Happy New Year!
Tomorrow the university re-opens and thus the 13-day Christmas and New Year holidays are over. This year’s holiday was not as fruitful as the last where Terry and I went on a 3-day road trip to Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo. I was initially toying with the idea of travelling to the South Island, particularly to Christchurch and Queenstown. Well, I did not really get down to business and worked out a plan so we ended up spending most days lazing at home or visiting friends’ homes for dinner!
My flatmate Hannah and Murray threw a Christmas Eve party and a New Year Eve party at our place and we had great company and food both occasions. Terry and I were invited to Ted and Magda’s for a traditional Christmas roast dinner complete with roast turkey and ham. And then Kinleng and Peter invited us for another round of home-cooked roast dinner 2 days after. Peter showed me how to prepare a complete roast chicken meal with gravy, and sides of roast vegetables, mashed potatoes and peas and corn. Not to mention traditional apple crumble for dessert. Looking back, the holidays were all about food, food and more food! I think I gained weight *gasp*!
The year 2010 was a challenging year for me. The year started with me being granted confirmed PhD candidate status after an oral examination and submission of a piece of written work on my progress during my provisional first year. Shortly after, I went back to Malaysia in February to spend Chinese New Year, my first visit back home in 18 months. I had a blast! Other memorable getaways include Waiheke Island, Coromandel, Adelaide and Japan!
Had a wonderful harvest from my first ever green patch, my backyard project – strawberries, corn, capsicum and cucumber. Moved houses (again) and started joining the university gym. Met an old friend, Bee who came to New Zealand on a Working Holiday.
My PhD progress in year 2010 was not as I expected. It was not satisfactory. Plans did not work resulted in delays. Change of plans and more delays. There were a lot of times when I was simply de-motivated leading to procrastination and more delays. Attended my first academic conference, CHEMECA in Adelaide but came back to conflicts with my superior, very long story *sighs*. Swallowed my pride, took all the blame, learnt and moved on.
Twenty eleven is here and I feel ready and energised. Tomorrow is a new day, new academic term and no more delays! Unfortunately, I will be spending my Chinese New Year away from home and family in Malaysia this year but I look forward to company and fellowship with good friends, more harvests from my vege patch, move closer to my graduation and oh blog consistently!
2011 bring it on!