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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)


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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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

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!

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31 things

Once again I’ve written a list of things that I’m going to over the next 12 months. It isn’t quite finished but I’ve made a reasonable start without too many things rolling over from previous years. I’m looking forward to an action-packed year being 31!

1. Go to Antarctica
2. Ride Long Bays
3. Submit a sturgeon manuscript
4. Run 500 km
5. Compete in a triathlon
6. Grow a Marlborough rock daisy
7. Publish the whio HQ paper
8. Complete a half marathon
9. Go cycle touring
10. Compete in a multi-sport event
11. Start a post doctoral position
12. Compete in a road bike race
13. Travel internationally
14. Knit/crochet a jersey
15. Compete in a mountain bike race
16. Complete the Crater Rim Trail Run
17. Climb a grade 16 on rock
18. Submit the final whio paper
19. Learn to ride my mountain bike clipless
20. Buy a macro lens
21. Buy a tripod
22. Re-instate my blog
23. Ride a century in a day
24. Spend a night at the Sign of the Packhorse
25. Learn to use Bayesian statistics
26. Crochet a sunhat
31. Go tramping at least once a month (SONDJFMAMJJA)

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27 things

I’ve been going through a phase of writing lists recently of things i want to do. not like “i need to buy toilet paper and go to the library” but real things that i’ve been meaning to do for ages but never really get around to. Only i’ve discovered that the writing of the list doesn’t necessarily translate into doing the list (surprise! surprise!). To overcome this problem, I’ve written another list. A list of 27 things that I want to do while i am still 27. It took me a while to come up with a list of things that could be achieved in 2.5 months in the middle of winter but I’ve done it and now I’m working on ticking things off. I’ve posted this list in the sidebar of this page as a constant reminder of things that need to be done and I’ll cross them off as they are. I’ve also, quite cunningly I think, put them onto a photo which is on the desktop of my computer, so they are there staring at me all the time. There will be no escaping the list!!

So now i’m off to complete number 19 and work on 21 :o)