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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

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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33 Things

Somewhere along the line it has got to the middle of October already and I haven’t put up my new list of 33 things.  To be fair, the past couple of months have been pretty busy, what with interviewing for a job in Brisbane, spending three weeks visiting respective family with the boy, getting a job in Melbourne, finishing up my old job, packing up my Christchurch life, moving to Melbourne and starting a new job!  All of these things mean that the new list has been somewhat harder to write than usual as I wasn’t really sure where I was going to be and what I would be able to do but it has also hastened the crossing off of bunch of things.

So, here is the list of 33 things to be achieved while I’m 33.  Always willing to have help with these!

  1. Climb a route out of the Melbourne book
  2. Bike to Akaroa
  3. Start a postdoc position
  4. Submit an Antarctic paper
  5. Learn to play the ukulele
  6. Submit an oi paper
  7. Go cycle touring
  8. Complete a half marathon
  9. Move to Melbourne
  10. Go to the Brewery
  11. Be my sister’s bridesmaid
  12. Submit the shrub paper
  13. Learn a new skill
  14. Finish the crochet vest
  15. Go on holiday with the boy
  16. Cross the Nullabor Plains
  17. Sell at least five things on Trade Me
  18. Wear a skirt every day for a month (skirtember)
  19. Join a club
  20. Live below the line
  21. Run 10 km a week for a month
  22. Go cross-country skiing
  23. Compete in a road bike race
  24. Make Aunt Maggie’s slippers
  25. Crochet the Baby Boobie Beanie
  26. Organise a stuff swap
  27. Have an awesome leaving party
  28. Ride a Melbourne mountain bike trail
  29. Make ice cream from bananas
  30. Buy a fancy dress
  31. Walk the Overland Track round Cradle Mountain
  32. Do something crafty at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)
  33. Have an outdoor adventure at least monthly (SONDJFMAMJJA)
More on my Melbourne adventures soon…..


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32 things – a recap

So another birthday has come and gone and it’s time to reflect on the year of 32 things.

1. Bike the Great Divide
So, the grand plan was to take 4-5 months off work and bike the ~4500 km with the boy along the length of the Rockies.  But life kinda got in the way and it all got a bit complicated and I couldn’t get enough time off work to make the trip worthwhile.  But I did buy the book.  Surely that has to count for something, right?!  This trip looks like an amazing mission and is definitely still on the to do list.  It might just need to wait a couple of years until we can both have the time to cycle off into the sunset.

2. Compete in the 12 hour Spring Challenge
So the Mighty Midgets had done the 6 hour Spring Challenge a couple of times and, despite being super-scared, we decided it was time we sprung up to the challenge of the 2011 12 hour event. We trained hard all winter and had some awesome missions.  We were fairly nervous but confident we would survive as the morning of the race dawned.  It was an amazing day, with a nice smattering of rafting, mountain biking, bushbashing and rogaining to keep us occupied.  We had a fabulous support crew (thanks Ash, Nomes & Graham) who fed and watered us and even tied our shoelaces.  It’s not very often that we push ourselves to see what we can achieve but the Spring Challenge is an excellent opportunity to do this and it was extremely satisfying to cross the finish line after 15 hours and still be smiling.  In fact, we could have kept going for longer, which might imply that we didn’t go hard enough!  Thanks to the Miniest Mighty Midget Michelle and the Mightiest Mighty Midget Maaike for being awesome team mates!

3. Put my clipless pedals back on my mountain bike
Ok, so they are on there.  But it doesn’t mean i like them!  I’m still a wimp and bought pedals that are flat on one side, so I can indulge my wimpiness but they are technically on my bike.  Now I just need to ride the thing.

4. Run 500 km
So I just went back and looked at the excuse that I wrote for not completing this on the list of 31 things and it was pretty lame.  Unfortunately I think this year’s excuse is probably even worse and I’m pretty sure that I didn’t even run as far as I did last year.  I kinda lost my running mojo this year but I’ve just bought a new pair of shoes (although I’m not entirely sure how I wore out the old pair!).  And this spring weather is making me more enthused about the whole running idea, so maybe next  year.  Although I feel I may need to scale down the distance somewhat!

5. Compete in a triathlon
Similar problem to item 4.  A combination of laziness and a distinct lack of triathlons after my return from the ice.  Oh well….

6. Photograph a snow petrel
These funky little birds hang out in Antarctica and are snow white and very cool.  I would love to get a picture of one, only they don’t really hang about for very long during the season and, when they are actually there, you get a 30 second glimpse of them as they glide past.  This year I think I saw one for about 20 seconds.  Not even enough time to register in my brain that I should grab my camera before it was gone again.  Maybe next season??

7. Publish the remaining whio papers
I seem to be writing up a list of excuses!  There really isn’t any excuse for not having done these.  I did do a bit of work when I was in Perth but it’s hard to find the motivation to do work when I’ve already spent 8 hours at work doing maths.  But it would be really helpful to have these papers out there, so I really just need to pull finger and do them!

8. Complete a half marathon
Refer to item 4.

9. Go cycle touring
I didn’t really go cycle touring per se but we did do an overnight mountain bike trip which I like to refer to as tramping with bikes.  So not really cycle touring at all since there was very little cycling actually done.  But entertaining nonetheless.

10. Make Albert Monkey
Finally something I can cross off! Albert Monkey came into being in October and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.  First to Auckland where he took in the sites of the rugby world cup.  Then off to Raoul Island.  He must have had a fabulous time and been super busy because he never even sent a postcard.

11. Publish an Antarctic paper
It’s close.  Well the finishing of the analysis and the writing of the paper bit.  The actual publishing bit will be totally dependent on whether the third reviewer is having a nice day when they read it.

12. Compete in a road bike race
I bought a new road bike this year and it seemed like it was time to actually do a race.  So a group of us headed up to do the Grape Ride, a 101km race from Blenheim to Picton and around the bays.  It was a little on the damp side and super windy, which made the Blenheim to Picton leg less than fun.  But the return trip was awesome.  I rode with my sister’s future father-in-law for a while before he had a mechanical and our team of girly awesomeness left him behind to lament his poor bike maintenance record.  We were pretty awesome as we flew along the road, passing people up the hills and being passed by a dude with panniers on the downhill.  We rolled across the line in just over four hours which made for three happy and tired girls, having each just completed the longest ride of our lives.

13. Knit/crochet a jersey
So I started a knitted vest when we got stuck by snow in Queenstown last year and nearly had it finished when, true to form, I decided I didn’t really like it and I frogged the entire thing.  The wool then languished in the stash for quite some time until I found a pattern for a felted crocheted vest with crazy  multi-coloured stripes.  This seemed more my style, so I’ve been busy crocheting away and it is nearly done.  I don’t think this one will get unravelled but I don’t have a good record for keeping jerseys intact (all four knitted thus far have been unravelled), so I had better felt it soon before I get the chance!

14. Compete in a mountain bike race
Every mountain bike race that I wanted to do seemed to be on a weekend when I had something else on.  At least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

15. Climb a grade 17
I did it once.  And have never managed it again.  I am enjoying climbing though, even if it is only inside – there being a distinct lack of outdoor rock to climb in Christchurch, what with it all being shaken of the hillsides and all.  Hopefully I will be able to climb something real in the coming year.

16. Buy a macro lens
I didn’t buy a macro lens but I did accidentally buy a new camera.  So maybe they cancel each other out.

17. Ride a century in a day
Refer to item 12

18. Spend a night at the Sign of the Packhorse
This has to be the longest standing item on the list, having started out on the original list in 2007.  But it finally fell this year with an excellent election weekend escape with some friendly resident poms.

19. Sew an item of clothing
In a fit of sewing crazy, I constructed an infinity dress, a reversible hooded dress and a reversible skirt, all without the benefit of a proper pattern or in some cases any pattern at all.  In hindsight, patterns may have been a good idea.  To date, there have been limited outings of the fore-mentioned items, so a distinct lack of photographs.  But there is a hint of spring in the air and a slightly mad scheme afoot that will see this predominantly trouser-clad lass breaking out the skirts, so hopefully you will get a peek soon.  More on this in the list of 33 things….

20. Organise a clothes swap party
It is completely coincidental that this follows on from item 19!  To be honest, I’m not sure there would have been many takers either.  But I have now been to two clothes swap parties which have been an excellent way of cleaning out the closest and gaining a few new items.  I’m now planning a stuff swap to clean out the rest of the crap that I’ve accumulated over the past 6 years.

21. Present a paper at ICCB 2011
Four mins of petrels and I was outta there.  Easiest conference talk ever.  And not a bad conference either, even without my organising committee hat on.

22. Empty out my storage shed of crap
When I went to Antarctica in 2010, I moved out of our house of 4.5 years and put all of my crap in storage.  Then I came back and got out a few boxes and the rest languished in storage for a ridiculously long time, costing me a ridiculous amount of money, because I was too lazy to move it and I didn’t really have anywhere to put it at the new house.  I slowly managed to pawn a lot of it off onto unsuspecting friends until I was left with a couple of boxes of unknown contents, a desk, washing machine and a broken rat trap and little motivation to actually shift it.  But the storage shed o’ crap has finally been emptied, the stuff sort of sorted and I’m working on ways to hide in the back of various family member’s garages as I get ready to set off on another adventure (more on that soon).

23. Buy knee-high boots
They are red.  and awesome.

24. Make bagels
Antarctica is a good place for experimental bread making, given that we are given a bag of flour and some yeast and we have plenty of time.  The rising conditions for yeast are less than ideal but it is possible.  This year we feasted on a wide variety of breads, including bagels, naan and beer bread.  I swear I had a picture of the bagels somewhere but you will have to make do with some bread instead

25. Go back to Antarctica
A second stint in Antarctica was calling and so I set off to pester some more penguins with Dad in tow as my field assistant.  Many people expressed some concern about being cooped up with my Father in a confined space for eight weeks. Indeed, it could have gone horribly wrong.  But we happily spent our time poking penguins with needles, baking bread, swimming at Christmas (in Santa hats), excitedly examining comb jellies and sitting about reading the dictionary without too much drama. Good times.

26. Have a hot pool party
We tried.  This was the infamous tramping with bikes expedition where the tramping part took so long that people who were sans bike were faster than we were.  Which meant we ended up staying at a different hut from the one we intended and never made it to the Hope hot pools.  I realise that this was in October and there has been plenty of opportunity to try again but (here come the excuses) it never quite happened.

27. Apply for a post-doc position
I applied for a post-doc.  In Brisbane.  I went to Brisbane for a day for an interview.  It seemed like a nice place.  So nice I spent an extra day there (not voluntarily.  Never fly with me to Australia – I think I am cursed).  I didn’t get the job.  But they put me in touch with a guy in Melbourne.  He offered me a job.  Which apparently, I learnt today from the lady who needs to order me a computer, starts on October 1.  Although I haven’t seen a contract yet, so not counting chickens just yet.  But, yup, hopefully moving to Melbourne.  In a month.  Boy, have I got some stuff to do between now and then. (Hence the blog updating and other sundry procrastinatory activities).

28. Publish the shrub paper
It’s on that list of things to do before the end of September.

29. Lecture in a university course
Three riveting lectures in Biology 112 on things ecological, courtesy of my PhD supervisor swanning off somewhere exciting.  This year I didn’t get in trouble for showing Green Porno videos.  Bonus.

30. Do some volunteer work
Allegedly I did this – I crossed it off on my list on the desktop of my computer.  But I do remember it being somewhat tenuous at the time and I have absolutely no idea what it might have been, so I’m leaving this unchecked.  Slacker.

31. Learn to jugular bleed penguins
How to have fun with needles and penguins – stick them in them blindly in the jugular.  While it sounds horrific, and seems awful the first few times you do it, it is by the far the fastest way to extract blood from a penguin.  And is infinitely more “fun” than trying to bleed them from the foot.  Definitely my preferred vampire method.

32. Go on an outdoor adventure at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)
Lots of outdoor trips this year, although the term adventure is perhaps somewhat debatable for some of them.  We started out with a hiss and a roar with the Spring Challenge in September, then tramping with bikes up the Hope in October, November was up Sign of the Packhorse, followed by two months in Antarctica.  February scraped in with a camping trip to Lake Taylor while March and April were spent camping in the wilds of Western Australia.  May just caught a quick blast up Scott’s Saddle, while June was ice climbing and other adventuring at Fox Glacier. July hosted Laura’s annual birthday tramp to Lake Daniell’s, while August was graced by a short jaunt up Mt Oxford (& hopefully cross-country skiing this weekend).

and other fun stuff

33. Sleep in my new tent
It’s light and small and you need to be short.  And a little on the damp side, being a single skin and all.  And clearly pitched outside a perfectly good hut but it was full of children.  Now I just need to make sure I get in the right one!



34. Buy a new road bike
It’s light and small and you need to be short.  But it’s carbon and fast and a really nice ride.  I just need to actually ride it more.

35. Go on a Western Australia roadtrip
South-western Australia has been given a cursory go over and places to revisit properly have been duly noted.  Middlish western Australia also revisited.  It was good times.

So all in all, not a bad year.  There are a few lingering things on the list that should really have been crossed off (but they are mostly the boring work-related things).  The list of 33 things is currently under construction but should be ready for general release soon.


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32 things

Seeing I seem to be on a blogging roll at the moment (I’m “working from home”), it seems timely to put up the new list. The list of 32 things I want to do while I’m 32. If you’re checked out any of the old lists, you’ll notice that a few things have rolled over (some for the fifth time!). Hopefully, this year……


I will need help completing my list, so let me know if you want to come and play on one (or more) of my adventures. Or if you have any useful skills (like coding in Python) that might be useful or want to offer me a job! The more people that play in the list-crossing-off, the better!


Here goes……

1. Bike the Great Divide
2. Compete in the 12 hour Spring Challenge
3. Put my clipless pedals back on my mountain bike
4. Run 500 km
5. Compete in a triathlon
6. Photograph a snow petrel
7. Publish the remaining whio papers
8. Complete a half marathon
9. Go cycle touring
10. Make Albert Monkey
11. Publish an Antarctic paper
12. Compete in a road bike race
13. Knit/crochet a jersey
14. Compete in a mountain bike race
15. Climb a grade 17
16. Buy a macro lens
17. Ride a century in a day
18. Spend a night at the Sign of the Packhorse
19. Sew an item of clothing
20. Organise a clothes swap party
21. Present a paper at ICCB 2011
22. Empty out my storage shed of crap
23. Buy knee-high boots
24. Make bagels
25. Go back to Antarctica
26. Have a hot pool party
27. Apply for a post-doc position
28. Publish the shrub paper
29. Lecture in a university course
30. Do some volunteer work
31. Learn a new skill
32. Go on an outdoor adventure at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)


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A recap of 31 things

It’s that time of year when another birthday has passed and it’s time to start working on the next list.  So I’d thought I’d do a quick recap of how things went on the list of 31 things.  I am the first to admit that it wasn’t a particularly good year for crossing things off.  Some of this was out of my control; earthquakes and the crazy year that has ensured since September 4 2010 has put a lot of things on hold or made them difficult.  As did going to Antarctica and missing out on most of a summer, although I’m more than happy to have this as an excuse.  Other things have just slipped off the bottom of the list without getting done for no apparent reason (or they were somewhat optimistic anyway!).  I’ve added in links to relevant blog posts in case you missed out on the details.

This has to be the highlight of the past year.  What an amazing experience.  And even better I get to do it all again this coming year.

2. Ride Long Bays

I would have loved to have ridden Long Bays, a cycle route that follows the Port Hills and edge of the Lyttleton Harbour. But unfortunately the road was damaged, probably beyond repair, in the earthquakes. I did ride this instead, which is probably about as close as you can get these days.


3. Submit a sturgeon manuscript
Seven years on, this is probably never going to happen!  Unless somebody teaches me to code in Python.

4. Run 500 km
According to my Nike+ whatsit, I only managed to run 92km!  This is a bit dismal really, but I’ve been doing loads of other stuff and am probably about as fit as I’ve ever been.  So I’m happy.  This seems to have migrated on to the next list, so we’ll see what happens.

5. Compete in a triathlon
Unfortunately the February earthquake got in the way of post-Antarctic triathlons.  Next list….

6. Photograph a leopard seal
Leopard seal found and photographed (although not very well)

7. Publish the whio HQ paper
After being rejected a mammoth seven times, I think we are almost there.  Just redoing some of the analysis.

8. Complete a half marathon
I obviously didn’t do enough training (see #5), so this never happened!

9. Go cycle touring

I didn’t really go cycle touring, although we did do an overnight trip recently on our mountain bikes up the Hurunui.  Which I think is close enough to count.  I’m crossing it off.



10. Compete in a multi-sport event
Once again the Mighty Midgets competed in the 6 hour Spring Challenge.  And we did pretty well, apart from a minor navigational oops near the end.  I love this event. In fact, so much that we are doing the 12 hour version next weekend!

11. Start a post doctoral position

I applied for a postdoc scholarship to look marine reserves in the Ross Sea but alas the powers to be decided that it wasn’t worthy.  So I’ve continued to contract for Landcare Research and am involved in some pretty interesting work.  Maybe next year I’ll get a proper job.

12. Compete in a road bike race
Once again, I’m blaming earthquakes.

13. Travel internationally>
I went to Antarctica, of course, but that doesn’t really count as kiwis don’t get their passports stamped in either direction as we never leave kiwi soil.  So I had to find another trip to go on.  And what better excuse than to visit Hamish in Perth, where he’s busy drilling holes looking for minerals to dig up.  I also got to spend some time in Melbourne due to some freak weather in NZ.

14. Knit/crochet a jersey

I did knit a jersey.  And then I undid it.  I really need to learn to read and make the gauge swatches before I get all enthusiastic about knitting the whole thing.  Hopefully next year I will knit (and keep knitted) a jersey!
15. Compete in a mountain bike race
Blaming earthquakes.  Actually more, general unfitness coming back from Antarctica.  This year I really need to do some exercise when I’m down there!

16. Buy decent binoculars
I never got around to doing this but they are still on my wishlist.  Did get to try out Hamish’s twitcher-goggles (his term, not mine) while in Aussie.

17. Climb a grade 16 on rock
There has been a distinct lack of climbable rock in Christchurch recently.  What with all falling down around your ears everytime the earth moves.  Which it does frequently.  But I have started climbing inside on the wall and will hopefully be able to tick this off this coming year.

18. Submit the final whio paper
I need to publish the other ones first.  And given that this hasn’t happened yet, I can’t cross this one off.  Soon, hopefully.

19. Learn to ride my mountain bike clipless
I put my pedals on.  Went for one ride.  And promptly took them off again.  Scared shitless would be a good description of my mental state.  But I’ve done a bunch more riding since then and am way more confident.  So, after the Sprin Challenge, they are going back on and staying on.  Be prepared for stories of pedal-induced falls!

20. Buy a macro lens
Same story as the binoculars really.

21. Buy a tripod
I bought a really nice tripod before going down to the ice and I think I’ve only used it once.  No, twice.  I really need to do LOTS more photography.  And play with my tripod.

22. Re-instate my blog
Check!

23. Ride a century in a day
Pen and I had great plans of biking from Cave Stream back to Lincoln and I’m not really sure why we never did it.  We mapped it out, we flew it in Google Earth but we never actually rode it.  This summer, right Pen!

24. Spend a night at the Sign of the Packhorse
Did you know that this has now been on four lists and has never been crossed off.  How ridiculous.  It’s all of two hours walk and should be super-easy to do.  I debated whether to add it to the list of 32 things, given that it hasn’t happened yet.  I’m giving it one more year.  Surely we can make this happen in year five!

25. Learn to do Bayesian statistics
Done.  I’m definitely no expert but I have almost finished a nifty analysis trying to figure out how many birds live on some islands in Northland.  Pretty fun (if statistics can be fun).


26. Crochet a sunhat
This is another one of those cases where I finished the task and then promptly undid it again because I wasn’t really that happy with the result.  But I did it!

27. Make gallstone jewellery
Unfortunately (although some may say fortunately), these got lost when I moved.  Oh well…..

28. Make marmalade
Yum.  I need to make some more.

29. Take a polar plunge
There is something a little mad about jumping into -1.9C water, complete with icebergs, penguins, leopard seals and orca.  But you have to do it.  Sorry, no photographic evidence – it would have needed censoring anyway.

30. Make sour dough bread
I managed to keep a batch of sour dough going for most of the time we were on the ice.  Although I’m not sure the little beasties were that happy about the cold.

31. Go on an outdoor adventure at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)
There were lots of outdoor adventures this year.  Antarctica, for one.  Lots of tramping trips, mountain bike trips, rogaines, adventure races, skiing ……  It’s been a fun year.




I always come up with a few things to add to the list.  Things that I never thought I’d be doing but they usually turn out to be a lot of fun….

32. Compete in the national rogaine champs
Michelle and I carved up a storm at the National Rogaine Champs in Blenheim, coming in 7th in the Open Women.  An entertaining 24 hours of wandering around trying not to get lost.

33. Sign up for the 12 hour Spring Challenge
Oh dear, what have we done!  Will report back in a couple of weeks with how we went.

34. Compete in TWALK
Another 24 hour rogaine event, this time with Maaike and Elizabeth.  More fun, getting lost in the dark.  This time in costume.

35. Compete in Heights of Winter
A 12 hour event, getting lost in the dark.  There seems to be a running theme here!

36. Go cross-country skiing
A fantastic girl’s weekend (and then some) cross-country skiing down in Wanaka.
So it’s been a pretty busy year of being 31.  I’ve managed to fit in a lot of fun stuff, do some work and generally have a great time.  Here’s looking forward to crossing off 32 things!