Thursday, 31 January 2008

It's life.. but not as we know it...

My life in 10 days:
  • Submitted my tax return with two days to spare
  • Tried to arrange for the new mortgage to start in time (it didn't)
  • Sent a bunch of papers out to review (but not nearly enough)
  • Made decisions on a bunch of papers (but not nearly enough - that'll teach me to take holiday over Xmas)
  • Submitted 7 grant reviews almost on time, but there never seems to be enough (time)
  • Set up most of my new eye-tracking lab (most of...but not all - you can guess what I ran out of)
  • Replied to one email, from someone I've never met, accusing me, as an editor, of gross negligence, unfair treatment, and unprofessionalism (I'd rejected their paper)
  • Replied to another email, from someone else I've never met, saying I'm possibly the best editor in the universe (not sure why this person said this, as I don't think I'd recently accepted anything of theirs, but they are a guaranteed friend for life...)
  • Worked till between midnight and 1am most nights to try and meet deadlines
  • Failed to meet all deadlines (except my tax submission - but hey, that'd have cost me dearly!)
  • Been elevated to Premier Executive status on United Airlines. I'm not sure what it means...
  • Replaced pump in pond, 'cos the old one (only 4 months old) broke. Well...almost... the new one is waiting to go in, but have to go to San Francisco first, for two (yes, just two) nights (for NIH). Thank you aquatics-online for replacing the pump in just two (yes, just two) days.
  • Wished I'd bought that bottle, in my dream, marked 'instant time - just add water and wait'.
  • Wished I'd bought that other bottle, in my dream, marked 'instant life - just add time and enjoy'

Friday, 18 January 2008

I wish I was still stuck in Sao Paolo...

Title says it all....

But actually, it was good to get back to the children, the karate training, and the people I care about... I'm fairly sure it was (and still is) not so good to get back to manuscripts screaming to be reviewed or actioned. But one consolation... no more mole. Poor thing. RIP.

Friday, 11 January 2008

flight cancelled

It's 3am in Sao Paolo. Flight from Buenos Aires to London was cancelled, and we've flown with a Chilean airline to Sao Paolo where a British Airways plane is due to leave in an hour or so for London. BA arranged, in Buenos Aires, to take all passengers to a supposedly 5-star hotel. I'd have knocked a star off for charging us for internet access! Waited 4 hours for a room (they had very little notice in which to make up around 100 rooms, so I'm not complaining). Got to the room, and within 10 minutes received a call telling us to get on a coach back to the airport. Didn't even have time to steal the toiletries! Got to the airport, where they checked us all in very efficiently, but forgot to tell us to ignore what it said on the boarding card and to go to a different gate at a different time with a different airline. But hey, at least we got to Sao Paolo. And as I write this, I can see the BA jumbo right in front of me on the other side of the glass window. Life is sweet down here in Brazil.... could do with some sleep, though...

Monday, 7 January 2008

Day 12

Evidently, 12 days is all it takes for me to decide I rather spend time with my computer than with nature... Or, it could be that I've nothing better to do in the 40-degree heat as I wait to dry off from a shower and go out for a meal. So here are some photos of my excursion into the Andes. For the sake of speedy download, I am posting only 4 of the 558 photos that iPhoto tells me I have taken. Of course, there are some duplicates (you know... you line up the shot, and just as you take it, the mountain moves or the river blinks, so you end up taking another shot once nature has settled down again), so probably we're talking a more realistic 500 or so photos. You're not really going to be interested in the stories behind the photos (all you need to know is that I had an amazing time - as much to do with being in the Andes as with being away from my office!), so here they are. I might post some more once I've got back. These were all taken near Bariloche, in Patagonia.

Tomorrow, we're off to Buenos Aires. It's even hotter there than here (Neuquén). Silvia has to pick up her hopefully renewed passport, and there's still much meat to be eaten, shoes to be bought, and tangos to be danced...

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The Andes

Am currently in a hotel in the Andes. I'd recommend the Andes, and the hotel, to anyone. Will post photos once I've decided I want to spend more time with my computer than I do with the Andes. Things I've done:
  • Driven 300 miles
  • Climbed the highest peak (I cheated - I took the chair lift)
  • Crossed one of the highest and deepest lakes in Argentina (I cheated - took a boat)
  • Bought ponchos for my kids.
  • Bought gifts for various friends.
  • Eaten more meat in a week than my stomach has had to deal with in a year. Thank you, Zantac, for seeing me through!
  • Drunk excellent wine.
  • Drunk lots of Maté.
  • Relaxed.
  • Relaxed some more.
  • Forgotten all those things that prevent me from relaxing.
  • Thought about all those people who make those things tolerable...