Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fitting it all in.

Since the proverbial apocalypse in May, so much has come and gone.

But the most important activity to report for the last while is my field research in the Netherlands, and in Ireland. Since my research is part of a European project, I'm lucky enough to have potato fields on two continents to collect insects from! I'm setting up two pitfall traps, and two sticky traps in each of 54 plots in Ireland and 63 plots in the Netherlands. So far, I've collected the catch from these devices twice from both the Dutch and Irish experimental fields, and there's one more round to go... So it's been busy.

A few weeks ago, the potatoes were up to my waist high! Here's me pulling one from a plot to have a better look at what's on the leaves.

It has taken a lot of time to organize the work here and there. So much that my head seems full of little details and my calendar is full of important and unchangeable dates. I've had to ship equipment around and find helpers where I could since collecting from a total of 117 plots with 2 pitfalls and sticky traps over the course of the summer is just not an easy thing to get done all on my own. I've been extremely lucky with the helpers so far, and so far also with the weather!
We even managed a historical detour in to see Dolmen after a successful field day in Drenthe:

When in Ireland, I've had the luxury of not having the option to go into work on the weekends, since the gate is just simply closed. Which means of course- Irish road trip weekends!
Here are some highlights from those...
Staying at a B&B, and having the other best B&B's.... Beer, and Breakfast...
 A typical Aran-island-view,

Part of the Hook's Head peninsula

Just somewhere along a country road with Tanya taking photos

Hooks Head lighthouse

 Kilkenny Castle, but the park this thing overlooks is really where to be.

Incase that wasn't enough already, here are few other memorable things I managed to do in the last few months:

Met one of my favourite musicians in Rotterdam, while she was on her European tour.
Went to a conference in Berlin, and presented my first talk in public about my PhD research.
Went to Berlin again for a weekend, and played a lot of board games, just cause we could.
Decided to start sewing more, and made a swede purse/messenger bag.
(Here's me at Berlin's botanical gardens... testing out the new bag)
Took a stats course, and gave a presentation at the R-user-group about graphing in R with ggplot2.
Got a pretty awesome race-bike, after a long search all over the country for a bike suitable for short people- and took my first tour from Utrecht to the Hilversum museum voor beeld en geluid (institute for sound and vision). 
Here's the inside of the ultra-modern high-tech museum:
Had my first dance recital for the African dance class I have been taking on Monday nights...
Took a climbing technique course,
Fared down the Rubicon, through the caves of Remouchamps... 
Learned about Vikings, and put my little life into geological perspective in the caves of Dunmore...
Went to a wedding at the zoo...

and went to Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise music festival.

And I'm still alive and kicking! Can you believe it? 
I guess I always was one of overfill my plate and have eyes bigger than my stomach.... or maybe plans bigger than my calendar can fit? (shh.. I just made that one up).

Sometimes I crave to live in that little house on Inishmore and sew all day, and sit in my little cottage all day long. Wouldn't that be peaceful?

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