On Saturday I went to the Swedish Church Christmas Fair in Toorak with mum. It has grown so much over the past decade. We barely knew anyone, but it was marvellous all the same. We had Danish pølser (hotdogs) and frikadeller (meatball on black bread with onion). Listened to Scandinavian Christmas music, and of course, bought scandinavian Christmas decos!
I loved these lights and had to have them! Also on the table you can see a candle holder consisting of four connected, red-painted wood hearts, a little 'nisse' (christmas elf) with a long beard and his nose sticking out from under a red santa cap, and a Christmas candle calendar (you burn it for a about an hour a day, every day leading up to the 23 and when the last number is burned away, it's Christmas!).
On Sunday we comprehensively cleaned the house - I washed the floor for the first time since we moved in, eek! And we put up all the Christmas decorations and the tree. It looks lovely in the house now. Only when that was done did I really feel like I had settled back in at home.
On Sunday, I wrote a great long list of everything I need to do for the nest couple of weeks. I have to start organising the trip to Iceland already. I have sent off all my paper work to my aunt in Iceland to try and arrange a change of name, so I can apply for an Icelandic passport. I have to get quotes for flights etc. and then make bookings, it is very exciting but considering the amount of energy and time I expended on preparing for this conference, I'm keen to try and streamline things a bit more for the research trip.
Today I've been working on the revisions for the peer reviewed paper (due Friday), they aren't big revisions at all, but somewhat confusing as I feel I'm being asked to repeat myself. I think maybe I need to try and be clearer.
This week will be all about churning out some creative work. I've very excited to be back to this bit of the thesis, I love this bit, I feel most at home in this bit - like most practice-led researchers, I dare say.
I also need to do some follow up work from the conference - which seems like a million years ago now, so best not let those things linger too long!
I'm so glad to be back. I hadn't realised how much the conference had taken out of me until Sunday when I started to feel more myself again. It is one thing to go to a conference and present a paper (something I find absolutely thrilling and invigorating, by the way, I am completely at home in front of a lecture theatre audience - this is so absolutely what I want to do), but it's a whole other thing to travel when you have a vision impairment, and worse than that, agoraphobia. I did really well, if I say so myself. I was actually kind of shocked at how many people travelled with their partners, their siblings, their children, or who were staying with friends and family. There is nothing wrong with that, but I was being quite hard on myself for being anxious about it and it turned out that being anxious and wanting to bring a 'security blanket' is very much the norm. One night, in Wellington, having asked people what they were doing for dinner and finding everyone had plans with people they had brought with them, or family/friends they were staying with, I ended up going out on the town by myself! I went and found a lovely little *quiet* restaurant and had a lovely dinner and then went back to my room and watched a movie. I was so proud of myself for just doing it anyway, on my own.
But the days and days of being socially 'on' took its toll, and that is why it took so long to find my feet once I was back home again. I think it will be easier next time. This same conference will be in Melbourne next year, so that's very much familiar territory for me, so no biggie. It's nice to back into the domestic routine again though - even though Christmas holidays start this week for the bigger boys, and next week for the smaller ones.