Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The practicalities of life

When we moved to Denmark, my husband and I reduced our amount of property dramatically. Just the number of books we got rid of was overwhelming, and I still miss the almost new couch we left in Volda. One of these days I may go shopping for a new, equally comfortable one, because I am learning what comforts I really appreciate, and which are fleeting.

Another thing we wanted to leave behind was the need to constantly maintain our property. We had a large house and a difficult garden - although we let half of it return to nature - and we spent a lot more of our free time looking after all of this than we really wanted. So here I am, in a nice little city flat in Copenhagen. Two days of yard work a year, and everything else solved in the co-op, which is a common ownership structure here.

Everything, that is, except when something breaks inside the apartment. This year I have had to repair the electricity to the fridge and stove, the diswasher is broken, and lastly, the toilet is done for. I am learning about other comforts which are really important to me. My comfortable couch has suddenly moved far down on the must-have list, as I want, in falling order of importance: a toilet I can flush, a floor I am not worried about falling through, a finished book,  a modern kitchen with enough power to actually use it, and a new couch. Note how the book I am devoting most of my time to has dropped on the list of priorities? Sorry, dear co-author, but being able to flush and walk across the floor takes precedence. The book will still get more action though, as that's the only thing I can actually do something about myself, without waiting for others.

At least the toilet in the sabbatical apartment in Bologna still works. Getting back there may be even nicer than I expected.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The slow things - 2 months, 1 day.

I am two months and one day into the sabbatical, and I have produced one article and almost two chapters. It's not a bad feat. The challenge is to keep going. I have to produce one more chapter draft, and then start massaging a large text into unity. The first part should be doable, I have almost 2 months to go for that. The second part will take months still.

There is however some kind of progress, even if it does not flow smoothly and confidently. And to celebrate that I want to share my most faithful companion with you. This little creature lives in the garden I see from my windows, comes out in the sun, and is one of life's great delights to spot it or one of its companions - because there are more than one. Here you go, the heraldic animal of the academic bootcamp.