Winters have always made me feel like a bear. I become sleepy, lazy, and really grumpy when disturbed. Why am I surprised that I feel even more so when the winter is darker, colder and longer than I am used to?
Umeå had some almost familiar weather for a while, with snow, ice, sleet, rain, snow in what seemed like an endless circle. The last month has however been stable, and the layer of ice on the pavement is a dark grey from dirt and rubble. In the forest the snow is still white, but it's frozen hard from being slightly warmed during the day, then frozen solid in the night.
But now I am waking up, starting to get work done, and feeling happy about all my little plans.
First: March 4th, I am giving a lecture in Hamar, Norway, where they have a little game education. I got to put together 4 hours doing favourite stuff with a small handful of gamers. I have to admit Hamar isn't my idea of a glamorous place to go, but hey, I am spending the winter in Umeå! And I get to do nice things together with interested people, that's enough to go anywhere.
Second: March 18th, I am giving a lecture in Urbino, Italy! And I managed for once to convince my husband he should come with me! So I get to travel, talk about some of my favourite things in the world, meet Luca Rossi, who is a really wonderful person to hang out with, and I will do this in the company of the man who has had the patience to deal with me for 26 years.
Third (big deal coming up): March 26th - 28th, at Umeå University: Humans, culture and computer games; Exploring how people use and live with their chosen online activities, a symposium organised by me and a wonderful group of games researchers, financed by Umeå University and the enthusiasm of the participants. Program is very, very close to being done and ready for publishing, link will come as soon as possible.
Fourth: I'll be in Copenhagen 8th of May, giving a lecture. Just the thought of that makes me smile, Copenhagen is my favourite Scandinavian city (and it beats quite a few other cities too), and I get to visit ITU, where I have so many wonderful colleagues and friends.
And after that I just have to cross my fingers and hope I get to present papers at the Player conference in Copenhagen, and then the AOIR conference also in Copenhagen. What can I say? It's a great city.