I'm okay

To measure oneself not by the numbers on a doctor's computer screen - not by the images of a brain on a radiologist's printout, not by the orthotic braces supporting an ankle, not by hearing aides attached to the side of a head, not by the amount of pills swallowed before bed - but by what the body is capable of.

I've known for years that one day I was likely going to see these numbers on a glucose meter, but nevertheless I have a process of grieving to go through. To re-learn to measure my health not by the markers on blood test results, but what my body is capable of, and the places it'll take me. Regardless of what I need to get there.

I'm okay. Sad, pissed off and tired, but okay.





"Where'd you hear THAT from?"

Great. I have a human-induced climate change denier at my workplace. A religious one at that. Seems to be, at least in part, a denier because of the religion.

Fun times.

The Distinct Burden of Being A Climate Scientist

Please read this article.

It’s the End of the World as They Know It - The distinct burden of being a climate scientist

When plumbing and drainage videos make people laugh

Most of my classmates are 20+, 25+ years old. Some are even 30+ years old.

Which makes it especially comical when a 19-old-boy, has come to polytech directly out of high school I think, starts giggling loudly when we watch a plumbing and drainage installation video.

Apparently, he still can't keep a straight face when sentences "let's lubricate this end" and a word "penetration" are used in a construction context.


What's quantity surveying like? According to my tutor, it feels like this:

And in case it's not clear, according to my tutor, quantity surveying feels like that bear cub in the video feels: climbing up a too-steep slope, over and over and over again, until finally... it's done.

Assignments and Instagram accounts

I wish I had a camera to show you the setting: an otherwise empty computer lab - aside from me and my stuff spread across two desks - Coldplay's "Everglow" blaring on the speakers, tangy smell of an apple I've just eaten, architectural plans and pens everywhere.

I am working on my next school assignment. This time, it's a large manufacturing facility next to an airport runway. I am tasked with choosing a good 'building envelope' for it, given that it has to block out a lot of noise from the planes, keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter, be easy to maintain etc. I am trawling through websites of Xflam, Volcore, Pyrotek, tracking down acoustics engineering values, R-values, trying to figure out if I can 'sandwich' a noise barrier between two insulating panels (would it even work?).

If you are interested in seeing (some of) the stuff I do at school, please head over to my Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/allthingsqs/ . It's not everything, but it'll probably give you an idea of what quantity surveying is.

And here is 'Everglow'.

School holidays are almost over

It takes about 2 weeks to get used to spending time with kids all the time. Ironically, school holidays are only 2 weeks long, so by the time I get the hang of it, they head back to school.

And so do I.

Five more months, Maria, five more. And then it'll be over.

PS. Don't quote me on this yet, but I am considering... continuing studying next year. :/ Not quantity surveying any more, but on the architectural technology side, and not full-time, just part-time, one 4-hour class a week. I want to learn to draft well by hand and SIT has a very good tutor teaching it at the moment. And then semester after that, maybe, to learn to use Revit well.


*says the girl who already has 2 Bachelor's degrees and 1 half-done Master's, and is about to graduate with a diploma. Not sure if it qualifies as 'addicted to learning' but here we go. :/*

Syllables and 5-year-olds

Have you ever had a 5-year-old tell you, syllable by a pointed syllable, "The. Rule. Is. I. Don't. Like. Cau-li-flow-er. It's ten - ten syllables!"?

Well, at least she knows syllables, I guess...

Does a rabbit cost more than an internet cable?

A friend bought a (domesticated) pet rabbit. You know, like, a house-trained kind - the sort that poops in a litterbox (like a cat) and that can be snuggled with in front of a TV in the evening. A cute thing!

That same friend also learned that, apparently, even domesticated pet rabbits chew through internet cables if given a chance. Even if those internet cables are nailed into bottom of skirting-boards :)

Other words my kids mis-pronounce

Instead of "animals" they say "aminals".

Instead of "hospital" they say "hostipal".


OMG! It has worked! It has worked!!!

After 7 weeks of illness (whatever the heck it was, flu, cold, upper respiratory & sinus infection, call it what you like), it is finally going away! I AM FINALLY STARTING TO FEEL LIKE A HEALTHY-ISH PERSON AGAIN!

It is such a relief. Or shall I say: it is such an amoxicillin.

I know some countries struggle with over-prescribing of antibiotics and that, cumulatively, such an approach builds on the already existing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But in my family, and in the practice of my GP, it's luckily the other way around. We try not to take antibiotics.

However, after 7 weeks of what felt like the most strenuous, ongoing, frustrating, draining case of "common cold" which, at the end, gave me such a frontal sinus infection that I felt like my eyes were bulging out of my face (not to mention the whole row of my upper teeth which hurt every time I crossed a kerb on my bike), we finally went on a 10-day course of amoxicillin and...

Oh. My. God. This is so spectacularly, splendidly awesome that I bend down to tie my shoes and it does not hurt any more. I no longer get bleeding from my upper sinuses. And when I blow my nose, my sinuses do not equalise through my tear duct.

In the course of this illness I have also learned that, apparently, I have a deviated septum - which probably played a role in not being able clear this cold. Having never broken my nose (as far as I'm aware), I can only assume that the genetic composition got passed down from my grandad. I mean, judging by the outside appearance of the nose, anyway :)

How to pronounce spagetti

I am going to be a little sad when my kids no longer say 'pascetti' instead of 'spagetti'.

"Can we have pascetti for dinner?"

The things people will remember you by

My husband picked up Heather Armstrong's book I brought home from the library.

Me: "It's that blogger I've followed for years. We've talked about her."
Him: "Nah, doesn't ring a bell."

Then a couple of minutes later:

Me: "That's the one."
Him: "Oh yeah, now I know who you're talking about. Cool."

And by the way: the book is pretty readable. It does make me think though, holy hell, Heather, no wonder you're so high strung given the sort of stuff - amount of stuff, really - you do in your life but, hey, we all choose our own ways to live, yeah?, so you're alright. I do feel sorry for you, though, most of the time.

Can a 6-year-old walk 3,000 km?

There is a family who have recently completed the Te Araroa trail (3,000 km) in its whole length with two kids.