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31 December 2018 @ 08:33 pm
And.... It's 2019  
New Year's Eve here. Another year gone... or, as I like to think, another year closer to retirement!

The good:
Home: The new kitchen garden (fenced potager) has exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams. It's my happy place. It's also producing so much that I can't keep up with it. We eat fresh veggies constantly, and I freeze them down, and still I'm giving cucumbers, courgettes (zucchinis), green beans, snow peas, silverbeet (swiss chard), spring onions, and broad (lima, fava) beans away to friends, neighbours, and students. And it's not even Jan! I am terrified to think what my beans will be doing in Feb. Not to mention the tomatoes, runner beans etc, which are looking very... fecund.

Work: A bit more job security in the day job; more work, more hours, more responsibilities [undergrad teaching! supervising seven PhD students! running an animal research unit! manager for an internationally accredited analytical lab! health and safety compliance officer for a school of 200+ staff! Oh, wait, that's three full-time jobs! never mind....], and (obviously) a lot more multi-tasking, but less likelihood of getting made redundant. At my age, and given the constant restructuring at my Uni, that's a plus. [Too old to change careers, too young to retire and collect superannuation :( ]

Marriage: Still gloriously happy in my relationship: coming up to 20 years together with Dearly Beloved, and celebrating our 5 year legal-wedding anniversary next week by going away to our favourite North Island spot and meeting up with my USA-visiting twenty-something niece and her hubby. I haven't seen said niece since she was a pre-teen, so this will be fun -- introducing a pair of poor clueless Yanks to Godzone with its comprehensive national health care system, strong social network, unilateral superannuation (government retirement) programme, well tended roads, low crime, strict gun control, lack of consumerism, pro-green environment, and minimal racism. If I can convince them to emigrate here, I'll die happy. Plus it's our first time away since our honeymoon, so I'm really looking forward to me and wifey's first holiday in half a decade. (!!!!)

Pets: Sporrin is a fun, gormless, hairy, fairly idiotic Gordon Setter puppy who joined us mid-year. He's barky but cute as heck, eager to please, playful as all get out, dead keen on all kinds of birds (including young chickens, which is a bit of a problem, sigh), impervious to weather, and (happily) sheds water and dirt in microseconds. He's gradually learning not to steal the strawberries out of my garden, but so far is uninterested in peas, beans, etc, bless his heart.

Teaching: My undergrad students have been awesome. All of them passed their classes last semester, and one of my favourite boys (DV), who is also an artist, did a splendid sketch of our Great Dane bitch as a gift to me, which we've hung on the wall next to her couch as a permanent memory. I've encouraged him to go into medical illustration: he's got all the gifts and education necessary, and would be brilliant at it.

Politics: We replaced our inoffensive but right wing Parliament with a strong, young, female, left-leaning Prime Minister who will, I think, do positive things for NZ. Yay Jacinda.

The bad:
We lost our old dog, Max the Great Dane, early in the year. We were blessed to get her littermate sister to tide us over, but nothing can replace the big girl.

The undergrad programme I teach into (Med Lab Sci) was cancelled, so this year I had to farewell my last students ever. It was heartbreaking. The best thing about my job is watching my students walk across the stage at graduation, and next year will be my last. I'm wholly gutted, and have no idea how to replace that.

More good than bad, so I won't complain!
Malkin Greymalkingrey on December 31st, 2018 01:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad things are going well for you, and congratulations on 20-together and 5-years-legal!