walls, trying not to terrify ourselves on the slightly sloping bits. I’m definitely not much of a climber and I’m not really that keen on heights but it makes for a fun challenge.  So when a friend gave me a book of climbing routes in Melbourne, it seemed sensible that adding this to the list as a way of getting out and about.  But alas, it never happened.  I did sign up to an indoor climbing group but never actually made it.  I’ve spent a lot of time sitting at the bottom of crags in WA watching the lads climb, and I did get dragged up a short face in a quarry in Perth, but that’s been the extent of it.  Slackness!

2. Bike to Akaroa

I’ve always wanted to bike to the little town of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula.  It’s a great windy road with spectacular views and punishing hills with the promise of cute frenchness at the end.  Unfortunately I left Christchurch about a month after I wrote the list and didn’t get a chance to make the trip.  But I’ll keep it reserve for a future riding excursion.

3. Start a postdoc position

I finished my PhD in 2009 and was self-employed for a few years but it has always been my goal to stay in academia.  Well I think it is…I tend to have this love-hate relationship with science and research.  I love it when it’s going well but it can be extraordinarily stressful at times.  So my desire to stay in science has been known to waiver a lot.  But I’ve never really figured out what else to do, so I tend to stick around and then something really interesting turns up and the cycle starts again.  I applied for an interesting sounding job in Brisbane and, through a series of fortunate accidents, ended up getting a postdoc position with the Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group at the University of Melbourne.  The move to Melbourne has been a lot of fun and definitely stretched my scientific skills a lot.  I started a science blog to document (rather loosely) what I’m working on.  I’m blaming this on my poor efforts over here!

Proof that I'm (almost) a proper person
4. Submit an Antarctic paper

I’ve now had three seasons working in Antarctica on penguins and I’ll soon be heading down for Season Four.  While the bulk of the work happens while we’re down on the ice, I’ve also been working on a scientific paper that relates how well penguin chicks are growing with the environmental conditions during the breeding season.  I should really have finished this a while ago but it has been hard to find the time to finish writing this paper in amongst the rest of this crazy busy year.  But hopefully we’ll get it done before I head south this year.


5. Learn to play the ukulele

Learning to play a string instrument has always seemed like a good idea.  I can play the clarinet (badly) but strings have always been a bit beyond me.  I bought a guitar once and it just gathered dust under the bed while I blamed my stumpy fingers for my inability to play it.  I like the sound of the ukelele and the idea of sitting round with friends and having a sing-a-long (despite my extreme dislike of singing).  So when I learnt that my housemate in Christchurch played in a ukelele group, I thought I join in.  But I never quite got around to it and then I moved and……yeah – didn’t happen.

6. Submit an oi paper

Part of my work at Landcare involved trying to figure out how many burrowing seabirds lived on two groups of islands in the far north region of New Zealand.  It’s hard to accurately count the number of burrows on hilly islands with dense forest and even harder to figure out how many of those burrows actually have birds in them.  So I built some mathematical models to try and work out how many birds were there.  We did submit this paper and it has bounced around a bit.  Which I guess is the nature of publishing in science.  I’m currently working on some revisions, so hopefully it will be out some time next year.

7. Go cycle touring

I’ve been wanting to go cycle touring for a while now.  This has been spurred on by the escapades of various members of my famiy who have ventured through Nepal, Sri Lanka, China & Europe by bike.  My mum has just got back from a four month trip from Greece to Denmark.  By bike.  So it’s about time that I got out there and did my bit.  I’ve dragged my three bikes to Australia and  managed to gain another one along the way.  I even bought a book about cycle touring in Victoria using the train network.  But I haven’t got out there.  Yet.

8. Complete a half marathon

This has been a revolving item on all lists from the beginning and it still hasn’t happened.  In fact, I think I’ve been for 2 runs since I moved to Melbourne.  And neither of them were even close to being a half-marathon.  I think I might have to give up on this one for the time being.

9. Move to Melbourne


10. Go to The Brewery

Given I used to live about 600m from The Brewery, it would have been a bit ridiculous if I hadn’t made it to this great little addition to the Christchurch drinking scene.  And I definitely made it there … a lot.  Good times.  I’m looking forward to another visit when I’m back in December.

11. Be my sister’s bridesmaid

My little sister got married in February and I was honoured to be one of her lovely bridesmaids.  It was a beautiful Te Anau day with a beautiful bride and a lovely ceremony.  And beautiful bridesmaids!


12. Submit the shrub paper

Another research project I’ve been working on over the past few years is trying to work out what happens when you remove livestock from high country grazing land in NZ.  Do you end up with a plant community with lots of weeds or does it revert to a shrubby community dominated by native plants?  Livestock removal is generally been done for conservation purposes, so it’s important that we understand what the management implications might be – can we leave the system to look after itself or will we need to do lots of weed control to ensure that we end up with a native system that is an asset in the conservation estate?  It turns out that where we were working you mostly end up with native vegetation which is great.  I’ve hopefully just done the last round of revisions on this paper, so it should be out soonish (fingers crossed).

13. Learn a new skill

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make cheese, so I dabbled in this a little bit this year.  I never got around to making anything fancy but I did manage to make a reasonably good basic farmers cheese.  It was kinda similar to haloumi (in that it would squeak if you bit into it after frying) and pretty tasty.  At some point, I’d like to try something a bit more adventurous but I’ll try and post the recipe for this at some point in the near future.

Homemade cheese

14. Finish the crochet vest

I think I’m on the third iteration of this vest-making exercise and I’m still not really statisfied with how it’s going.  Not helped by the fact that I started ad libbing the pattern and now I can’t really remember what I was trying to do.  It’s time for the annual unravelling of the vest, so I can turn it into something else.  I have a vague plan – we’ll see if it actually stays intact (assuming it gets finished).

15. Go on holiday with the boy

I think when I wrote this I had grand plans of going on some proper holiday away somewhere for weeks on end.  Given that we live on opposite sides of the continent and I used all my annual leave to go to the ice, we’ve been doing well to actually see each other for more than a few weeks at a time.  But we’ve had some fun weekend trips in WA.  And then there’s this summer’s excursion to Antarctica.  It’s more of a working holiday but it should be super fun!

16. Cross the Nullarbor Plains

The originial intention of this list item had been to cross the Nullarbor Plains on the ground – by road or rail – but there wasn’t really time in the year for that.  But I did cross them eight times by plane – surely that has to count for something other than my ballooning carbon footprint!

17. Sell at least five things on Trade Me

One of the nice things about moving is that it’s a great excuse to declutter and why not make some money at the same time.  So I managed to hock off a bunch of my stuff to happy strangers.  Unfortunately for my poor mother and her overstuffed garage I didn’t really get rid of that much stuff.

18. Wear a skirt every day for a month (skirtember)

For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I am definitely not a girly-girl.  I’m just not that interested in those sorts of things.  And I’m kind of a little intimidated by it all because I don’t really know what I’m doing.  So, to convince myself that skirts aren’t actually scary, I decided that I’d wear one every day in September.  The world didn’t end and it was actually a lot of fun.  We even went cross-country skiing in skirts.

Skiing in skirts

19. Join a club

One way of meeting people in a new place is to join a club or group of people who do something you’re interested in.  It took me a while to make that plunge in Melbourne, partly because I was away so much during the first five months that I was here.  But then I found out about Meetups and I signed up for about four almost immediately.  Basically, they are groups of like-minded people who do stuff that you can link up with on the internet.  I’ve only really been active with Melbourne Cycling, a group of road cyclists who have rides most weekends.  It’s been a great way to meet some new people and find out about good places to ride around the city.

20. Live below the line

Ever wondered what it’s like to live in extreme poverty?  There’s a charitable event called Live Below the Line that aims to raise awareness and money to try and aid some of the 1.2 billion people that live in poverty around the world.  The idea is that you try and feed yourself for five days with the equivalent monetary amount that someone living in extreme poverty would have.  In New Zealand, that works out to be about $2.25 a day.  That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee to pay for all your food for an entire day.  Not surprisingly, it’s not an easy thing to do and it took two of us a considerable amount of research, a complicated spreadsheet and some creative cooking to pull it off.  But we managed to get through without gnawing on the couch and even had enough money left at the end of the week to have a celebratory cup of tea (but only by sharing the teabag!).  It was an interesting experience and certainly made me appreciate just how privileged we are.

21. Run 10 km a week for a month

If you’ve been paying attention the whole way down (well done by the way!), then you’ll already know that this didn’t happen!

22. Go cross-country skiing

And you’ll also know that this one did.  The second annual girl’s cross skiing weekend was a great success and came complete with girl’s skiing in skirts, tasty cupcakes, glorious weather and crochet by candlelight.  It was a shame to not make it to the Hawaiian-themed third annual skiing weekend this year – hopefully next year!

Crochet by Candlelight
23. Compete in a road bike race


24. Make Aunt Maggie’s slippers

I was given a lovely pair of handmade slippers last year and I decided that I wanted to try and make a pair myself.  So I made a pair for my housemate for her birthday.  I finished knitting them by candlelight while cross country skiing, so they weren’t even close to being the same size but it’s the thought that counts, right?  I should really make some more as they were pretty quick and easy to knit.

25. Crochet the Baby Boobie Beanie

It seems to be baby season at the moment, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had a candidate for the Baby Boobie Beanie.  It’s basically a boob-shaped baby hat that is designed to be worn while breastfeeding.  Pretty funny and fun to make.  I’m sure that there will be more needed soon.

26. Organise a stuff swap

We’ve been having clothes swaps fairly regularly over the past few years when everyone cleans out their closets of unwanted clothes and brings them along for an evening of trading.  It’s always entertaining to see what people have stashed away in the back of their cupboard and it’s always a good excuse to get together and eat lots of cake.  So just before I moved, I extended the clothes swap into a stuff swap where everyone bought along the random crap that had been cluttering up their houses.  Most people managed to get rid of unwanted junk and find themselves some new treasures, while all the leftover things were donated to charity.  My biggest problem was resisting the urge to pack-rat stuff away.

27. Have an awesome leaving party

I had an A-themed party to celebrate/commiserate leaving Christchurch after having been there for 6.5 years.  There were ants, aeroplanes, an adelie penguin, Americans, angels… and it was awesome.  I certainly have fond memories of my time in Christchurch and I love that it’s not really that far away.

28. Ride a Melbourne mountain bike trail

I have been for one mountain bike ride since I moved to Melbourne, so haven’t really justified the effort of bringing my bike over.  But it was a nice ride and I really should do lots more.  My excuse is that I don’t have a car which makes getting to the trails much more difficult.  But really it’s a combination of busy-ness and laziness.

29. Make ice cream from bananas

Okay, so I know this sounds kinda weird but it is totally awesome.  You basically freeze slices of banana and then blitz them in the blender with tasty things like berries or chocolate or peanut butter.  And you essentially get ice cream.  Only without the cream, so tasty and healthy.  I’d definitely recommend giving it a go.

30. Buy a fancy dress

Being a bridesmaid necessitates the buying of a fancy dress (& then fancy shoes to match).  Amazingly, it only took us a day to find a dress that we all liked.  There was some debate as purple and pink had been ruled out as colours from the beginning but we decided that it was officially plum, so that made it okay.  While the dress buying part was easy, there must have been at least 100 emails about jewellery!

Fancy shoes
31. Walk the Overland Track round Cradle Mountain

I never did make it to Tasmania, so didn’t get to walk around Cradle Mountain.  One day…..soon, hopefully.

32. Do something crafty at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)

I think I managed to something most months, although I didn’t actually finish that many items.  There were some slippers, a couple of baby hats, a napkin for mopping up my lunch spills, a jewellery holder made out of an old photo frame, some work of the crochet vest, a started but unfinished crochet mat and an almost finished knitted infinity scarf.

it's true ... I do like penguins

33. Have an outdoor adventure at least monthly (SONDJFMAMJJA)

I haven’t done so well with outdoor adventures this year but I guess that’s part of living in the city.  Having said that, I seem to have got out most months and done something (although I do think my criteria for “adventure” is getting a bit less strict).  There have been numerous camping trips in Western Australia, five weeks in Antarctica wrangling penguins and the skiing in skirts excursion.  Good times.


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34 things

It’s that time of year again – time for a new list. Every year since 2007 I’ve written a list of X things to do while I’m X years old.  It seems to have rolled around awfully fast this year but here is my list of 34 things to do in the next year. Some of these I’ve managed to cross off already, some should be relatively straightforward but others I’ll definitely need some help with (#9 springs to mind!)

1. Take Hamish to Antarctica
2. Go to London
3. Take underwater photos of penguins
4. Go cycle touring
5. Compete in a road bike race
6. See the map that changed the world
7. Submit a unimelb paper
8. Learn a new skill
9. Become an aunt
10. Take a crafty class
11. Take a proper holiday
12. Go to the theatre
13. Climb a 15 route outside
14. Ride to Fremantle for dessert
15. Go to an outdoor cinema
16. Find the perfect pair of pants
17. Go to the Pilbara
18. See a wombat in the wild
19. Finish knitting the infinity scarf
20. Learn to do metapopulation modeling
21. Submit a whio paper
22. Write an Antarctic fieldwork blog series
23. Fix up my new old bike
24. Submit a sturgeon paper
25. See a whale shark
26. Take part in a charitable activity
27. Go tramping in Tasmania
28. Take a mountain bike skills course
29. Do The Frocktober Challenge
30. Keep up Wildlife Wednesday
31. Take a photo every day of the year (SONDJFMAMJJA)
32. Get a gym program and actually do it for at least two months (SONDJFMAMJJA)
33. Do something crafty at least once a month (ONDJFMAMJJA)
34. Do something adventurous at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)

I’ll try and post an update on how the list of 33 things went soon.  But in the meantime, here’s the daily photo challenge (#31) photos for August.  I’ve only managed to miss one day (admittedly day two which was a bit useless!)

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Mighty Midgets in Melbourne

We had a Mighty Midget reunion in Melbourne this weekend and it was marvellous. There were caterpillars in sleeping bags, and waffles, and markets, and stinky cheese sandwiches in the gardens, and museums (with lions), and mediocre coffee, and cocktails, and chinese, and more markets, and potatoes on a stick, and meat on a stick, and better coffee, and toast tongs, and even more markets, and gelato, and the beach, and pizza, and even better coffee, and curry, and more caterpillars. And lots of catching up!

Did I mention it was marvellous?!

Mighty Midgets in Melbourne

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Hanging out in Western Australia

It has been an inordinately long time since I have posted anything on this blog.  And I have been feeling guilty about it for a while now!  I can’t even claim that I’ve been too busy because those that are in the know while know that I blog almost every week.  Just not here.  I started a research blog as part of my new job in Melbourne to document the work that I do.  And then I started a Wildlife Wednesday tradition where every Wednesday I post a photograph of some interesting critter that I seen and write a little story about its ecology (mostly paraphrased from Wikipedia as they are often things I know nothing about).  Which means that I spend a lot of time writing blog posts.  Which means that I feel less inclined to post things over here.

But I thought I’d better at least let you know I’m alive and kicking and getting out and about.  So here is a slideshow of photos from my recent trip to Western Australia over Easter  It was largely spent camping and tramping and sitting at the top or bottom of crags watching people climb, along with some funky wildlife (read all about western spotted frogs and weird marsupials over at my research blog).

Hopefully I’ll be back again soon!

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Happy 2013

I’m sitting in our little hut out at Cape Bird seeing in the new year, watching minke and orca swim out the window and a leopard seal drifting past on the ice.  It’s a pretty good way to end what has been a spectacular year.  All the best for 2013 from the penguins and their wranglers at Cape Bird!

Happy 2013 big