really, it’s been three months since i posted anything – anything – other than spiders?  wow.  i do love them, but i never really intended to become an arachnid-only site.  amazing how time gets away from you, when you’re busy, oh, buying houses and finding new jobs.  that’s right – first-home-ownership is  on the horizon for us, with a new job starting for me two weeks before.  i suppose some of this requires a bit of explanation, so let’s see…

when i returned from the ship last november, i discovered that my ‘definitely to be renewed upon expiry’ one-year research post-doc, which finished halfway through the voyage, had in fact not been renewed, and that i’d been unemployed for three weeks already.  surprise!  actually not entirely a surprise, given the extreme dearth of funds in our research institute.  but anyway, to skip quickly past all that messiness and the politics of being moved to a different building, and make a long story marginally shorter, i haven’t been working full-time since then.  i picked up some teaching, on a first-year paper (course) that introduces students to university-level writing (can you hear my hands rubbing together gleefully?) and literature reviews.  that was good fun on many levels, and paid a reasonable part-time wage.

i did apply for some overseas jobs, just to try my luck, but (again, not so terribly surprising), no one anywhere seems to be serious about hiring.  the pebbles and i decided to wait for a response from one final overseas application, and then get serious about a house instead.  when that last rejection came in, we’d already done a fair bit of house research, and we’d had enough fun poking around open homes that the prospect of owning one really was a good plan B.  (reading that last sentence again, i wonder  whether the home-buying process is a little like giving birth, in that you suppress the memory of it so thoroughly that you can eventually be convinced to try it again.  every time we drive past an open home we don’t have to go to, we still chuckle sadistically.)  so, yes: to spare you some more details, we found a place.  it’s on the north shore, which means we’ll be leaving our beloved mt albert after seven years, but the location is still pretty good, and there will be plenty of room for guests!  and this is where the house and job tie back in together (other than the neat congruence of starting the job in late august and settling on the house two weeks later – paycheck and mortgage, probably a useful combination).  the new job, which is really a full-time extension of the part-time teaching this semester, is also based on the north shore.   it involves further work on the same paper as last semester, extended to full-time employment and encompassing some research time.  pretty much ideal.  it starts the day after we return from our annual sojourn to the states (goodbye, august in nz!  we won’t miss you!), although i was already invited to my future department’s midwinter christmas party, which bodes well.

so here’s the first house photo – the tip of the iceberg, no doubt.  9.5 weeks until moving day!

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